Our oral and maxillofacial surgeon is surgically trained in a hospital-based residency program for a minimum of four years after graduation from dental school. Our specialists have trained alongside medical residents in internal medicine, general surgery, and anesthesiology and spend time in otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat), plastic surgery, emergency medicine, and other specialty areas. The highest trained professionals take care of your oral surgery.
Our oral surgery contains the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and treat a number of functional and aesthetic conditions of the bone, skin, and muscle of the face, mouth, and jaw. This includes but is not limited to:
- Wisdom teeth removal
- Tooth extractions from impacted teeth
- Dental implants
- Bone grafting
- Exposure-impacted tooth
- Oral pathology
- Treatment of tongue-tie and diastemas
- Pre-prosthetic surgery
Learn more about our specialist services.
Our Anesthesia Services
Our surgeons have training in sedation and dental anxiety, including local anesthesia, oral sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia.
Our specialists also received training in airway management, endotracheal intubation, establishing and maintaining intravenous lines, and managing complications and emergencies that may arise during the administration of anesthesia.
Wisdom Teeth or Third Molars Extraction
Third molars, often referred to as wisdom teeth, are the last to develop. They grow into the back four corners of the mouth, typically between the ages of 17 and 25. The average person develops four wisdom teeth, but it’s possible to have fewer or even more.
The unpredictability surrounding their growth makes it essential to visit your dentist on a regular basis. Dentists are trained to detect the molars’ development, and they will refer you to our oral surgeons for teeth extractions when appropriate.
Why Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Many people wonder if it’s necessary to have their third molars extracted, but there is not just one answer. Everybody’s wisdom teeth develop differently, which means that some people will need teeth extractions, and others won’t.
The best way to know if your molars need extraction is to have a consultation with one of our oral surgeons. The most common reasons that patients need third molars removed includes:
- Their mouth is too small to accommodate wisdom teeth. Without enough room to develop, wisdom teeth grow at an angle and crowd other teeth.
- The molars have become impacted. Impacted teeth cause oral health problems, including infection, cysts, and even tumors.
Common symptoms that may alert you to the above problems include pain or discomfort in the back of the jaw and persistent bad breath. The sooner you have the teeth extracted, the less chance they have of damaging nearby teeth or causing problems for your oral health. Also, with early treatment, the procedure and recovery become quicker and easier.
The Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
The teeth extraction process varies with every patient. Factors such as the number of teeth requiring removal, their level of development, their position, and whether they are impacted affect treatment planning. When you visit our office for your oral surgery consultation, an oral surgeon will examine your condition and take all these factors into consideration before developing a personalized treatment plan.
Between your consultation visit and surgical appointment, you will have time to review your pre- and post-operative instructions. We provide these to all our patients to ensure they feel comfortable and prepared for all aspects of treatment.
At your oral surgery appointment, your oral surgeon will administer your anesthesia. Many patients choose IV anesthesia so they can rest comfortably throughout the procedure.
Once your sedation has kicked in, the surgeon will carefully open the gums, remove any bone or blockage from the extraction path, and remove the third molars. Then the doctor will stitch up your gums to heal. When the sedation has worn off, you can return home, and follow your post-operative instructions to ensure a comfortable and quick recovery.
Tooth Extraction Services
Oral surgery’s main priority is to preserve your teeth and your oral health. However, certain situations dictate the best option for your health is to remove a tooth.
Tooth extraction is typically a last resort after restorative procedures — dental fillings, root canals, apicoectomies — have failed. A dentist may recommend a tooth extraction if he or she feels that doing so will protect the health of your gums, bone, and other teeth.
Why Do Teeth Need to Be Extracted?
One of the most common causes of dental health problems is failing to properly take care of your teeth. When your problems cannot be solved with a restorative procedure, you may require a tooth extraction. Other conditions that generally lead to an oral surgery extraction include the following:
- Tooth or gum infections
- Injuries that result in cracked or broken teeth
- Dental crowding
- Extensive tooth decay
- Loose teeth caused by jaw bone deterioration
- Damaged or infected teeth can be not only uncomfortable but also a risk to your overall health and quality of life. Removing a tooth can alleviate pain and prevent any problems from spreading or getting worse.
People live longer than ever, and though regular brushing, flossing, and checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, sometimes our teeth just can’t keep up. If you’ve lost a tooth (or several of them) due to injury or disease, dental implants can rejuvenate both your smile and your oral health.
An implant is a synthetic tooth root in the shape of a surgically placed post into the jawbone. The “root” is usually made of titanium: the same material used in many replacement hips and knees, and a metal well suited to pairing with human bone.
A replacement tooth is then fixed to the post. The type of tooth becomes either permanently attached or removable. We find permanent teeth more stable with a natural teeth feel.
The ideal candidate for implants is a non-smoker who has good oral health, including a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, and healthy gums with no gum disease sign.
If you are suffering from missing or damaged teeth, call our offices in the Houston area for a free dental implant consultation today at 832-804-7427.
Missing teeth can cause a variety of problems, not only with your ability to chew and smile but also with your jaw bone and overall health. To remain healthy, the jaw bone needs constant stimulation from your teeth.
When teeth have fallen out or been extracted, combined with an inability to chew, the jaw is at risk for deterioration. In these cases, we offer bone grafting procedures both to prevent and restore jaw bone atrophy.
Bone Grafting Procedures
A number of factors help us determine the best oral surgery procedure for you. This includes the length of time your teeth have been missing, the location of the missing teeth, and the amount of bone left in the jaw. Once we have decided on oral surgery, we will discuss all the details with you. Find general information about each type below:
Socket preservation preserves the jaw bone for dental implant placement rather than restore it after it has deteriorated. The treatment is typically recommended for tooth extraction patients because it can be performed during the same procedure. The oral surgeon can place the bone graft so that once the extraction site is healed, you can return to the office for dental implants without worrying about lacking bone support.
A sinus lift, also called sinus augmentation, are generally necessary for patients who need dental implants in the upper jaw. The sinuses are located behind the cheekbones and on top of the upper teeth. They are filled with air, and the bone that separates them from the teeth is very thin, which makes placing dental implants difficult. A sinus lift supplements this bone and provides the necessary support for successful implant placement. Your oral surgeon can enter your sinuses and place the bone graft beneath the sinus membrane, which is in charge of creating and circulating mucus. Over the next several months, the graft will fuse to the sinus bone and create a thicker foundation for implant placement. With dental implants in place, you won’t have to worry about your new teeth entering the sinus cavity.
Ridge augmentation, also known as ridge expansion, is intended to create a more supportive foundation for implants by increasing the alveolar ridges’ height and width. The alveolar ridges support both the upper and lower arches of teeth. Sometimes they are too thin to support implants on their own. A ridge expansion ensures these bones provide the proper support.
If you’re interested in dental implants but are worried you don’t have enough bone support, bone grafting may be the solution for you. We encourage you to contact our office to schedule a consultation. Oral surgery consultations can determine the proper bone grafting procedure for your condition.
When teeth don’t develop correctly, they can become stuck in the gums, a condition known as impaction. Impacted teeth can occur in various situations: baby teeth not falling out, bone or a growth blocking the eruption path, or the incoming tooth being too large are all common causes of impaction.
Wisdom teeth and canine teeth are the most likely to become impacted, but wisdom teeth can simply be removed. In contrast, canines are vital to the proper development of your bite.
We offer treatment for impacted teeth at our offices in the Greater Houston area, Conroe, Beaumont, and Corpus Christi. If you think you may be experiencing this condition, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon.
What Causes Impacted Teeth?
Canines generally begin growing when patients are around 10 years old and finish development over the next few years. The most common reasons that canine teeth become impacted include:
- Too many teeth in the dental arch
- Bone or a growth blocking the eruption path
- Dental crowding blocking the canine’s spot in the arch
- Baby teeth not falling out
When you come in for your consultation, your oral surgeon will determine the cause of your impacted teeth, which will help us develop a comprehensive and individualized treatment plan.
Exposure of Impacted Teeth
Exposure and bonding is typically the recommended treatment for impacted canines. The procedure involves your oral surgeon and your orthodontist working together to bring the teeth down into their proper position.
The expose-and-bond treatment typically begins with the patient receiving braces. The braces move the rest of your teeth into the proper position and out of the way so your canines have enough room to move in.
Once all your teeth have moved and allowed enough room for your canines, the oral surgeon will take over. The doctor will expose the tooth in the gums and then attach a bracket and small chain to it. An orthodontist can use the chain to bring the tooth down into its proper position in the dental arch.
In rare and severe instances of impaction, a tooth may need to be removed. In these cases, we will discuss your options for tooth replacement with you — for example, dental implants.
If you notice your impacted canines, or your child’s canines not erupting properly, we encourage you to contact our office. Our doctors will examine your condition and determine the best treatment course: whether you need an expose-and-bond procedure or an extraction.
Oral Pathology Services
When healthy, the lining of the mouth’s inside — the mucosa — is smooth and pink in color. It’s essential to monitor both the mucosa’s texture and color because they often display the first warning signs of oral pathology or disease.
The term “oral pathology” refers to any disease or infection inside the mouth, jaws, salivary glands, and facial muscles. Most oral pathologies are benign, or noncancerous, but it’s worthwhile to get an oral surgery examination to ensure your condition is not serious and won’t spread or worsen.
Symptoms of an Oral Pathology
Our mouths are in constant contact with bacteria because of how much and how often we use them. This makes them extremely vulnerable to infection and other diseases.
Attending regular checkups with your dentist can help you stay on top of your oral health and any developing conditions. However, it’s also important to monitor your health on your own by watching out for suspicious symptoms, such as:
- Lumps in the mouth or on the neck
- Bleeding sores that don’t heal
- Change in color, texture, or shape of the mucosa
- Swelling that doesn’t go down or keeps coming back
- Red or white patches on the gums, tongue, or cheeks
Changes in the mucosa are often the first sign of oral pathology. We strongly encourage you to contact our office if you notice any of these symptoms. We can examine your condition thoroughly and determine the appropriate treatment and, when needed, oral surgery.
Types of Oral Pathology
Failure to take proper care of the mouth is the most common cause of oral pathology. Keeping the mouth clean is vital to prevent a bacterial infection or other diseases from occurring. The most common oral pathologies to develop include:
- Chronic ulcers
- Oral fungal infections
- Oral cysts and tumors
- Salivary gland diseases
- Oral cancers
If you notice any of the symptoms listed above or have been notified of a developing oral pathology, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at one of our offices.
Our oral surgeons are highly trained to examine your condition and develop a personalized treatment plan to fit your needs. A simple biopsy can determine the severity of your condition and the level of treatment needed. in many cases
Sedation Options for Oral Surgery
One of our main goals is to provide you with an oral surgery experience that is as comfortable as it is effective. That’s why we offer several methods of sedation for dental anxiety. Your oral surgeon will work with you to decide on a personalized sedation plan. It will give you the care you need while ensuring your comfort and safety every step of the way.
Lidocaine, the most common type of local anesthetic, is administered by injection into the surgical area. The use of a local anesthetic alone is recommended only for simple surgical procedures, such as gum treatments and tooth extractions. A local anesthetic will always be used in conjunction with any other methods of sedation you require.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation with Local Anesthetic
For simple oral surgical treatments, such as teeth extractions, wisdom tooth removal, and implant placement, a combination of local anesthetic and nitrous oxide may be recommended.
A small mask that fits over your nose administers nitrous oxide or laughing gas. It is an effective way to calm anxiety and raise your pain threshold. At the end of your surgery, you’ll resume breathing regular oxygen, and all the effects of nitrous oxide will disappear. Therefore, you can resume your normal activities immediately.
Patients who receive IV sedation go between consciousness and unconsciousness during their surgical procedure. They often have no recollection of the treatment. Even if they are awake at times during the process, they are unable to respond to commands.
We recommend that patients who receive deep sedation have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them. Oral surgery appointments can take several hours for the sedative to wear off. Thus, driving may be unsafe.
Licensed by the state to administer IV sedation, oral surgeons ensure the care you need. Because of the anxiety related to dental procedures, you may choose IV sedation for procedures as simple as wisdom tooth removal and implant placement, or as complex as full-mouth extractions.
Call 832-804-7427 to schedule an appointment for oral surgery within the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area, Beaumont, and Corpus Christi. Contact usl for an oral surgery consultation from our certified surgeons.