Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon do?
A: An Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (commonly called oral surgeons), specializes in the functions of the mouth, teeth and jaws, and provides surgical treatment for conditions such as wisdom teeth removal, dental implants, jaw surgery, etc. Beyond going to dental school, oral surgeons complete a residency at a university hospital that provides a certified oral and maxillofacial surgery program, including training in IV sedation and general anesthesia.
Q: What are dental implants?
A: Implants are tiny titanium posts, which are placed into the jawbone to replace missing teeth. The bone eventually bonds with the titanium to form a strong foundation for the artificial teeth. Eventually, small abutments or posts are attached to the implant and will protrude through the gums. Later, a prosthesis which resembles a natural tooth, is attached to the abutment.
Q: What is TMJ?
A: TMJ or temporomandibular joint is a dysfunction of the complex joint to the lower jaw. Common symptoms are pain and a “clicking” sound which may occur due to grinding your teeth, stressing the TM joint or even tightening the jaw muscle or could stem from an accident or injury.
Q: What is laser treatment?
A: Laser stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The laser, which emits a burst of radiation, vaporizes skin cells, which in turn are absorbed by water in these cells. Laser skin resurfacing involves no blood and is treated under light sedation.
Q: What areas of the skin can be treated with laser surgery?
A: Laser treatment can remove unwanted tissue, like wrinkles, scarred, lined or other imperfections of the skin. Areas which can be treated are areas around the mouth and eyes and can also be used to treat tiny wrinkles, acne scars, warts, moles, blemishes and can even improve sun-damaged skin.
Q: Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
A: Wisdom teeth, also called Third Molars usually need to be removed because of overcrowding in the mouth. The average adult has 32 teeth but the average mouth can only hold 28 teeth and often it is painful when these four wisdom teeth attempt to grow inside. They can grow in sideways and these impacted teeth may try many positions in the bone in order to erupt.
Q: What type of anesthesia can be given?
A: There are 3 types of anesthesia which can be given depending on your level of comfort. The first is local anesthesia (freezing) which will numb the area. The second form is IV sedation which is administered if you desire to be partially conscious of the surgery. The third type is general anesthesia which is given if you wish to be fully asleep.
Q: Why can’t I drive after surgery if I feel able?
A: It is strongly required that driving or the operation of machinery is not performed for up to 24 hours because the medications used for sedation remain in the blood stream.
Q: How do I know if my insurance will cover my procedures?
A: Upon your first visit to the office, we will consult with your insurance company, who will, in turn, indicate how much you are covered or the need for a pre-determination. You are responsible for the co-payment, any deductible and the remaining balance. A deposit is required to secure a surgical appointment.
Q: When should my wisdom teeth be removed?
A: Early detection is best for removal of the third molars which typically takes place in the mid-teenage years. Your dentist, orthodontist or oral surgeon will do an oral examination and x-ray of your mouth to best determine if there will be any problems.