Virginia Oral & Facial Surgery

Wisdom Teeth: Recovery Tips

Wisdom Teeth- Recovery Tips

Wisdom Teeth are the back molars that come in last, usually between the ages of 18-25. These molars are typically removed due to lack of space that can cause shifting of the surrounding teeth. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort, you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed. Below are a few things to keep in mind following a successful wisdom teeth removal surgery.

What to Expect:

Wisdom teeth removal can be uncomfortable to some degree; however the amount of pain varies from person to person and how many teeth are removed. It’s important to note that the anesthesia wears off approximately six hours after the procedure, which is when you may need to use the pain medication your doctor has prescribed.

Foods to Eat:

Eating after having your wisdom teeth removed can be difficult, as you will most likely not be able to eat your typical foods. We always suggest to stock up on soft foods beforehand so that you’re adequately prepared. Below are a few suggestions:

• Applesauce
• Jell-O or Pudding
• Yogurt
• Oatmeal
• Soup
• Mashed Potatoes
• Smoothie

Foods to Avoid:

There are quite a few foods to be on the lookout for, as they can cause a significant delay in healing time and potentially cause complications.

• Anything that can get stuck in the extraction site, irritate the gums, or reopen the stitches (i.e. rice, quinoa, or types of seeds).
• Hot, crunchy, and spicy foods that can cause irritation.

*Please note that you should also refrain from drinking through a straw to avoid dry socket that occurs when a blood clot loosens due to the suction.

Taking proper care of the wound after surgery is crucial, as it plays a detrimental role in the amount of time it will take to recover. Full recovery can take anywhere up to two weeks to following a wisdom tooth removal surgery. It’s very important for you to follow the aftercare instructions provided to you after the procedure. If you think it’s time to have your wisdom teeth removed, give us a call! Brandermill Office Phone Number 804-608-3200

3 Benefits of Dental Implants

3 Benefits of Dental Implants

Missing teeth? You may be trying to decide what replacement procedure is best for you; dental implants, dentures or maybe even another option. When it comes to choosing, we always recommend dental implants. Dental Implants are a permanent solution to a lost tooth (or teeth) and have many benefits over some of your other options. To help make your decision a little bit easier, we’ve created a list of the top three benefits of dental implants!

1. Dental Implants Act Like Natural Teeth!

One of the most well-known benefits of dental implants is that they look and act just like your natural teeth. When properly placed, dental implants are nearly impossible to detect. Unlike dentures, which are removable and can cause discomfort to the wearer, dental implants are surgically placed into the jaw and provide no discomfort.

When dental implants are implanted to your jawbone, they provide the utmost of stability. This means that you can continue to eat your favorite foods, speak normally, and enjoy your improved self-esteem!

2. Improves Your Oral Health

Losing a tooth can have a big effect on the overall health of your mouth. When a tooth is lost, your gums begin to recede, which then causes the teeth to begin to shift, ultimately weakening your jaw bone which causes major problems for the rest of your remaining teeth. Dental implants provide stability to the jaw and prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting.

3. Reliability

Due to the permanent nature of dental implants, when properly taken care of, the implants can last a lifetime! Luckily, taking care of your implant is simple. Simply treat the implant as you would your other teeth, with the help of proper brushing and flossing.

Taking action to replace your missing tooth sooner rather than later will result in less headaches in the future. If you are considering dental implants as a dental procedure, give our office a call to schedule your consultation at Brandermill Office Phone Number 804-608-3200!

Everything you need to know about Dental Bone Grafting

Everything you need to know about Dental Bone Grafting

What exactly is a bone graft?: Bone grafting is a surgical procedure done when you need to repair bone fractures or replace bone loss. When a tooth is missing or retracted from the alveolar bones that support your roots, gums and teeth, it eventually evaporates, causing facial features to shift and sag over time. This then creates potential problems such as pain in your mouth, not being able to speak properly, or chew food adequately. Fortunately, with the help of bone grafts, the bone that has been lost can be built again, which will not only heighten your appearance by providing strength back into your jaw bone, but also allows us to place a dental implant (artificial tooth) on top of it! In simple terms, the goal of bone grafting is to provide a safe, long-term solution to tooth loss!
How it works: The procedure itself is done by using a piece of bone (typically from your own jawbone; however artificial is also an option) as the base for your implant. Depending on the type on dental implant you plan on the receiving, and the condition of your jawbone, the process of recovery can take up to several months for the transplanted bone to grow enough to fully support the implant. Once the jawbone is healed, titanium, screw-like posts act as the new implant’s roots for fully functioning tooth support. The final step of dental bone grafting is to make molds of your teeth and jawbone, which will then follow with the placement of your realistic-looking artificial tooth!
After The Procedure: Bone grafting is a very popular and safe procedure, with over two million surgeries being reported each year. Of course with any surgery, come a few risks. Common ones include infection at the source, damage to the surrounding teeth or blood vessels, nerve damage, and sinus problems. The post-procedure discomforts include swelling of the gums, brushing on the skin, and minor bleeding. Any discomfort after the procedure should only last a few days and can be managed with anti-inflammatory medication, as well as ice therapy.
Following a successful bone grafting and implant surgery, it is recommended to practice excellent oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly to ensure proper functioning of your implant! To learn more about bone grafting or think you are a qualified candidate to have it done, give us a call at Brandermill Office Phone Number 804-608-3200!

Good Skin Care Isn’t As Expensive As You Think

We recently read this article that claimed you need to be wealthy to get the best skin care. Well, we’re here to tell you that is NOT TRUE! While cosmetic surgery may not be essential to our survival as a species, investing in your skin can be something that will pay off for years to come. 

The real key (and our personal motto) is starting early – a.k.a. “prejuvenation”. By developing habits and simply thinking about your skin while you’re still young, those fine lines and wrinkles will hardly be an issue.

If using medically based skin care like Skin Medica or Obagi, on average you would need to re-purchase once every 3 months – that’s only 4 times a year. And “up-keep” like Fillers or Botox will need to be done once MAYBE twice a year! Meaning a combination of a good skin care regimen and up-keep every once in a while will give you that natural, #nofilter glow.

One common myth we hear is that medically based skin care (Obagi and Skin Medica) are more expensive than the over-the-counter (OTC) products. Let’s talk about this. Obagi and Skin Medica products are initially more expensive than brands found at drug stores all over the country, but did you know that they are similarly priced (or less) than inferior products sold at Sephora, Ulta and Department Stores? One reason we say these OTC products are ‘inferior’ is simply because they have a less of the ingredients that actually work like, Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid, in them. Meaning, you will need to purchase more of the lesser priced product for it to work half as well.

Another key to making your skin and skin care products last is applying sunscreen DAILY. Not only will you avoid sun damage, but the sunscreen helps protect from unwanted discoloration if using products with certain ingredients like Retinol in it. A daily sunscreen should feel light weight and not oily. Both Obagi and Skin Medica offer matte sunscreens that you will love wearing every day.

Lastly, “prejuvenation” is different for everyone. While some may want to address crow’s feet around their eyes, others may want to reverse acne scars. At ACS we prescribe a personalized regimen that will address your specific needs and budget. So you and look and feel fabulous without being rich or famous. 

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Book your FREE consultation today! 

7703 E. Parham Rd. Suite 103 Richmond, VA

804.270.5028

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Winter Oral Health Tips

Winter Oral Health Tips

Winter is here and with it, comes the drastic change of weather! The cold temperatures are fun in theory, but what about the toll it takes on your health? Often times cold weather brings on a variety of pesky problems, like dry skin and irritated throats. But, the problems don’t stop there. In fact, your oral health is also affected by the change of weather. That’s why this season, we put together the ultimate guide on how to keep your oral health in perfect condition this winter season!

Tip #1 – Tooth Sensitivity: Many find that they experience increased tooth sensitivity to cold temperatures. This can not only come from foods, but the chilly air outside too! If you find that you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, there are tons of tricks you can do to help avoid discomfort. These include using a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth, or even rising out your mouth with salt water!

Tip #2 – Cold Sores: Cold sores can appear for a variety of reasons, including cold weather and a weakened immune system. To prevent a cold sore breakout, start by keeping your hands off of your mouth area! If you do feel a cold sore coming on, immediately apply a topical treatment to the area to stop the infection in its tracks.

Tip #3 – Chapped Lips: Chapped lips is one of the most common ailments of the winter season. To avoid painful cracked lips this season, invest in a good lip salve with SPF+ to keep them protected. In addition, it’s important to mention that your body moisturizes from the inside out, so remember to keep up with your daily water intake to help to keep your lips moisturized!

Tip #4 – Cavity Care: Let’s face it, the best part of the winter season is all the delicious foods! It’s fine to give into temptation and indulge in sweet treats, but just be sure to properly brush and floss afterwards to avoid cavities! In addition, always remember to drink plenty of water to help rinse away food particles and bacteria from your mouth! Incorporating dental friendly foods into your winter diet to help with cavity prevention will also benefit you! Foods such as crunchy fruits and vegetables, cheese and other foods high in calcium, are all perfect for keeping your teeth and gums healthy this winter!

Taking care of your oral health is important. That’s why we want to ensure that your oral health is in tip top shape this season! If you would like to schedule an appointment with our office, give us a call at Brandermill Office Phone Number 804-608-3200! In the mean time, stay warm out there!

What Exactly is a Dental Implant?

what exactly is a dental implant

Missing teeth? No problem. A dental implant is a way to replace an empty void that may be leaving you self-conscious about your smile. Whether the vacant spot is due to a sports injury, facial trauma, periodontal complication, or bad oral hygiene, it can fill the vacancy permanently and give you a boost of confidence. So, what exactly is a dental implant? Here are a few things you need to know:

• Dental implants act as a replacement for the roots of a tooth. Metaphorically speaking, they can be the anchor for crowns, bridges and dentures and are screwed into the jaw bone to provide support for replacement teeth. They are surgically inserted into the jawbone beneath the gum line.

• Dental implants resemble the shape of screws and once placed into the jawbone, will naturally bond with your natural bone to provide a strong base for artificial teeth.

• Dental implant surgery is one of the safest procedures done in dentistry.

• Dental implants will be the next best thing you’ll have to healthy and natural teeth.

• A dental implant is dependent on the oral health of the person undergoing treatment. There needs to be healthy tissue in the mouth and enough jaw bone to support these dental implants.

• After undergoing a dental implant procedure, keeping the structures healthy and clean should be done precisely and with attention to detail. This will help to maintain and ensure the long-term success of the treatment and the oral health of your mouth.

Don’t let a missing tooth or teeth stop you from living a full life without limits. Laugh and smile, indulge in foods without restriction, and most importantly, feel comfortable in your own skin. Call our office Brandermill Office Phone Number 804-608-3200 to find out how a dental implant can be beneficial to you and the overall health of your teeth. What have you got to lose? Call us today!

Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

do you need your wisdom teeth removed

Getting your wisdom teeth removed seems to be a rite of passage these days. Everyone knows a friend or a family member who has gotten them extracted or even have had them pulled themselves. Aside from enjoying the perks of getting these last set of molars extracted such as getting to miss school or even work for a few days, or the endless and guiltless ice cream soiree, here are the occasional and sometimes painful telltale signs that you need your wisdom teeth removed:

• Gum pain: When your “third molars” or wisdom teeth begin to erupt, they push past the gums creating an uncomfortable and hot feeling. It will most likely be accompanied with pressure or a dull throbbing sensation in the gums nearest the jaw bone. Infection can also lead to puffy and swollen gums and some unwanted drainage.

• Jaw pain: A wisdom tooth infection can cause sore throats and swollen lymph glands under the jaw. These symptoms can make the area around your jaw uncomfortable and difficulty chewing and eating may become persistent. In the case where an impacted wisdom tooth is present, it can lead to jaw aches and ear pain as well.

• Teeth and mouth pain: When you have an impacted wisdom tooth that is growing in at an angle, it can impact surrounding teeth. This can result in an increase of pressure on tooth nerves and bone, crowding the surrounding teeth. Symptoms include swelling, tenderness and pain.

You may be the lucky few who never experience these symptoms and may not even need your wisdom teeth removed if they are growing properly positioned, but making sure to address the pain and getting them removed early will ensure that you get to enjoy the perks of wisdom teeth extraction without the pain! Call our office today! Brandermill Office Phone Number 804-608-3200

What to Expect When Expecting (..A Bone Graft)

what to expect when expecting a bone graft

Need a Dental Implant but Don’t Have Sufficient Jaw Bone?

Dental implants are the most effective option when it comes to replacing a tooth. However, if in order to successfully get an implant, you need to have an adequate amount of jawbone. If you don’t, then you will need a bone graft before getting the actual implant.

What is Bone Grafting?

Bone grafting is when an oral surgeon will either harvest bone from another part of your body, a cadaver, a deceased animal, or in most cases, use a special bone grafting material to anchor it onto your jaw bone, thus increasing its’ strength and density.

Although the procedure may sound pretty scary, we can promise you it’s nothing of the sort. Below are some things to expect when getting a bone graft!

Stages of Bone Grafting

First, it’s important to keep in mind that dental implant surgeries are most often performed in stages. The first stage is the removal of the damaged tooth. After the removal of the tooth is when the actual bone grafting takes place; which, as explained previously, is when an oral surgeon replaces lost bone, therefore creating a base for a dental implant.

Once the jawbone heals, you’ll be able to move on to the next stage, which is setting up the base for the dental implant using a titanium post. After this heals, the prosthetic tooth will then be inserted. To summarize, this process is often very long, spanning over months. A successful bone graft and implant won’t just happen overnight.

Recovering After a Bone Graft

Recovery time is often based on the size of the bone graft and implant. This can take anywhere from a short two weeks to more than a year. We recommend avoiding intense physical activity for the first six weeks.

Swelling is expected (as it always is after most surgical procedures); it’s your body’s reaction to the surgery. Most swelling won’t be apparent until the day following your surgery. To help aid your swelling, Ice packs can be applied to the outside of mouth where the surgery was performed.

As always, if you have any questions regarding the procedure, or simply want to discuss the details further, simply call our office @ Brandermill Office Phone Number 804-608-3200.

When do You Need a Bone Graft?

when do you need a bone graft

Bone grafts are essential for replacing missing or damaged bone in your jaw. Whether a cavity has reduced your tooth to an empty, gummy space after an extraction, or gum disease has caused loose teeth, a bone graft can repair and rebuild the damaged bone needed to support a dental implant. Surrounding teeth can also become loose and eventually fall out without healthy bone regeneration, which may cause future complications. Without bone grafting, a dental implant would not have enough mass to securely latch onto.

So, when do you need a bone graft?

• Once a tooth is lost, 25% of bone width is reduced within the first year. If left untreated for an extended period, there would not be enough surrounding jawbone to support a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. Once bone mass is gone, it cannot be reversed which is why a bone graft may be needed.

• Periodontal disease can also cause bone to disintegrate, which can lead to tooth loss. The bacteria slowly eat away at the jawbone and periodontal ligament, which connect teeth to bone.

• Dental trauma, including the persistence of grinding and clenching teeth, can cause excess wear on the tissue supporting tooth structure. The constant pressure can also lead to fractured or cracked teeth, which do not heal. Aside from grinding and clenching, trauma can also include a tooth getting knocked out from an accident or a fall. In this case, a bone graft may be needed as well.

Bone loss can be caused by several different circumstances, but one thing is for sure- a bone graft is a great alternative for repairing and building new bone. So, what are you waiting for? Call today for a consultation to see what our office can do for you!

3 Unexpectedly Wise Ways To Treat Your Wisdom Teeth

3 tips and tricks for wisdom teeth removal

Are you planning on having your wisdom teeth removed in the future? Below are three tips and tricks that will help with the healing process:

Tea bags
Tea bags can be used to help your swollen gums after your wisdom tooth removal. Brew a cup of tea and let cool in the refrigerator. Take the cold tea bag and apply directly to the gums. The tannic acid in the tea leaves helps to promote blood clotting and is an easy way to relief swollen gums

Create Your Own Ice Pack

Creating your own ice pack is simple and perfect for when you are in a pinch. Here is how to create your very own at home ice pack:

Pour 1 part rubbing alcohol to 3 parts water in a sealable sandwich bag. Place into your freezer for at least 1 hour before use. The ice pack with have a slushy consistency, perfect for comfortably applying to the facial region.

Drink Coconut water

Coconut water has electrolytes and helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels along with electrolytes which helps to keep your body hydrated and functioning properly. Drinking cold coconut water is a great way to hydrate with the added benefit of the coolness helping to sooth inflamed gums.

Remember to avoid drinking through straws following your wisdom tooth extraction! The suction from drinking through a straw can cause the blood clot to dislodge and can lead to painful dry socket.

To schedule your wisdom tooth removal consultation, give our office a call or schedule online!