Monday, September 21, 2015

Multiple Missing Teeth: What’s the best solution?

Multiple Missing Teeth: What’s the best solution?
If you are missing multiple teeth, especially molars, you may be wondering about your dental options. You want the freedom to be able to eat whatever you want. You want a stable, secure fix that won’t require unnecessary upkeep. With this issue, your options are limited.  

Your possible solutions for multiple missing back teeth include a fixed bridge anchored to implants or a partial removable denture. Removable dentures can be uncomfortable and complicated and their materials and fabrication can get expensive. A fixed bridge is often the superior choice for a lasting and comfortable solution that feels just like your natural teeth.

Benefits of a Fixed Bridge Anchored to Implants

  • They are the sole fixed solution for missing back teeth.
  • They are stable and secure, so you can eat anything without fear.
  • They preserve your natural facial appearance.
  • They prevent bone deterioration.
  • They are more comfortable than dentures.
  • They keep your gum line in tact, eliminating metal clasps that can eat away gumline.
  • They preserve your adjacent teeth.
  • They mimic natural teeth exactly in feel and look.
  • They are a permanent fix. You won’t have to deal with any upkeep other than regular hygiene.

Once you’ve decided that a fixed bridge is the fix for you, what can you expect from the procedure? After your initial visit with your oral surgeon, you’ll have four to five additional visits until the final fixed bridge is attached. You may experience minor bruising, but you can treat it with over-the-counter painkillers, and you can be back to work the day after your procedure.

The Installation Process

1. The implants are installed first, usually in a single session. You may receive a temporary bridge so you’ll have normal mouth function as soon as you leave.

2. The implants must integrate with the jawbone before you get the permanent bridge. This varies, but it is normally done one to two months after implant installation.

3. Then, the new bridge will be installed, which will handle all the pressure of natural back teeth.

If you are ready to begin the process of permanently restoring your teeth and being able to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, you should contact a trusted oral surgeon, like those at Solace Oral Surgery, today. A professional will help guide you through the process step-by-step so that it is as painless and straightforward as possible, customized just for you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Mysteries of TMJ: What is it and how is it treated?

                                     The Mysteries of TMJ: What is it and how is it treated?

TMJ refers to Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, grouped conditions that together lead to lack of proper function and pain in the joint of your jaw and the muscles that control its movement. According to some estimates, TMJ affects over 10 million Americans. If you have jaw pain, consult an oral professional for the most accurate diagnosis as most jaw pain does not signify TMJ and is temporary or needs only minor treatment.

What are TMJ disorders?

Generally, scientists group them into three categories:

1. Myofascial pain - This is the discomfort or pain in the musculature of the jaw.
2.  Internal derangement of the joint - This can be a condyle injury, a dislocated jaw, or a displaced disc.
3. Arthritis - This is an inflammatory joint disorder that may afflict the temporomandibular joint.

Any of these may occur together and can occur simultaneously with other health issues that exacerbate the disorders or mimic them, so consult with your doctor as well as an oral professional when getting a diagnosis.

So, what causes TMJ?

In many cases, no one knows what causes TMJ. Other times, it is associated with trauma to the jaw. Pain can occur when a disc erodes or becomes unaligned, after impact to the jaw, or from cartilage damage from arthritis. TMJ disorders most commonly occur in women ages 20 to 40, but they can occur in men or women of any age.

How do you know if you have TMJ disorders?

Common symptoms include:
  • Stiffness of the jaw
  • Locking jaw or limited movement
  • Painful clicking or popping in the joint when opening and closing mouth
  • Change in teeth alignment

Because TMJ can be difficult to diagnose, seek professional help. Make sure you give your doctor as much information about your pain as possible. After a physical exam, if necessary, he or she can get X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI to reveal problems with bones and discs.

What are the Treatments for TMJ?

Treatments for TMJ vary widely based on a number of factors. They often begin with sedatives or pain medication and other self care practices, including icing and eating soft foods. Some nonpharmaceutical therapies include:

  • Physical therapy—exercises to strengthen jaw, ultrasound, heat and ice
  • Counseling—understanding factors that can increase pain
  • Oral splints—a soft or firm bite guard over teeth

If these measures are not successful or your condition is severe, you should consult a trusted oral surgeon and consider:

  • Arthrocentesis—a procedure to irrigate fluid through the joint to remove inflammatory byproducts
  • Injections—corticosteroid or botulinum toxin injections can relieve pain more effectively than medication
  • Surgery—correction of structural problems within the joint

The oral surgeon at Solace Oral Surgery are experts at diagnosing this painful condition. Contact us today to answer any questions.