Do you have some troubling symptoms that are interfering with your comfort? Our team at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Winter Haven and Champions Gate, FL, have the experience with maxillary surgery to help you determine if treatment is the right call for you.
What Are the Signs You Need Maxillary Surgery?
Jaw Pain and Headaches
During a consultation, our team can help you determine if maxillary surgery will be helpful for you. That said, you can keep an eye out for some symptoms that indicate a need for treatment. One of these symptoms is jaw pain.
Jaw pain could be caused by Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ. Other symptoms of TMJ include recurring headaches or migraines. TMJ can make your jaw feel sore or painful. The reason it can also cause headaches is due to an uneven jaw sometimes putting strain on your facial muscles. When jaw alignment is corrected, the symptoms of TMJ should naturally dissipate.
When your jaws are growing unevenly, it can cause a lot of issues with your teeth. Uneven tooth wear can make chewing, biting, and even swallowing more difficult. If a misaligned jaw is causing you tooth concerns, corrective surgery may be able to help you be rid of these problematic symptoms.
Sleep apnea can have a range of causes. If you struggle with sleep apnea and have ruled out other possible causes, your jaw could be to blame.
A misaligned jaw can obstruct your breathing passageways, and that can lead to snoring and difficulty sleeping. Having the cause behind your sleep apnea addressed can help you get a more fulfilling night’s rest.
An Open Bite
An open bite means that when your mouth is closed there’s still a gap between your top and bottom teeth. Milder cases of open bite may not produce any negative side effects, but in more severe cases it can affect a patient’s ability to form certain words or eat certain foods.
If your open bite is causing you difficulty or affecting your confidence, having it corrected could be worthwhile.
A Poorly Healed Injury
A facial injury can wreak havoc on your teeth and jaws. Some patients don’t realize the extent of their injury until they notice their jawline looks unbalanced. A maxillofacial surgeon has the experience needed to take a look at your facial balance and help you reverse some of that damage.
If you’ve suffered a facial injury, we recommend coming in as soon as possible so our team can help you find the right course of action. Treating the issue quickly can make the treatment easier.
Understanding Maxillofacial Surgery
Maxillofacial or oral surgeons have years of specialized training and experience when it comes to both diagnosing and treating conditions or injuries that affect your head and neck. On top of their four years of dental school, these surgeons have an additional four to six years of training so they can effectively treat the craniomaxillofacial complex, which includes the head, neck, jaw, and face as a whole.
It’s one of the nine specialties that the American Dental Association recognizes, and as such these surgeons can diagnose and treat quite a range of conditions. Some of these conditions can include:
- Facial pain
- Facial reconstruction
- Dental implants
Examples of Maxillary Surgery
Bone grafting can be used in several ways when it comes to maxillary surgery. The maxilla is the upper jaw, but bone grafting can be carried out on the lower jaw, or mandible, as well. Bone grafting can be used to help correct birth defects such as clefts. It can also be used as a reconstructive tool when there has been facial trauma. Both of these examples usually require a significant amount of bone grafting.
Grafting is also used to treat less severe issues, like when you lose teeth. It can help improve cosmetic concerns and functionality at the same time. For patients who don’t want dentures but don’t have the bone material for dental implants, bone grafting can finally give them the ability to ditch their dentures.
Bone Grafting for Dental Implants
Losing teeth doesn’t just leave gaps in your smile, it can eventually lead to atrophy of the jawbone. When this happens, there may not be enough high-quality bone to support a dental implant. If your jawbone has suffered from atrophy and you want dental implants, some minor bone grafting can be used to build your jaw back up for implants.
Preserve Your Ridge
The tooth-bearing bone is known as the alveolus, and in order to get an implant, this bone has to be strong, with the right height, and a good formation. If you seek out implants immediately following tooth loss, you may not need any grafting. However, this bone can lose up to half of its width in only a year, with a significant portion of this loss happening in the first three months.
If you know you have a tooth that’s in poor health and needs to be extracted, you may want to consider ridge preservation. This form of bone grafting immediately protects your ridge and buys you some time so you can schedule in an implant and protect the health of your jaw. By seeking out ridge preservation right away, it can help you avoid more significant bone grafting in the future.
The supportive bone left behind after tooth loss is called a ridge. When the ridge shrinks down, it’ll interfere with your ability to get dental implants. Adding onto the ridge with a bone graft is a great way to make patients who were previously unable to receive implants quality for them.
Grafts can come from external sources, but they can sometimes be taken from areas such as the chin, or certain healthy areas of the upper or lower jaw if there’s enough material.
A sinus lift may be necessary in some cases to prep you for a dental implant. Our upper teeth usually have some roots that reach up into the maxillary sinuses, so when these teeth are lost or removed there may be just a thin wall of bone between your mouth and the maxillary sinus.
If this bone height doesn’t have enough room for a dental implant, a sinus lift can be carried out by lifting the sinus membrane up to make room for additional bone material. The surgeon is often able to enter the sinus area from the mouth where your teeth used to be, making this as minimally invasive as possible. Once the new bone material has merged with the old, a dental implant can be inserted.
Different Types of Bone Grafts
When you consult with us, we can lay out your different options and offer input on the best choice for you. There are different types of bone grafts that offer different benefits depending on your needs.
For this type of bone graft, you are your own donor. Bone material will be taken from your own body and used for maxillofacial treatments.
This graft is composed of either synthetic or cadaver material.
For this graft, cow bone is used instead of human or synthetic material.
Wisdom Tooth Extractions
If your wisdom teeth are causing you more harm than good, we can extract them for you. Wisdom teeth can sometimes be left alone, but you have to pay close attention to them. A wisdom tooth that decides to grow at an angle can push your other teeth out of place and mess up your tooth alignment.
Wisdom teeth that are partially erupted may also be difficult to clean, so they’re prone to accumulating plaque and decay. We have the experience to tackle your wisdom tooth extraction, whether it’s a simple removal or a more involved case.
Why Choose Us for Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
We can carry out a tooth extraction in our fully equipped surgical setting, and you can rest easy with the knowledge that you are in the care of a team that knows what they’re doing and how to do it right.
One goal of maxillary surgery can be to prepare the jaw for dental implants. Our highly trained team can provide you with life-changing implants. Our countless patients have shown us how implants can better your quality of life.
Ill-fitting dentures can be a daily inconvenience or even cause discomfort. Dental implants mean our patients can enjoy the foods they used to love and can smile with confidence again.
Dental Implants Versus Dentures
Dentures and implants can both be an appropriate choice depending on your needs and desires. Here are some criteria we use to compare dentures to dental implants.
Dental implants mimic a natural tooth’s ability to maintain the health of your jawbone. Dentures don’t have this ability, so you may see some changes in your jawbone if you choose dentures instead of implants.
Implants are made to feel as natural as possible and should function just like regular teeth. When it comes to dentures, pay attention to the material they’re made of. Some dentures tend to feel more artificial than others.
One common fear patients have when they’re looking into dentures is whether or not they’re going to slip around. A good denture fit can help prevent this, but dental implants can remove that fear altogether by being securely fastened to your jaw.
There are some limitations you have to adhere to when you have dentures. These foods can include:
- Fluids that can stain
- Sticky foods
Dental implants can help you continue to enjoy your favorite foods. Many patients who made the switch from dentures to implants were excited to cut into a steak again.
Dentures and implants both require cleaning. The difference is in the cleaning method. Dentures are usually removed at night for cleaning, while implants can be brushed like regular teeth.
How To Manage Anxiety Before an Appointment
Dental anxiety is extremely common, but it shouldn’t stand in the way of you taking care of your oral health. We strive to create a soothing and welcoming environment, and our helpful team will be there with you every step of the way to ensure everything is done to make you as comfortable as possible.
Some common ways patients can help themselves relax for an appointment can include listening to their favorite podcast, arriving early so they don’t feel rushed, and asking questions so they feel ready for the appointment. We do understand, however, that sometimes anxiety needs more than words of comfort. For that reason, our team can offer you oral sedation if that’s something you think would be helpful.
We Can Help You Find the Answer
We want to help each of our patients find the treatment that will help them reach their goals and be happy with their smiles. To learn more about our many different treatment options, reach out to us at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Winter Haven and Champions Gate, FL, today for your consultation.