Monthly Archives: March 2016

Oral Surgery Indiana


Are you considering general anesthesia for pain relief during your upcoming oral surgery?General-Anesthesia-768x580

You’re smart to want to learn more about this treatment beforehand. You’re even smarter to trust an oral surgeon who provides this option for patients — it’s favored by many.

1. Everyone’s Experience Is Different

Using general anesthesia for pain management isn’t the same as taking a pain pill. Your entire medical history is reviewed before you are permitted to “go under.”

If you previously have had general anesthesia, the surgeon will ensure any adverse experience is taken into account and the medication levels adjusted to eliminate the potential for a repeat.

Ultimately, your oral surgeon’s goal is for the medicine to be effective and wear off quickly, making your recovery speedy and comfortable.

2. You’re Monitored Closely Throughout the Procedure

It can be intimidating to think about losing consciousness, but have no fear. Anytime a patient is “put under,” a sophisticated monitoring system tracks blood pressure and breathing to make sure you are reacting normally to the medication.

3. Anesthesia Is Not Completely Understood

Sure, the medical community knows this type of pain muting works, it’s just somewhat unclear how it works. It is administered through an IV and is a mixture of a few types of medicine.

Sedatives help relax the patient, narcotics are introduced to numb pain receptors and hypnotics disrupt conscious awareness. The administration has been described as similar to inducing a coma, but one that is easily reversible.

Previously, the medical field believed that general anesthesia worked by interrupting fatty molecule function in cell membranes. Today doctors believe the drugs block nerve signals through targeting protein molecules in cell membranes.

However, further research on anesthesia and its potential uses is ongoing, and the medical community is optimistic that a deeper understanding will be achieved to help the medicine be even more effective in the future.

4. You Will Have Less Anxiety

When you’re scheduled for a lengthy oral surgery, you likely will feel a certain amount of nervous anticipation leading up to the date. When you know your oral surgeon offers general anesthesia, you don’t have to worry about pain anymore — you won’t even be conscious throughout your procedure.

Wise oral surgeons are trained in the administration of general anesthesia for that very reason: It helps their patients keep a positive frame of mind and reduces anxiety. This can lead to a faster recovery process — always a positive benefit.

You can trust the trained professionals at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, especially when your procedure is complex, lengthy and you’d prefer general anesthesia as your pain management solution.

Oral Surgery Kokomo


Does the thought of undergoing oral surgery make your palms sweaty? You are not alone.


Experiencing anxiety before a dental procedure is extremely common. In fact, it is estimated that up to 15 percent of all Americans avoid going to the dentist for one reason: They’re afraid.

Don’t let anxiety prevent you from receiving the care you need. Use the following relaxation strategies to help calm your brain and body prior to and during your oral surgery or dental appointment.

Communicate with Your Surgeon

If your oral surgeon does not know you are nervous about your visit, how can he or she help? You should let your dental professionals know if you have any trepidation, however slight, about your upcoming procedure, so they can try to understand the root of your fear and minimize your discomfort.

Also, stating the facts and having open lines of communication with your oral surgeon might help increase your trust and calm any uncertainties.

Understand the Procedure

What procedure do you have scheduled? You should know why you need treatment, learn about the steps involved and understand how the surgery is going to improve your life in the future. This can help you focus on the positives leading up to the time of your appointment.

Listen to Music

If you will not be completely sedated during your oral surgery, listening to music can drastically help improve your experience. The music will drown out the other sounds in the room and help you turn your attention elsewhere.

You will focus less on your other senses, including smell, sight and touch. Music can be a welcome distraction from many of the triggers that would normally exacerbate your anxiety.

Focus on Breathing

Have you spent time practicing yoga or meditation? Transport your deep breathing techniques to the oral surgeon’s office. These exercises are helpful because you are forced to stay mindful of your breathing pattern, and your body receives a plentiful supply of oxygen, which helps dispel tension.

Consider Using Medication

Don’t be a martyr. If you feel that oral surgery is too much for you to handle while fully conscious, take advantage of the many drugs available to ease your anxiety.

From nitrous oxide to general anesthesia, your oral surgeon will have a full range of options to help. Learn about the health risks involved before making a decision, and trust your oral surgeon’s guidance based on your individual medical history.

Follow these tips and eliminate the feeling of dread that arises when you think about your upcoming oral surgery. Most importantly, make sure you partner with a team who cares about your individual experience — the oral surgery experts at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

Dental Implants Kokomo


You made a positive, smart choice when you invested in your dental implants. You opted for a long-term tooth-replacement solution that has a proven, high rate of success in patients of all ages.Dental-Implant-Cavity-768x512

But you may be nervous about taking care of your implants going forward. Are you doing enough to keep your teeth and your implants healthy? Can you get a cavity in dental implants?

No, you can’t, but that doesn’t mean they can’t sustain a different kind of infection if they aren’t cared for regularly.

What Is Peri-Implantitis?

Just like natural teeth, implants must be cleaned each and every day, or else plaque will build up on their surfaces. But the presence of plaque won’t lead to a cavity — instead, you could be dealing with peri-implantitis.

Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the tissue surrounding the implant. At first, the gums may bleed and become extremely sensitive, but more serious symptoms involve bone loss around the base of the implant.

This could result in gum recession, which would expose the abutment and supporting implant structure. The tooth could appear longer and eventually the entire implant could loosen.

Taking Care of Dental Implants

Peri-implantitis is completely preventable, if you make your dental health a priority.

First of all, responsible care of your dental implants starts with a daily oral hygiene routine. It’s important to floss every day and brush your teeth twice a day, at least two minutes each time. You also should consider using mouthwash to help completely rinse away bacteria after it has been dislodged through brushing and flossing.

Your oral surgeon or dentist may recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste that is nonabrasive. While natural teeth do not scratch easily, if the crown on your dental implant is scratched, bacteria can build up on the surface and contribute to infection.

Also, make sure you visit your dentist regularly, at least once every six months. The early signs of peri-implantitis may be difficult for you to spot, but a hygienist or dentist will notice trouble right away.

If you’re considering getting dental implants, or if you’re looking for a professional team to treat issues with your implants, Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery can help. Call today and schedule an assessment of your dental implants and find out if you have any cause for concern.

Tooth Trauma


Tooth trauma is preventable, you just need to learn what kinds of precautions to take. The holidays may have passed, but you don’t want your children to have to wish for their two front teeth for next year’s Christmas.Tooth-Trauma-Prevention-768x512

How can you and your family guard against facial injuries that lead to fractured, broken and missing teeth?

Take Sports Safety Seriously

If you or your child plans on participating in a sport ― and that includes the adult recreational league you’re a member of ― you should invest in high-quality protective mouthguards. From flag football to hockey, all sports increase the risk of mouth injuries.

In fact, the Journal of the American Dental Association reports that up to 39 percent of all dental injuries result from sports participation.

The ratio is high, but you can lower the chances of a knocked-out tooth, or even a bloody lip, by getting mouthguards for all of your family members that fit and are highly rated for protection.

The Academy of General Dentistry estimates that mouthguards prevent approximately 200,000 mouth injuries per year. You can find these products at your local sports store or online, or you can visit your dentist to have a custom-made mouthguard formed just for you.

Also, if helmets are recommended in your sport, always follow this rule, even during practice sessions. Add a face cage to the helmet to make the gear even safer.

Know How to Respond

Sadly, you might not always be able to guard against tooth trauma, and injuries can happen even when you are wearing the correct protective gear. To prepare, make sure you and your loved ones know exactly what to do. In nearly every case, speed of treatment is the main factor in determining whether a natural tooth can be saved.

First, if a tooth is loosened or knocked out, pick up the tooth by the crown, not the root, and rinse it in cold water if it is dirty. Try to place it back in the socket and bite down on a piece of clean gauze to hold it in place. If it can’t be placed back in the socket correctly, place it in a cup of milk or your saliva.

If the tooth fractures and bits fall out of your mouth, put these in a cup of milk or saliva as well. Your oral surgeon can use these pieces to rebuild your natural tooth if you get treatment in time.

Know an On-Call Family Dentist and Oral Surgeon

If you can get to your dentist or surgeon within an hour, he or she is more likely to be able to salvage your tooth and reinstate it. If bacteria entered the tooth socket, you may need a root canal to prevent against infection, either right away or in the near future.

The key to this step is knowing who to call ahead of time. You will waste precious minutes if you don’t have a reliable oral surgeon or dentist in your contact list beforehand.

Talk to Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to find out more about the complications of tooth trauma and how our trained, experienced team can help.

Bone Grafts Indiana


Dental bone grafts are transformative procedures that will help restore the appearance of your teeth and jaw.


Whether your original teeth were lost due to disease or an accident, you don’t have to live with missing teeth forever. This straightforward, effective surgery will restore your jawbone and make implants and crowns possible.

Medical and Physical Conditions

Your oral surgeon or dentist may recommend a dental bone graft for a number of reasons. You could have severe periodontal disease that has caused your gums to recede and your teeth to degenerate. Cavities may have led to the need for multiple tooth extractions.

You also could have been the victim of an accident or attack that resulted in severe tooth trauma, leading to the need for removal. Or, maybe you have had malformed teeth from birth, and extractions were required to salvage at least a portion of your natural teeth.

Why a Dental Bone Graft?

Whatever the reason for your surgery, it all comes down to one simple fact: When teeth are absent from the jawbone, it slowly disintegrates because it has nothing to support. Over time, if you’ve gone for years with gaps in your smile, the jawbone beneath where your teeth used to be probably degraded significantly.

This is where a graft can help. It restores your jawbone to its prior strength and allows for the placement of implants in your newly restored jaw.

How it Works

Your oral surgeon will take bone from one of many places to replace your lost jawbone matter: other parts of your jaw, your other bones such as your hip, a bone bank, or a synthetic bone supply.

The procedure is precise yet detailed, with your oral surgeon focusing on rebuilding the bone based on the imaging results from a CT scan of your jaw. You will feel nothing, as the area will be completely numbed, while the surgeon makes an incision in your gum and fuses the new bone pieces in place.

Recovering from Surgery

As with any oral surgery, bone grafts require allowing your mouth to heal and focusing on oral hygiene throughout the healing process to avoid infection. You will have pain medication and guidelines on cleaning your mouth while avoiding the surgical site.

An uneventful procedure will result in your newly restored jawbone being ready for an implant about six to nine months following the surgery.

Is this Procedure Safe and Effective?

Dental bone graft procedures are highly effective and completely safe, especially when conducted by a team of experienced oral surgeons, which is why it is such a common surgery.

If you have questions about whether a dental bone graft might be right for you, it’s time to make an appointment with the staff at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to learn more about the process.

Dentures Kokomo


Getting up in the morning and putting in your dentures gets old quickly, especially when you have to deal with the frustrating side effects. A full set of teeth is optimal, but dentures can cause discomfort and frustration.


According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. So if you thought you were alone in your struggle to find a solution to the gap in your natural teeth, you are most definitely mistaken.

The Downside to Dentures

One of the most common complaints regarding dentures is their tendency to slip out of place at the most inopportune times. Wearing dentures can interfere with clear speech, or worse, can come loose mid-conversation, perhaps while you are in a restaurant or another public place where you must excuse yourself to go reaffix them.

Dentures that don’t fit also can affect your oral health. You might find the surrounding teeth develop cavities more often, and it might be difficult to keep your denture clean.

What Other Treatments Are Available?

You may not know about the long-term effects of wearing dentures, but beware: You could suffer bone loss in your jaw if you are missing multiple teeth. This is the primary reason many patients choose implants, which help prevent bone loss.

The two main alternatives to dentures both offer specific advantages, but also differ in their costs and benefits.

What Do Implants Have to Offer?

Dental implants are option No. 1. Implants are surgically placed in your jawbone and given time to take root. Then, a permanent crown is slipped over the implant and blends in perfectly with the rest of your remaining teeth. Your jawbone and surrounding teeth stay intact and healthy, and most implants last for decades with no need for adjustment or replacement.

Could a Bridge Be the Answer?

Placing a fixed bridge in your mouth in place of missing teeth is a less expensive option, and is quicker and easier to get than implants. The oral surgeon or dentist files down the teeth on either side of the gap, and a custom-made bridge is then cemented firmly into place. A bridge fills the gap in your smile and does not need to be removed for cleaning.

No matter which option you choose, make sure you take your oral health seriously and invest in quality solutions that will last for years to come. Talk to the team at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for more advice on how to select an alternative to dentures that meets your present and future needs, and fits within your budget.

Tooth Extraction Indiana


It seems like it’s never a good time for a tooth extraction. You know you’re in good hands when you select a reliable surgeon who will minimize your discomfort throughout the procedure, but as with any surgical appointment, there’s going to be a recovery period.


You no longer have control over the dental condition that led to the need for a tooth extraction, and maybe you never did in the first place. The good news? You do have a certain amount of control over how your recovery goes, and certain choices can help you bounce back faster.

Factors That Affect Recovery Speed

The reasons are numerous for a tooth extraction, and in many cases you aren’t able to avoid it. Maybe your wisdom teeth are impacted, or are on track to interfere with your orthodontic work. Maybe periodontal disease has loosened and damaged a tooth beyond repair. Maybe you were in an accident, and now a fractured tooth must be removed.

No matter the cause, the extent of the issue prior to your tooth extraction will affect your recovery speed. If you had a deep infection, that has to heal along with your now-empty tooth socket before you will feel normal again. If you are naturally more sensitive in your gums, you may find it takes longer to recover as well.

Immediately Following Your Procedure

However, if you follow the guidelines set forth by your oral surgeon, you could improve your recovery speed, and it all starts with what you do right after your procedure.

The first step is to get control of the bleeding. Bite down gently on a piece of gauze until a clot forms. During the first day, take care not to irritate the area. It’s important to rest in order to let the anesthesia wear off, and to control swelling. Eat only soft or pureed foods, and avoid hot liquids during the first 24 hours. Don’t chew anything.

Drink plenty of water, and commit to following your oral surgeon’s antibiotic prescription. While you may not feel the need for any pain medication, you must complete your antibiotic regimen to ward off infection.

Diet and Hygiene Suggestions

Once the first 24 hours is over, you can begin to eat a wider variety of solid foods. However, avoid chewing near the tooth extraction site. After eating, gently rinse your mouth out with salt water. You can begin brushing your teeth, as long as you continue to avoid the extraction site.

When Is Pain Considered Abnormal?

Sure, you’re going to feel uncomfortable at times throughout the healing process, but how do you know when the pain you’re feeling is unusual and calls for a professional examination? It’s completely normal to have a stiff jaw, a sore throat, bruising, or a dry mouth and lips after a tooth extraction, but you should never ignore certain symptoms.

If you have a fever or feel nauseous after the anesthetic has worn off, get in contact with your oral surgeon right away. If the tooth extraction site continues to bleed without forming a clot, it’s time for an emergency examination. If you feel severe pain and need to take pain medication around the clock, alert your oral surgeon to this issue.

For all of your tooth extraction needs, both before, during and after the procedure, you can trust the team at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. We will help make sure your tooth extraction procedure goes quickly, smoothly and with the least amount of discomfort possible.

Bruxism Kokomo, Indiana


Are you one of the 8 percent of adults who suffers from bruxism?Bruxism-768x521

While some studies give this conservative estimate of the prevalence of bruxism, others estimate that 1 out of every 3 adults may deal with the condition.

Bruxism, or nightly tooth grinding, might seem like a minor problem, but it can have major implications for those affected — both in the short- and long-term picture.

Signs and Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

If you grind your teeth at night, you may wake up every morning with a sore jaw and a dull headache. Your teeth may be extremely sensitive to hot and cold, and it may hurt to chew. You may have earaches. Your teeth may appear flattened on the chewing surfaces, and you clearly can spot patches of worn-out enamel.

All these are signs that you have a clenching, grinding or gritting problem, and you may not even be aware of it because you only do it at night, while asleep.

How Serious Is the Condition?

Those who do not grind their teeth can expect their tooth enamel to wear down gradually. Over the course of a decade, tooth enamel decreases by a rate of 0.3 millimeters.

Tooth enamel reduction is starkly different for those suffering from bruxism. Depending on the severity of the condition, they might lose up to 0.2 millimeters of tooth enamel in only a few years.

Bruxism Affects Your Oral Health

Of course, all extreme cases of bruxism require immediate dental intervention, but the end result of years of even mild bruxism can take a serious toll on oral health.

Teeth can begin to loosen and may even fall out. They could fracture, exposing the inner pulp to bacterial infections, which could result in root canals and implants. The constant jaw pressure could lead to joint disorders that require corrective surgery in the future.

Bruxism Can Be a Sign of Another Condition

Perhaps one of the most concerning issues related to bruxism is the underlying cause. The vast majority of cases are believed to be related to stress and anxiety. Tension leads to a chronic clenching of the jaw at night. Long-term mental and emotional stress wears down the body, and bruxism is only one of the external signs of this issue.

Bruxism also can be a physiological issue, such as malocclusion, or misalignment of the jaw, commonly called a “bad bite.” You may need surgical treatment to fully treat malocclusion, but it could completely correct your tooth-grinding problem.

Those with bruxism also might have sleep apnea, a condition in which the muscles that control your air passages collapse during sleep and lead to constant interruption of natural sleep patterns. Sleep apnea can lead to an increased risk of heart problems, high blood pressure and depression.

Get a Professional Assessment

Regardless of the severity of your bruxism, make an appointment with a dental professional right away. It’s important to determine the cause, and to get expert recommendations on how to decrease symptoms and address the root issues.

The doctors at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery are experienced in diagnosing and treating bruxism in patients of all ages, and are available for consultations today.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Kokomo, Indiana


Wisdom tooth removal can be a daunting surgical procedure.


Maybe you are uncomfortable in the dental chair to begin with, and the thought of dealing with “chipmunk cheeks” doesn’t excite you. But you know the teeth have to come out, or they will continue to cause problems with your alignment.

When wisdom tooth extraction is inevitable, use our tips to ease your discomfort and speed up your recovery.

Reduce Bleeding with Gauze

Your gums most likely will bleed for up to 48 hours following the procedure. Immediately after you leave the office, keep gauze firmly pressed on the incision sites for at least an hour. Replace the gauze as needed until the blood flow slows, clots and stops.

Control Swelling with Ice

The 24 hours after you wisdom teeth are removed are critical for reducing swelling. Put ice bags on your cheeks in 30-minute intervals. After the first day has passed, ice is unlikely to help reduce swelling.

Smart Pain Management

Your oral surgeon may prescribe a painkiller to help you manage your discomfort in the first few days following wisdom tooth removal. You also could opt for over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Advil instead.

Be sure to take prescription painkillers with fluids, and only after you have eaten a small snack. Otherwise, you could have nausea on top of your pain, which is another added symptom you definitely want to avoid.

Eat Soft Foods

Many oral surgeons and dentists recognize the fact that you will be in no mood to eat anything, and you probably should limit your diet in the initial time period following wisdom tooth removal.

However, you can and should drink water, as your body needs fluids to avoid dehydration. But don’t drink out of a straw — using your mouth muscles for suction could jump-start the bleeding once again.

When you do feel you can eat, remove the gauze from your mouth and have small portions of protein-filled foods like yogurt, healthy smoothies, pudding, oatmeal or soup.

Mouth Sanitation

After you eat, and periodically throughout each day, rinse your mouth with warm salt water. This will help to reduce bacteria. When you’re comfortable doing so, brush your teeth gently to ease back into your regular oral care routine.

The Healing Process

If you do not feel like you are making progress within three days, call your dentist or oral surgeon for a follow-up appointment. While you may still see swelling, you should feel healed enough to resume eating semi-solid foods. Your jaw muscles or throat may be sore and stiff, but within a week, you should be back to feeling like your old self.

Any severe pain could be a sign of a dry socket, and a fever could mean infection, so don’t hesitate to call your dental professional’s office if you exhibit these symptoms.

For a patient-centered oral surgery team that focuses on convenience, comfort and comprehensive care, make an appointment with Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today, and your wisdom tooth removal procedure will be in good hands.

Oral surgeon IN


facial bone fracture can occur in any number of scenarios, such as a car accident, a physical attack, a sports injury and more. In some cases, you will see an emergency room physician who will be able to tell immediately through X-rays and a CT scan if you have suffered this injury.

Young woman with toothache and ice bag. Isolated on white.

Young woman with toothache and ice bag. Isolated on white.

Other times, you may not realize the extent of your injury until hours or even days later. You might find yourself wondering if you should see your doctor or if you should wait until the pain ebbs on its own and the injury heals.

Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

If you have any of the key signs of a facial bone fracture listed below, don’t ignore them — see a doctor right away.

  • Blurred vision
  • Seeing spots
  • Bruising around your eyes
  • Inability to fit your teeth together properly
  • Numbness in any area of the face

You could have an orbital fracture around your eyes; a nasoethmoid complex fracture involving the bone between your eyes; a maxillary fracture, which concerns the cheekbones and the middle of your face; or a mandibular fracture affecting the jaw.

Of all of the possible injuries to your face, a broken nose is the most common, but injuries to the mandibular bone are the second most common.

Surgical Treatment Options

If your injury warrants surgery, the most common method of repairing fractured facial bones is to wire the bones together, possibly using screws or plates to reposition and stabilize the bones.

If your bones have shattered as a result of the injury, doctors may use a bone graft to restore your original facial structure.

When a facial bone fracture occurs in the jaw region and affects tooth alignment, the surgeon’s ultimate goal is to reposition the jaw to limit dental problems in the future.

Doctors may use maxillomandibular fixation, a method of wiring the upper and lower teeth together, for as long as necessary until the jawbone has a chance to heal.

Stay Aware of Signs of Complications

When you have a facial bone fracture, certain complications can result, involving your spinal fluid, your brain and your breathing. If you are struggling to take a breath, have clear discharge leaking from your nose or lose consciousness at any time, do not hesitate to seek emergency medical care.

Also, any open wounds in which bone can be seen require emergency care immediately.

For a team of oral and maxillofacial surgeons who puts quality patient care above all else, contact Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today. Wee the experts in repairing facial bone fractures.