This procedure addresses restricted frenum, also referred to as the thin piece of tissue that secures other muscles, such as the tongue or the upper lip.
Tongue ties can affect the growth and development of the teeth and jaw, affecting alignment, tongue movement, and speech. In infants the primary concern is a poor latch for breastfeeding, which can result in other issues including:
Poor latching can cause problems for mothers too including difficult breastfeeding, mastitis, anxiety, slow post-delivery weight loss, painful conditions of nipples, and low milk supply or early cessation of lactation.
If your baby is struggling to latch and you suspect a physical impediment to success, look into the baby’s mouth and use your finger to feel for tightness in the tissue under his or her tongue or between the front upper gum and lip.
First, your baby will be swaddled and a topical anesthetic, such as lidocaine, is applied to the area. The dentist then uses a precise laser to release the tightened or tethered tissue. The whole procedure takes less than 10 minutes and in most instances the baby is able to latch immediately when he or she is returned to you. Your baby may experience some slight swelling for a day or so following the treatment. Also, the dentist will provide advice on how to care for the baby’s mouth and if any exercises or post-surgical care is needed to ensure that the frenum does not reattach or tether again.
Laser frenectomies are extraordinarily precise and quick. There is no need for general anesthesia. Your baby will only have minimal discomfort or swelling and the laser treatment sterilizes the treatment area, reducing the chance of infection. In addition to the benefits of the laser procedure, once the release of the tongue tie is complete, your baby will be more able to latch on to the breast and feed more efficiently. This will improve the baby’s health and wellbeing as well as the mother’s.
If you have questions about this procedure or suspect that your baby might have a tongue tie, contact us to make an appointment with our doctors for assessment and advice.
The use of sedation in dentistry has revolutionized the way patients view dental visits. Patients who once were afraid or anxious about even the most routine dental procedures now visit the dentist with confidence. Sedation is typically administered to healthy individuals who need help relaxing or managing treatment anxiety. Reasons for needing sedation may include lengthy procedure times, dental phobias, or fear caused by negative experiences in the past.
that here are three different types of sedation dentistry? You can opt for sedation administered in one of the following ways:
Only you and your dentist can determine if sedation is right for you. Because sedation covers a spectrum of treatments, you will need to consult with your dentist to discuss whether light, moderate or deep sedation best meets your needs. Your eligibility for sedation will depend on your age, health, and any other medications you may be taking.
That depends on the type of sedation you undergo. Oral sedation is relatively simple and involves taking a prescribed medication about an hour prior to your procedure. You’ll feel more relaxed, yet completely aware of your surroundings during treatment. If you choose nitrous oxide, you’ll be instructed to inhale the gas at the beginning of your appointment. Additional nitrous can be administered throughout your procedure to keep you in a state of euphoria. At the conclusion of your treatment, you’ll be given oxygen to help ‘snap’ you out of your sedated state.
If IV sedation is right for you, you’ll be instructed to avoid foods and beverages the night before your treatment. A sedative will be administered to you intravenously prior to your procedure, causing you to fall into a deep sleep. A dental anesthesiologist will monitor you throughout the procedure and adjust dosage as needed.
Depending on the type of sedation you undergo, a licensed driver may need to drive you home from your dental appointment. If you undergo IV sedation, you may need to be supervised for several hours following the procedure.
Tooth extractions are routine dental procedures used to remove decayed, damaged or otherwise problematic teeth. Dentists usually make every effort to preserve natural teeth, although sometimes an extraction is necessary. Although the procedure is performed in a dentist’s or oral surgeon’s office, it is considered surgery. Depending on which teeth are removed, they may be replaced with a dental implant or another oral prosthetic.
The most common cause of tooth extractions is severe tooth decay and cavities. However, many patients also undergo extractions for impacted teeth – particularly wisdom teeth. Other causes for extraction include advanced periodontal disease, cracked teeth, and teeth that are severely malformed. Although many circumstances that require extraction are unavoidable, some could be prevented with regular visits to the dentist for exams and cleanings.
Only your dentist can tell you if you need a tooth extraction. However, you may be a candidate for the procedure if one or more of your teeth are decayed so severely that a filling or others restoration is not a possibility for treatment.
If you and your dentist decide to extract one or more teeth, you will be scheduled to return for oral surgery at a later date. You will be given a local anesthetic to prevent pain during the procedure, and you may be prescribed medications to help manage pain in the hours following your extraction. Depending on the nature of your extraction and other factors, such as whether your teeth are impacted, you may also be sedated or given general anesthesia during your procedure.
Post-operative care following a tooth extraction is essential for healing and preventing complications. You will be instructed to avoid certain foods and also keep the surgical site clean at all times. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, it is important that you complete the course of treatment to prevent infection. Finally, you may be advised to avoid smoking or drinking through a straw, as doing so may delay the healing process and cause a condition known as ‘dry socket.’
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 all 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.
that wisdom teeth may need to be removed even if they have not yet caused any problems? Even wisdom teeth that erupt normally may still be vulnerable to decay over time. Because of the location of wisdom teeth at the back of the mouth, many patients find it difficult to clean and floss all surfaces of the teeth each day. Although complications may not appear immediately, wisdom teeth may begin causing problems in middle to late adulthood.
You may need your wisdom teeth removed if you have one or more impacted wisdom teeth or if you are having difficulty adequately cleaning those that have emerged. It is recommended that all young adults be evaluated by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. A consultation and x-ray can reveal impaction, damage to neighboring teeth, signs of decay, gum disease, or perceived complications with future wisdom tooth eruption.
Your wisdom teeth removal will likely be performed in your oral surgeon’s office. Most removals take only minutes to perform, but you’ll be under anesthesia or sedation to prevent discomfort. Once the teeth are removed, the gums are sutured shut. Keep in mind that you will need a responsible driver to take you home following the extraction, as it will not be safe for you to drive after being heavily sedated.
Yes. You’ll need to keep the extraction site clean and free of debris for the first couple of weeks after the wisdom teeth removal. You’ll also need to take all medications exactly as prescribed by your surgeon. Avoid sucking through a straw for the first several days after surgery, and notify your surgeon if you experience fever or discomfort that worsens after a few days.
Most cases of periodontal disease are treatable using minimally invasive procedures, such as scaling and root planing or gum surgery. However, a periodontal disease that has been allowed to progress can result in deteriorated bone beneath the gums. When bone is destroyed by gum disease, it can no longer adequately support the teeth, eventually leading to total tooth loss. In these cases, a periodontist may recommend bone grafting – also known as regenerative surgery. During this procedure, a prepared graft is placed in the areas where bone should be, which encourages the body to rebuild the areas lost to periodontal disease.
that periodontal bone grafting is not just for advanced periodontal disease patients? In fact, more and more patients are undergoing bone graft procedures to gain enough bone structure to support dental implants. Bone beneath the gums naturally deteriorates following tooth loss. Bone grafting rebuilds these ridges and makes it possible for many patients to get permanent tooth prosthetics instead of dentures.
The only way to know if you are a candidate for periodontal bone grafting is by scheduling a consultation with your periodontist. An exam will reveal the condition of your teeth, gums, and the supporting bone beneath. Based on your evaluation, your periodontist will make a recommendation for treatment.
If bone grafting is the right treatment for you, you’ll visit your periodontist’s office, where you may undergo a scaling and root planing treatment to remove disease-causing bacteria and help prevent additional complications in the future. Prior to the grafting procedure, you’ll be given a local anesthetic to minimize procedural discomfort and possibly sedated for your comfort. The gums will be separated from the teeth, and a graft placed near the underlying bone. A synthetic or organic barrier will be used to ensure the gums do not grow into areas the regenerated bone will eventually occupy.
Yes. Bone graft surgery will leave you with sore and swollen gums, so expect to eat only soft foods in the days following your procedure. You may be given pain medications or antibiotics to be taken according to your periodontist’s instructions. It may take up to nine months for your body to make new bone to fuse to your graft.
Ridge and sinus augmentations are surgical dental procedures used to fill in areas of the gum line and underlying bone that have deteriorated as a result of tooth loss or extraction. Specifically, a ridge augmentation refers to the reconstruction of degenerated or underdeveloped gums, and a sinus augmentation refers to an enhancement of the amount and consistency of the maxillary jaw bone by lifting the sinus floor and grafting bone into the jaw line. These state of the art procedures are capable of restoring a natural appearance to, as well as making it possible for some patients to qualify for dental implants.
that tooth loss is not the only reason for getting a ridge or sinus augmentation? Many patients have deteriorated gum lines or inadequate jaw bone support caused by oral diseases, such as periodontal disease, or a physical trauma to the face. Others experience bone atrophy caused by prolonged denture wear. By grafting in bone and building up the gum line, a dentist can make it possible for a patient’s jaw and gums to support permanent dental implants.
You may be a candidate for a sinus or ridge augmentation if you have been denied dental implants in the past due to inadequate supporting tissues. You may also qualify if your receded gum line is a source of insecurity or embarrassment. To find out more about sinus and ridge augmentations and whether you qualify, contact your dentist for a consultation today.
Ridge augmentations begin with the administration of a local anesthetic used to numb treatment areas and prevent pain. Graft material will then be placed into the tooth socket where the missing tooth once was. Your dentist will then pull surrounding gum tissue over the graft material and suture it shut. Sinus lift augmentations are similar, except your dentist will instead make an incision to expose the sinus floor and use hard graft materials to build up the sinus floor. The site will be sutured shut and allowed time to heal before additional treatments, such as a dental implant, are completed.
It is normal to experience some swelling and discomfort following your procedure though these symptoms should subside within a few days.