At the Mackenzie Dental Centre, oral health care is about prevention, early diagnosis, and proper treatment. As such, Dr. Lloyd Pedvis and the clinic team provide a wide range of services - from teeth whitening, to crowns and bridges, to cosmetic dentistry. But when required, oral surgery is offered for a number of more complex procedures.
Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars to grow in. Quite often, these teeth will grow in naturally, and without any problem. But there are times when these teeth don’t grow in properly. There may be a problem with surrounding gum tissue; there may be potential for food to get trapped; there may even be misalignment after the teeth grow in. In fact, if misalignment does occur, the adjacent teeth could be crowded, and added stress placed on the jawbone.
With wisdom teeth, close monitoring during regular clinic visits will ensure the early detection of problem areas. Patient symptoms will also play an important part. Like any other dental health issue, wisdom teeth symptoms will emerge differently for each patient:
- Pain and/or discomfort in the back area of the mouth
- Irritation from a molar that’s rubbing against the cheek
- Swelling in the gum tissue around an emerging tooth
- Visible crowding of the teeth around the new molars
For some, symptoms will develop from age 15 to 25. Therefore, regular clinic visits are integral to early detection of problem areas. Here again, an early diagnosis will set the stage for appropriate and timely treatment, particularly if there are complexities involved.
Surgical removal of wisdom teeth is a common procedure today. With moderate sedation and local anesthetic, a wisdom tooth is removed like any other tooth.
Dental implants are intended to replace a natural tooth, and support a new “replacement” tooth. Implants are surgical, as they connect the “replacement” tooth with the jaw. This is a good option for many patients, and with excellent outcomes. The benefit with implants is the natural feel once the procedure has been completed. Dental implants support the structure of the jawbone, and also ensure that “bite forces” are properly balanced.
A dental implant is a “post” that is surgically rooted to the jaw – it’s designed to replace the root of the natural tooth. As such, the finished implant will actually “anchor” the “replacement” tooth. For the most part, dental implants are for patients who are in relatively good health, with healthy gum tissue, and with enough bone mass to ensure success. In most patients, this surgery is quite painless, and with excellent long-term outcomes.
For patients who visit the dentist regularly, it’s easier to diagnose whether a dental implant may be required. Early diagnosis makes it easier to institute an effective treatment plan. In fact, with early detection, additional surgical procedures may be avoided. By any measure, dental implants are a step-by-step surgical procedure. The implant must be properly rooted to the jaw; the gums have to heal; and the procedure takes some time.
With precision and care, a finished dental implant allows a tooth to remain natural looking, while feeling quite natural. Biting and chewing are also natural, making for excellent long-term results.
Crown lengthening has become a common surgical procedure, where gum tissue and/or bone are removed to expose more of a tooth. In situations where there is not enough tooth to allow for a filling or a crown, the dentist must surgically expose more of the tooth. Depending on how much gum must be removed, a surgical protocol will be established to ensure best results.
Crown lengthening can be performed using a local anesthetic. Removing gum tissue will serve to expose the roots of a tooth and surrounding bone. And sometimes, removing a small amount of gum tissue will be enough to place a crown or perform a filling. However, there are cases where more substantial amounts of tissue must be removed, and sometimes, bone material.
Post surgery, the area is stitched, and prepped for a healing period. Clearly, personal patient care is important here, as are follow-up visits to the dentist. The gums themselves require about six weeks to heal, before any teeth can be further treated (with a crown, filling, or other procedure). This is particularly relevant when a follow-up procedure may include a dental bridge.
Crown lengthening can resolve a variety of oral health issues, restoring function, and improving aesthetic appeal. It’s a necessary and effective procedure prior to crown work or bridge work and must be expedited with care and precision. Importantly, the treatment time can be lengthy, so patients are encouraged to practice patience throughout the entire process.
For some patients, the time may come when a “bone graft” is recommended in order to ensure a better outcome with implant surgery. And while the treatment plan may sound daunting to some, the truth is quite different. Today, bone grafting is both routine and painless, with excellent long-term results. For the most part, the procedure is minimally invasive and well managed in-office.
With advances in dentistry, “processed” bone materials are commonly used today for bone grafts. These have proven to be effective and long lasting. Leaving some of the science aside, the body recognizes the “processed” bone graft as natural bone and eventually replaces that material with native bone material. Bone grafts are particularly appropriate when required for dental implants.
A trusted dentist will discuss the bone graft option fully, and all the implications. As a pre-cursor to other surgical procedures (like dental implants), bone grafts can very skillfully set the stage for optimizing the surgical procedure that follows. With a good explanation of the process, a patient can be assured of good outcomes, and be relieved of the natural anxiety relative to the surgery.
For most patients, a bone graft procedure requires no more than moderate sedation, and a local anesthetic – this will serve to alleviate any pain or discomfort, and relieve any anxiety. After the surgery, there may be a need for antibiotics or pain medication while the graft heals. However, everyday life can resume while full healing takes place, ready for the upcoming implant surgery.