Bone grafting – also known as ridge and sinus augmentation – is a procedure used to build up the bone beneath the surface of the gums. The bones in the upper and lower arch of the mouth are responsible for supporting the teeth. When one or more teeth fall out, bone resorption occurs naturally. When patients decide to replace missing teeth with dental implants, insufficient bone mass can prevent them from qualifying for the procedure.
Bone grafting addresses inadequate bone mass by filling in eroded areas with bone harvested from the patient’s own body, or that of a cadaver or animal. The new bone helps promote new bone growth that will eventually support a dental implant.
Dental implants are surgical-grade root devices that support permanent tooth prosthetics that are manufactured to last a lifetime. These artificial roots are anchored in the bone beneath the gums where they become fused into the jaw. A crown is mounted atop the implant for a long-lasting and natural-looking smile.
Many dentists and patients prefer dental implants because they offer the same function as natural teeth and also help prevent bone atrophy in the jaw. Dental implants may be used to replace a single missing or damaged tooth or to restore an entire smile.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
The wisdom teeth are the final four teeth to erupt from the gums – usually sometime between age 17 and 25. Ideally, the teeth emerge without complication. But according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, as many as 9 in 10 Americans have at least one wisdom tooth that is impacted.
Even if the teeth erupt normally, they may cause overcrowding or grow in at an angle that can be problematic in the future. For that reason, many people elect to have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent infection, crowding, and other complications.
Jaw alignment is an important part of oral health. When the jaw is out of alignment, it can negatively affect the bite, as well as the function of the mouth. Some misaligned jaws are so problematic; they cause abnormal wear on the teeth and other secondary symptoms, such as headaches.
Also known as orthognathic surgery, jaw alignment surgery is meant to address irregularities that impair the normal function of the jaws. By undergoing corrective jaw surgery in Tarrytown, patients can improve their bite, speech, and appearance – not to mention alleviate other side effects.
Oral cancer is a rare, but serious disease. Many people diagnosed with the disease face a poor prognosis – not because the cancer is harder to treat, but because it often goes undetected until it has reached advanced stages. When detected early, outcomes improve dramatically.
Pathologic screenings are available to quickly confirm a diagnosis of oral cancer. Based on the diagnosis and stage of cancer, an oral surgeon can treat oral cancer in Tarrytown using operations that remove tumors and reconstruct the mouth in areas affected by cancer.
Additional treatments, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and drug therapy may be necessary to treat oral cancer.
TMJ disorders are complications associated with the temporomandibular joint where the jaw and skull come together. This joint, although small, can cause chronic pain and symptoms that make performing everyday tasks quite painful or difficult.
The symptoms of TMJ disorders are different from patient to patient, with some reporting pain that comes and goes and others describing symptoms that persist chronically for many years.
Other Oral and Facial Surgical Procedures
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons specialize in the treatment of many dental and oral and facial conditions, including diseases, defects, and injuries. Their work is generally isolated to the face and neck regions, incorporating both the hard and soft tissues of the mouth and jaw.
Many patients visit oral surgeons for extractions of teeth, including wisdom teeth, replacement of teeth with implants, treatment of gum and bone problems, saving teeth that had root canals but are still having problems, biopsies, TMJ disorders and oral cancer, but there are other procedures and treatments that these surgeons specialize in as well.