Lakewood NY Oral Surgeon | Filling in the Gaps: Your Options for Missing Teeth

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Are you embarrassed to show your smile because of missing teeth? For many people, missing teeth can create a feeling of diminished self-confidence. Modern dentistry can not only replace the gaps in your smile, our team can also create long-term replacements that look and feel just like your natural teeth. You have options. Here are a few of the most common tooth replacement solutions.

Dentures

Dentures are a solution for those who have lost many or all their teeth. They create a realistic, aesthetically pleasing smile. They are ideal for patients that are missing multiple teeth on either the top or bottom. Our team will start by taking an impression of your mouth. We will then send the impression to a lab for a customized set of dentures to be created. Once your dentures are ready, we will ensure a proper fit and make any necessary adjustments. Dentures should be cleaned regularly with a non-abrasive cleanser. Our team will provide you with all the information you need to take care of your dentures.

Bridges

You may have heard of dental bridges referred to as partial dentures. Dental bridges are a replacement solution for one or more missing teeth. They help prevent your existing teeth from shifting into the empty gaps of your missing teeth. Bridges utilize your surrounding teeth as an anchor for your replacements. Our team can match the bridge to look like your natural teeth; no one will even notice the difference.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement option. Unlike dentures, which may require replacement, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Our team will ensure your gum tissue is healthy enough with adequate bone support to anchor the implant. For some patients, additional preparations may be necessary such as a bone graft to guarantee your implant has a strong, stable foundation.

The gaps in your smile can be filled. Our Lakewood Oral Surgeon can help you decide on a tooth replacement solution based on your individual needs. It is important to fill the gaps of missing teeth to prevent deterioration to your gums and the shifting of teeth into these empty spaces. Additionally, tooth replacement solutions such as dentures, bridges, or implants can help improve your speech and comfort.

If you are missing teeth, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our team. Contact Dr. Todd Oral Surgery.

 

Dr. Todd Oral Surgery
Phone: (716) 484-8091
120 Southwestern Dr.
Lakewood , NY 14750

Lakewood NY Oral Surgeon | Gaining Wisdom on Wisdom Teeth

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Wisdom teeth are the last new teeth that will enter your mouth. Most patients have some form of complications resulting from their wisdom teeth. Did you know that your wisdom teeth can impact your overall health? Here’s what you need to be aware of regarding your wisdom teeth.

The Basics

Typically, your wisdom teeth will come in between the ages of 17 and 25. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), as many as 90% of patients have an impacted wisdom tooth. An Impacted tooth is unable to properly grow through your gums because of a lack of space.

What This Means for You

An impacted wisdom tooth is something you should talk to our doctor about. Impacted teeth can cause infection and damage to surrounding teeth. It is extremely important these issues are addressed early on. Your wisdom teeth are hard to clean in the back of your mouth. An infected tooth not receiving the proper care can be a breeding ground for bacteria leading to infection and gum disease.

Wisdom Teeth & Your Overall Health

An infection of your wisdom teeth can lead to oral diseases, but it can also lead to further, more serious complications as well. THE AAOMS explains that oral bacteria that gets into your bloodstream can lead to heart, kidney, and other organ infections. That’s right, your teeth can impact your overall health!

The Importance of Examinations

You might not notice any pain or discomfort around your wisdom teeth, but that does not necessarily mean they are healthy. Even wisdom teeth that fit properly can be the target of a future infection. It is essential to keep up with regular examinations so that our trained, experienced team can take a close look at your wisdom teeth.

What You Can Do

We cannot overstate the importance of regular oral examinations. Our Lakewood Oral Surgeon can help assess your wisdom teeth and whether they will need to be removed. Wisdom teeth can have a significant impact on your oral health and your overall health, so we recommend staying vigilant with your daily oral hygiene routine.

For more questions about wisdom teeth or to schedule your examination, please contact Dr. Todd Oral Surgery.

Dr. Todd Oral Surgery
Phone: (716) 484-8091
120 Southwestern Dr.
Lakewood , NY 14750

Lakewood NY Oral Surgeon | To Floss or Not to Floss?

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By now, you have likely seen news reports questioning whether flossing is necessary for your oral health.

We want to answer your question right away with an absolute YES. Cleaning between your teeth is an essential part of caring for your teeth and gums.

Whether you use traditional string dental floss, a water flosser, an interdental (between teeth) brush, or other form of interdental cleaning, it is important that you clean between your teeth correctly and on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, in the quest for catchy headlines, many news agencies have been providing a great deal of incomplete and inaccurate information.

Here’s the truth: Plaque and bacteria can be prevented from building up between teeth when flossing is done correctly on a daily basis.

Why does that matter? Build-up of plaque and bacteria between teeth is one of the leading causes of periodontal disease, a condition which not only affects your mouth, teeth, and gums, but has been linked to complications with diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other systemic health issues.

The next time you visit our Lakewood Oral Surgeon, ask your hygienist to show you the most effective way to clean between your teeth. For more information on flossing and interdental cleaning or to schedule an appointment with our Lakewood Oral Surgeon, please contact Dr. Todd Oral Surgery.

Dr. Todd Oral Surgery
Phone: (716) 484-8091
120 Southwestern Dr.
Lakewood , NY 14750

Lakewood NY Oral Surgeon | Orthodontics and Oral Surgery

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OAre you planning on having orthodontic treatment? In some cases, patients may be referred to our office for oral surgery prior to starting their orthodontic treatment. Below are some of the reasons why this can occur.

You need one or more teeth extracted.

If your teeth are too crowded due to large teeth, small mouth, or other factors, your dentist or orthodontist may recommend having one or more teeth extracted. By strategically removing a few, the rest of your teeth will have the space they need to be guided into proper position by your orthodontic treatment.

You need your wisdom teeth removed.

The third molars, known as the wisdom teeth, are the last to emerge and are located in the far rear of your mouth. Before beginning orthodontic treatment, your dentist or orthodontist will review your x-rays to see whether your wisdom teeth are likely to have issues that could affect your treatment. Some of these issues include impaction, causing crowding or cracking of neighboring teeth, or shifting neighboring teeth from their proper position. If any of these are expected to occur, you may be referred to our office to have your wisdom teeth removed as a preventive measure prior to beginning your treatment.

You need corrective jaw surgery.

Major misalignment of the jaw that can benefit from corrective jaw surgery can be indicated by any of a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty with biting, chewing, or swallowing
  • Chronic pain in head, neck, or jaw
  • Receding or protruding jaw
  • Face appearing unbalanced
  • Open bite, inability to close lips over teeth
  • Excessive wear
  • Sleep apnea and/or chronic mouth breathing
  • Birth defects and/or facial injury

If your dentist or orthodontist refers you to our office, our Lakewood Oral Surgeon will work together with them to plan your treatment and follow-up care. Ensure beautiful, long-lasting orthodontic results by contacting Dr. Todd Oral Surgery for your orthodontic oral surgery needs.

 

Dr. Todd Oral Surgery
Phone: (716) 484-8091
120 Southwestern Dr.
Lakewood , NY 14750

Lakewood Oral Surgeon | Blood Thinners and Oral Surgery

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Blood thinning medications are helpful in regulating your body to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other serious issues. However, if you are scheduled for oral surgery, it is vital that our oral surgeon is aware of all medications you are using.

How Blood Thinners Work

There are two types of blood thinners. The first type works to prevent blood clotting. Medications ranging from aspirin to Plavix fit into this category. The other type of blood thinners work to prevent blood from coagulating; Coumadin or warfarin accomplish this.

What Our Oral Surgeon Should Know

When you have your oral surgery consultation appointment, be sure to share with us any medications you are taking. We need to have your complete medical history to ensure your safety and proper treatment. Our dentist might also ask you the purpose of each medication you are taking to better understand any side-effects or other medical issues that could affect your oral surgery.

Steps to Take Before Surgery

Never stop any medication without consulting your doctor. Depending on your medical history, your doctor might suggest specific blood tests before having oral surgery. Communication is key, both between you and your primary physician, and between you and our office. If your treatment requires additional medication to be taken, ask about potential drug interactions.

Steps to Take to Minimize Oral Bleeding

Bleeding resulting from oral surgery can occur, but each patient will have different results. The most effective way to minimize oral bleeding is to firmly apply pressure to the area for up to 30 minutes. Gauze is recommended for applying gentle pressure to stop bleeding. Depending on the oral surgery procedure, we may ask you to refrain from drinking hot liquids and rinsing your mouth for the first day. We suggest avoiding rough or sharp foods that might cut your mouth.

Prior to having any oral surgery, it is important that our experienced surgical team has a thorough knowledge of your medical history. This enables us to find the best possible solutions for your needs, while ensuring your safety.

If you have any questions about medications and oral surgery, contact our office.

Five Steps to Limit the Extent of Opioid Prescriptions

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The opioid crisis has had a well-documented impact across the country, and our neighborhoods in Chautauqua County have not been spared. According to New York State Department of Health’s 2017 Opioid Annual report, the county rates for opioid overdoses and deaths rank considerably higher than state averages.

We have seen friends, families and colleagues affected. One young man who performed electrical work for me during construction of both my office and home died of a narcotic overdose several years ago. It has left a lasting impression.

People can and have become addicted to opioids after receiving a medically prescribed prescription for pain medication. We, as dentists, can minimize our contribution to the problem by changing our prescribing practices.

The American Dental Association recently announced a new policy supporting mandates on prescription limits and continuing education in prescribing opioids and other controlled substances.

One of the ADA policies, supporting dentists registering and utilizing a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, is already in effect in New York State. This has allowed us to see what other prescribers have given to a patient.

Here are five other ways that we can limit the amount of opioids we prescribe.

  1. Be Proactive and Pre-empt Pain.
    We use pre-emptive pain control where possible. A loading dose of a nonsteroidal pain medication prior to a procedure can be helpful in limiting post-surgical pain. A 600 mg dose of ibuprofen one hour pre-operatively can establish pain control and limit inflammatory mediators prior to the procedure.Keeping the 600 mg dose on a post-op 6-hour clock schedule will prevent the blood levels of the medication from falling and maintain efficacy, reducing the need for narcotic pain medication. Additionally, alternating acetaminophen and ibuprofen allows for different mechanisms of action to achieve more complete pain control. We also break treatment into stages to allow for smaller steps at a single time, minimizing pain response.
  1. Be Clear: This is Not Pain Free.
    We communicate with patients that we want them to be comfortable, but avoid using the words “pain free.” Most patients can tolerate some discomfort and it is safer to have some discomfort rather than be “pain free” as was advocated in the past.
  1. Ice is Still Effective!
    Using ice packs when swelling is anticipated also helps with discomfort.
  1. Lower Dosages = Less Problems.
    Prescribe narcotics in smaller numbers. A refill can always be emailed to a patient’s pharmacy if more pain medication is needed. Using lower strength narcotic prescription medications when possible will help minimize the potential for addiction. We use Exparel, a long-acting depot form of bupivacaine for procedures where incisional pain and surgical site pain can be significant. We use this routinely for third molar sites since this form of pain control lasts for three days and usually allows patients to get past the acute phase of recovery.
  1. Know the Patient’s History.
    Being aware of a patient’s current medication usage and history is vitally important.If there is a history of narcotic abuse and treatment, utilizing the primary care physician as a resource or an addiction specialist for advice is very helpful. Deferring pain management to them is a good strategy and, in some cases, is even restricted to them.

 

Dr. David W. Todd, DMD, MD, Oral SurgeonDr. David W. Todd, DMD, MD, has been active in his profession. He has authored 18 articles in various publications and made numerous presentations at state, regional, and national meetings. For Dr. Todd’s full bio click here.

The Danger of Partially Erupted Teeth

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Waiting for the inevitable when dealing with partially erupted teeth can sometimes mean waiting too long.

Partially erupted teeth can be a threat to adjacent teeth, present a risk for development of periodontal disease and contribute to the risk for other diseases. Here’s why you shouldn’t wait to see an oral surgeon for a consult.

Risk to adjacent teeth.  Partially erupted teeth do not meet the adjacent teeth in the normal position and are often a food trap. The food trap often leads to decay of both teeth. Decay that develops on the root of an adjacent tooth can be very difficult to treat.

Additionally, partially erupted teeth can cause resorption of the adjacent tooth. Resorption causes loss of tooth structure by a pressure related inflammatory process and can also be difficult to treat.

Risk of periodontal disease.  We know from long-term studies on individual patients that periodontal disease often originates from partially erupted teeth, especially wisdom teeth.

Partially erupted teeth have a shiny smooth enamel surface that is trapped below the gum line.  The space between this shiny smooth surface and the adjacent gum tissue traps microscopic food debris and bacteria and is an environment that is more anaerobic than the surface of the mouth.

Once established, the bacteria are very difficult to eliminate from the mouth, causing inflammation which leads to bone loss around the teeth and can cause an acute infection in the mouth as well. An acute infection around the crown of an impacted tooth is termed pericoronitis.

Risk for other disease. The same inflammatory process that occurs in the mouth releases inflammatory mediators into the blood stream that can potentially contribute to heart disease and stroke.

Patients with periodontal disease may have an increased risk of stroke and heart disease compared to those patients who do not have periodontal disease. We also know that patients who have diabetes have a more difficult time controlling their blood sugar when they have periodontal disease and inflammation in their mouth.

Lastly, patients with inflammation in their mouth have an increased risk of cancer through mechanisms we do not understand well.

Partially erupted teeth should be evaluated in a timely manner to determine what treatment options, such as orthodontically repositioning the teeth or removal, are best to prevent complications. Waiting too long will not only narrow your options, but lead to more complications.

 

Dr. David W. Todd, DMD, MD, Oral SurgeonDr. David W. Todd, DMD, MD, has been active in his profession. He has authored 18 articles in various publications and made numerous presentations at state, regional, and national meetings. For Dr. Todd’s full bio click here.

No Smoking, Please

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As part of an initial consultation, we make patients aware that elements of their medical history may reduce the predictability of a surgical oral surgery procedure and affect how a wound heals. The post-surgery consequences are sometimes unavoidable and must be endured by the patient, and best treated by the provider.

Patients, however, can avoid unwanted consequences in some circumstances. The most notable being the avoidance of smoking.

The smoke inhaled from cigarettes, cigars or pipes will contaminate the wound, while the nicotine contained in the tobacco will cause blood vessels delivering oxygen, wound healing cells and nutrients to the wound to become narrow and inhibit delivery.

Smokers demonstrate a slower rate of wound healing and higher chance of infection compared to non-smokers. Smokers will also tend to experience more pain than nonsmokers and have a higher chance of “dry socket” after extraction. Consequences become increasingly severe for more frequent smokers. There is also the chance of bleeding as a result of suction applied to the mouth when inhaling a cigarette.

Three specific oral surgery procedures affected by smoking are:

  • Bone grafting. Bone is a slow healing tissue that matures over time and builds up in stages. Smokers have demonstrated less bone volume generation, leading to a higher risk of the wound rupturing.
  • Gum grafting. Gum grafting requires a healthy blood supply and that supply is obstructed by smoking.
  • Implant therapy. The long-term success of implant therapy for smokers is three to four percent lower than non-smokers.

Smokers can also experience complications when receiving office-based anesthesia for more complex oral surgery procedures or procedures of longer duration.

We understand that quitting or reducing smoking habits can be difficult. There are numerous options for people looking for help, including medical prescriptions that will gradually reduce and ultimately eliminate the urge to smoke, peer and family support, as well as other resources available through online research.

We want all of our patients to receive treatment that is successful and free of complications. Reducing or avoiding smoking is a modifiable risk factor that can really help optimize healing after oral surgery.

 

Dr. David W. Todd, DMD, MD, Oral SurgeonDr. David W. Todd, DMD, MD, has been active in his profession. He has authored 18 articles in various publications and made numerous presentations at state, regional, and national meetings. For Dr. Todd’s full bio click here.

“Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?”

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Dental implant surgery has been hailed as one of the major breakthroughs in dentistry of the last 50 years. For good reason.

Implants have proven to successfully replace single missing teeth and missing bridges. They stabilize dentures and will replace an entire arch of teeth. The success of implants offers patients with treatment options not widely available until recently.

Are you a candidate for dental implants? Here are five criteria we consider when assessing a patient’s candidacy:

1. Desire for treatment

2. Medical history

3. Condition of mouth and commitment to dental hygiene

4. Results of an X-ray exam

5. Budget

When patients present for treatment, one of the critical questions to resolve during the patient interview is to make sure we understand their desire for treatment.

Once the goal of treatment is understood, a treatment plan with necessary procedures and sequence of treatment can be established. Sometimes the process is simple, such as replacing one lost tooth. In other situations, planning for treatment involves several different consultation appointments with facial photographs, creating dental study models and treatment planning “wax ups” of proposed tooth positions.

As part of the initial interview, a review of a patient’s medical history is carried out.

Although implants have a very high success rate, there are times when the treatment is not the right fit for a patient. Patients who have uncontrolled diabetes, are undergoing chemotherapy, are heavy smokers (a pack per day or higher) or have compromised healing potential for any reason, are not good candidates for dental implants.

The condition of the mouth and commitment to dental hygiene is also very important.

Patients must have good oral hygiene and be free of periodontal disease. The condition of the other teeth is important in planning care. If there are many teeth which are heavily repaired or compromised, it is generally not appropriate to place single implants as the other teeth may fail in a relatively short period time. Treatment of other dental disease needs to be carried out prior to implant therapy. Assessment of oral hygiene is very important and sometimes patient education and training is required to improve oral hygiene prior to implant placement.

X-rays (radiographs) are carried out to determine the relationship of the implant sites to the adjacent teeth and volume of bone present at the site. Thanks to the advancement of implant techniques, extractions are performed and often implants can be placed immediately. However, with some patients, bone repair (bone grafting) must be carried out prior to implant placement.

Lastly, dental implant treatment can be expensive and the creation of a budget is important.

Many dental insurance companies do not cover implant treatment as a benefit. However, our office can work with you to provide options that will allow you to receive care within your budget.

Dental implant treatment is an excellent way to replace missing teeth and has been very successful. Like all medical and dental treatments, a proper evaluation is needed to determine who is an appropriate candidate for care. If you are interested in dental implants, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with our office.

 

Dr. David W. Todd, DMD, MD, Oral SurgeonDr. David W. Todd, DMD, MD, has been active in his profession. He has authored 18 articles in various publications and made numerous presentations at state, regional, and national meetings. For Dr. Todd’s full bio click here.

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Location

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Lakewood

120 Southwestern Drive
Lakewood, New York 14750

Office Hours

Monday: 8AM-5PM
Tuesday: 8AM-5PM
Wednesday: 8AM-5PM
Thursday: 8AM-3PM
Friday: 7:30AM-4PM

Lakewood Dental News

Lakewood Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery