Author Archives: seowerkz

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Kokomo

WISDOM TOOTH REMOVAL: IS IT ALWAYS NECESSARY?

Wisdom tooth removal is seen as a rite of passage today from adolescence to adulthood. The “chipmunk cheeks” and three days of no solid foods are an experience almost all young adults have shared.Wisdom-Tooth-Removal-768x541

But is this procedure always required for good oral health? Is it possible to have straight, aligned wisdom teeth that do no harm to your dental health and can stay put?

Signs Your Teeth Are Impacted

If your wisdom teeth are impacted, they’ve got to go. Wisdom teeth become impacted when they can’t fully break through the gum line because there is not enough room.

You may not feel symptoms from an impacted wisdom tooth, or you may suffer inflammation and pain — everyone is different. Dental professionals normally can detect impacted wisdom teeth through X-rays, and they refer patients to an oral surgeon when the scope of the problem is beyond their expertise.

Consistent Gum Disease and Decay

Even if your wisdom teeth are able to fully develop, their presence can contribute to a downward spiral in your oral health. It’s tough to reach the farthest corners of your mouth while brushing and flossing, and bacteria can build up and eventually lead to gum disease or cavities in and around the third molars.

You may also begin to notice the development of cysts along the gum line due to infection or inflammation. When it becomes impossible to take care of these teeth, it’s better to take them out altogether.

Effects on Orthodontic Work

If you spent years of your life wearing braces and a retainer, you don’t want to ruin your straight, even teeth. If your wisdom teeth are allowed to remain even though you have no room for them, they can slowly put pressure on the neighboring teeth and begin to alter the positioning you and your orthodontist worked so hard to achieve.

Related Jaw and Sinus Issues

When your mouth becomes too crowded by your wisdom teeth, you may begin to have jaw pain or sinus pressure, which can lead to regular headaches or constant nasal congestion. Having them removed can relieve chronic jaw and sinus pain.

Talk to Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today to schedule a consultation and examination. You may find that your third molars are just fine where they are, or the professional team may spot signs that wisdom tooth removal would benefit you over the long term.

Maxillofacial surgeon Kokomo, IN

WHAT IS AN ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEON?

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have undergone many years of training in order to diagnose and treat difficult and challenging dental conditions, disorders and diseases.Oral-Maxillofacial-Surgeon-Specialties-768x523

If you have been referred to one, rest assured that you are in good hands. To become a specialist in this area takes time, dedication and passion for treating dental abnormalities, facial injuries and a whole host of other conditions.

What is involved in pursuing this rewarding career, and what conditions do these surgeons treat after they have completed their education?

Education and Training

After earning their undergraduate degree in one of the sciences, prospective surgeons must pass the Dental Admissions Test in order to apply to dental school, which is another four-year program. After graduation from dental school, they can begin a four to six-year surgical residency, after which they must pass the board certifications to officially call themselves oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

Some students also enter a residency program that offers them the chance to earn a medical degree concurrently. This way they can acquire both a dental degree and a medical degree.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Dental Problems

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon usually receives patients who have been referred by their primary doctor or dentist. While these doctors have a dental degree, they also have surgical training which allows them to offer advanced treatment for certain dental-related problems.

For example, a surgeon can remove impacted teeth or cysts, perform  bone grafts and place dental implants. They are also able to assist in diagnosing sleep apnea and making professional recommendations on the correct surgical course for permanent correction. They can solve  temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and they can repair any jaw or tooth damage suffered in an accident.

Facial Region Reconstruction

With their surgical training, they are qualified to conduct full facial reconstructions after trauma or as a result of congenital defects, solve cleft palate and lip problems, remove tumors and more. They are the medical professionals consulted when forming a treatment plan for an oral tumor as well, because they can suggest removal procedures and restore facial structure following oral cancer treatment.

One fact is certain: Your surgeon has spent over a decade on education and training in order to help diagnose, treat and repair dental and facial diseases and abnormalities. For more information, contact the caring, knowledgeable medical professionals you can trust at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

Oral Cancer Screening Indiana

BE PROACTIVE: HOW TO SCAN FOR ORAL CANCER

Oral cancer may not receive as much national attention as other forms of cancer, but the facts don’t lie: nearly 115 people will be newly diagnosed with this disease in the United States every day, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.Oral-Cancer-Scan-624x464

Oral cancer is extremely curable when discovered in its earliest stages — it has an 80 to 90 percent survival rate when the condition is treated early. However, this is normally not the case, as most patients do not discover their diagnosis until the disease has progressed. You should stay proactive by learning how to scan for the condition and recognize the disease in its beginning stages so you are able to receive the care required to survive.

Stay Aware of Early Symptoms

Many of the early symptoms mask themselves as normal dental health issues. For example, you may develop a sore on your gums or the inside of your cheek. You may chalk it up to stress, but if it does not heal within two weeks, you should see a dental professional right away — this is the most common early sign of oral cancer.

Other early symptoms include any lumps, white or red patches in the mouth, a general sore throat or any inflammation or persistent pain. In addition, a tooth may begin to become loose without any evidence of injury. You might begin to lose weight, or you could have constant bad breath no matter how often you clean your teeth and gums.

Know if You Possess One or More Risk Factors

Your risk for developing oral cancer rises when you smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco. Excessive alcohol consumption further increases the risk.

Family history plays a genetic role in your propensity for developing this type of cancer as well. If you or anyone in your family has a history of any kind of head or neck cancer, stay extra aware of any irregularities in your mouth.

Don’t Neglect Regular Wellness and Dental Visits

One of your best defenses against oral cancer is to consistently visit your regular physician for medical checkups. He or she can guide you on a path to wellness, and any test results may help uncover potential issues.

Stay current on your dental checkups as well. Dental professionals are trained on how to spot this cancer as soon as it begins to show signs of its presence, even before you feel any discomfort. You can protect yourself by allowing medical and dental professionals to do their jobs efficiently through scheduled exams and tests.

Contact Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery if you suspect you may have oral cancer or you have already received a diagnosis — our team’s comprehensive approach to restorative removal can put you back on the path to wellness.

Jaw Surgery Kokomo, Indiana

CAN CORRECTIVE SURGERY TREAT TMJ DISORDERS?

You may have temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder if the bone that connects your jaw to your skull, the temporomandibular joint, is damaged or injured. TMJ can result in a wide range of symptoms from the minor to the extreme, and each case requires a personalized approach from a dental professional.Corrective-Jaw-Surgery-1-300x200

Signs of TMJ Disorders

One of the first signs of a dislocation or injury to your joint is jaw locking or popping when you open and close your mouth. If you find yourself grinding your teeth or holding your jaw in a clenched position for long periods of time, this also could signify and issue.

Many of the symptoms of TMJ disorders may be most obvious when you first wake up in the morning, usually because you were grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw during your sleep. You may have a headache or feel overly tired. You could have a sore jaw or pain in the joint. Your ears also may be affected — you could have an earache, draining or ringing in your ears as a result of TMJ disorders.

What Causes the Condition?

In many cases, stress is a major contributing factor to TMJ. Stress can indirectly affect your temporomandibular joint by causing you to have poor posture, clench your teeth or move your mouth into an awkward position to chew on your gums or lips repeatedly.

Facial injuries also can cause trauma that results in this condition. Arthritis is occasionally also a cause, along with natural physiological misalignments that may have been present your whole life.

Medications and Therapeutic Treatments

To treat TMJ disorders, oral surgeons will first take X-rays and examine your neck, jaw and mouth area, looking for any physiological anomalies. They also may suggest having an MRI, or they might conduct a CT scan. They will gather more information about your condition, including any prior treatment information, related stress factors and other symptoms.

For mild and first-time cases, the team may suggest physical therapy to work on jaw movement and placement of the teeth and gums while chewing. Anti-inflammatory drugs also may be prescribed to reduce swelling and pain.

You may be outfitted with dental splints or another device designed to relax your jaw muscles, position your teeth correctly and help break any negative habits contributing to the condition.

Surgical Options

If patients show no progress after these treatment methods have been exhausted, or their version of the disorder is extreme, surgery may be a viable option. Surgical procedures can range from a simple cleaning of the joint to a correction of a displacement to a complete replacement.

Anyone struggling with TMJ disorders would benefit from a consultation with Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery — our team will do a thorough examination and provide a personalized action plan for your treatment.

Facial Surgery

PREVENTING FACIAL TRAUMA: COMMON CAUSES OF INJURY

Facial trauma can occur at any age for many different reasons, and all injuries should be assessed by a trained medical professional, no matter how minor. Your face is one of the mostsensitive and susceptible areas of your body, and damage can range in severity from superficial to life-threatening.Facial-Injury-624x416

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons separate facial trauma into three categories, with each requiring a different treatment approach.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries involve cuts or lacerations to the face or oral tissues and may occur as the result of a car accident, a sports-related injury, a fall or other event. Most soft tissue injuries can be repaired with stitches or sutures, and doctors will pay special attention to how the injury will affect the patient cosmetically once it heals. In order to minimize any long-term negative effects, the doctor also must take into account how the injury may affect nerves and facial muscles.

Dental Injuries

When children or adults play contact sports, teeth may be knocked out or displaced. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons may be able to place the teeth back in the sockets and stabilize them with splints, depending on how much time has passed since the injury. Prompt treatment is key to salvaging original teeth; otherwise, dental implants may be the best option for replacing missing permanent teeth.

Bone Injuries

Sports injuries and car accidents might also lead to broken jaw or facial bones. Fractures and breaks must be stabilized and positioned so that the natural healing process progresses correctly. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon may use screws or plates to treat bone injuries to promote correct healing, patient comfort and cosmetic results.

How Do Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Help?

All three types of facial trauma injuries require attention from a doctor trained in the intricacies and potential complications of facial injuries. A facial injury can make eating, speaking and swallowing difficult. Untreated or improperly treated injuries can lead to future jaw and tooth alignment problems.

Facial trauma could also result in permanent cosmetic disfigurement. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are specifically trained how to address facial trauma incidents so the patient’s oral function and appearance is restored as fully as possible.

Prevention Tactics

Dental professionals always recommend outfitting yourself and your child with every possible piece of protective headgear available when participating in contact sports. This may include a mouthguard, face guard and/or helmet, depending on the sport.

Educate your children and other family members on how to respond when a tooth injury or any type of facial trauma occurs. A fast response is key to preserving and restoring chipped or knocked-out teeth.

The compassionate team at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery provides skilled, professional care. Contact us if you or a loved one suffers facial trauma and needs emergency care.

Bone Graft

Do You Need Dental Bone Graft Surgery?

How do you know if dental bone graft surgery is right for you? Dentists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons use many factors to help determine when this procedure can benefit their patients.Dental-Bone-Graft-624x416

The Importance of a Healthy Jaw Bone

Many dental grafts are completed as a preliminary step toward dental implants to reestablish the strength and presence of the jaw bone, whether it deteriorated due to periodontal disease, injury or a lost tooth.

When a tooth is lost, the jaw has nothing left to support. The bone can erode over time, leaving a sunken socket behind. In order to secure a dental implant in place, the jaw bone must be fully formed and able to support the new tooth.

Minor to Complex Surgical Procedures

This surgery’s level of intensity can vary. A tooth might be extracted and bone granules placed in the empty socket. Over time, the jaw will replenish itself and a dental implant will preserve the area of bone.

If teeth were extracted or knocked out and years have passed, the jaw bone may have receded extensively. In this case, the surgeon will open the gum over the affected area and place shaved granules of bone from other areas of the jaw, such as the wisdom tooth area. A membrane is put in place and the gum region is stitched. The body will heal and the jaw will meld with the graft, creating a stable home for dental implants in the future.

When recession is extreme, the surgeon may use a block of bone from the jaw or other area of the body such as the tibia. This also may be supplemented with sterilized bone granules.

While this more complex procedure takes longer to heal, it is possible to put in dental implants once the recovery period is complete. The level of complexity involved will depend on the severity of bone loss that has taken place prior to the procedure.

The Recovery and Healing Process

It is vital for those recovering from dental bone graft surgery to avoid touching the incision site. Use ice to minimize swelling and relieve pain. Consume plenty of fluids as soon as possible after the procedure, but do not resume eating until the local anesthesia has worn off. Try not to chew food with the affected area of the mouth.

Take the prescribed pain medication when needed and complete any antibiotic prescription in order to prevent infection. Make sure to attend your follow-up appointment with your surgeon to remove sutures and check the healing status.

Contact Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to receive a personalized consultation on jaw bone loss and to find out whether dental bone graft surgery can help you.

Corrective Jaw Surgery

CORRECTIVE JAW SURGERY: WHAT TO EXPECT

Implementing an effective sleep apnea treatment plan is the only way to reduce the symptoms and negative side effects of this troubling condition. An estimated 18 millionCorrective-Jaw-Surgery-624x435

American adults suffer from it, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and it may also affect many children in the United States as well.

While medical professionals assess each case on an individual basis and attempt to prescribe effective, nonsurgical treatment approaches whenever possible, sometimes surgery is the only way of securing a restful, healthy sleep throughout your lifetime. Learn more about sleep apnea and how oral surgery may be the right treatment choice, depending on the severity of your condition.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which your oral tissues obstruct your breathing passageways when they relax during sleep. As the blood oxygen levels drop, the body wakes enough to initiate breathing once again, signified by a sudden grunt or intake of breath, but then the cycle continues repeatedly throughout the night.

Overweight people are at a higher risk of developing OSA, along with people with large necks, small airway passages or swollen tonsils. Men are more likely to suffer from the condition than women, and everyone’s risk for developing OSA increases with age.

Negative Side Effects

OSA may not seem serious, but it can drastically increase your odds of suffering heart problems or strokes, as well as raise blood pressure. You may feel physically and mentally tired on a daily basis and be unable to focus or concentrate for long periods of time. This can lead to depression and a decreased sex drive. Since the chest and abdominal muscles work harder to suck in air while you are asleep, you may feel sore or have chest pains during the day.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options

OSA is typically diagnosed by a primary physician or dentist who may then work with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon to determine the best course of treatment for you. First, they may outfit you with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. You will wear a mask, and pressurized air will be fed into your airway passages during sleep, limiting the collapse of excess tissues that originally caused the obstruction.

You may also be counseled on how to effectively lose weight, wear a mouthguard and position yourself during sleep to see a reduction in symptoms. If these treatment approaches fail to produce positive results or your condition warrants permanent correction, surgical procedures are the next option.

How Does Surgery Help?

The most permanent surgical option is maxillomandibular advancement (MMA), which repositions the upper and lower jaw to a more forward position in order to enlarge your airway. Other surgical options include repositioning the tongue’s tendons and removing tonsils. Overall, surgery offers you the most permanent form of relief.

Contact Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for more information on the surgical procedures available, as well as detailed facts on how oral surgery can correct and treat your obstructive sleep apnea.

Dental Implant Surgery Kokomo

IS DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY COVERED BY INSURANCE?

Dental implant surgery can completely transform the look of your smile and give you a boost of confidence when you’re starting a new job, making new friends or going about your dailyactivities.Dental-Implant-Surgery-624x416

Even when you’re sure you want dental implant surgery and believe that the results will make a big difference in your life, the one obstacle that may stand in your way is the cost. You may already pay for dental insurance, and if so, you are probably curious about whether your plan will cover your dental implant surgery.

Understand the Dental Implant Surgical Process

Before you investigate your plan’s details, you must understand each step in the process of fitting your gums with dental implants.

If you currently have a rotted or broken tooth where the implant will go, you may need a tooth extraction first.

If your tooth has been missing for quite some time, the jawbone beneath the gums may have begun to deteriorate. You can’t get a dental implant without a stable, secure jaw, so a bone graft may be required as a preliminary procedure.

After the bone graft or tooth extraction heals, the implant is put into place. Then an abutment may be placed as well that will connect to the crown. Finally, the crown replaces the former decayed, broken or missing tooth, providing you with a clean, healthy, even smile.

Check the Specifics Listed in Your Dental Policy

The answer to the central question you are inquiring about — will your insurance cover dental implant surgery? — has an unsatisfying answer: It depends. In most cases, dental plans are extremely varied, with covered costs differing among subscribers. This is because of the wide variety of options you have when selecting a dental insurance policy.

In many cases, if it can be proven that a tooth extraction is necessary for the patient’s oral health, insurance plans will cover the vast majority of the cost of this procedure. However, insurance carriers may not be as willing to cover bone grafts and the placement of the implant, since this may be viewed as a cosmetic improvement rather than a medical necessity.

When fitting a crown to an implant, your plan may cover a portion of this cost if crowns are listed as a covered service in your policy. They may not differentiate between a crown for an implant and a crown to cover a remaining tooth.

If you are in doubt about what your plan may cover, call your insurance company for the most accurate answer.

Will Medical Insurance Ever Subsidize Costs?

If you have a health condition that has contributed to tooth decay and loss or you have been in a traumatic accident, your regular medical insurance may pay for restorative dentistry. Again, the coverage limits will depend on your policy and the facts involved in your specific case.

Choose a team of oral and maxillofacial surgeons experienced at working with insurance companies and making sure patients receive as much compensation as possible for dental implant surgery and other procedures — call Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today to set up an appointment.

Dental Implants

WHEN ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS THE RIGHT TREATMENT SOLUTION?

Are you considering getting dental implants to replace missing, cracked or broken teeth? Before you make a decision, learn more about this treatment option and find out whether it willease your pain, improve your appearance and deliver the lasting benefits you want.

Dental-Implants-624x416What Are Implants?

Dental implants are a revolutionary permanent treatment method for patients who are missing teeth or who must have teeth removed. One tooth or multiple teeth can be replaced. A titanium screw is placed in the root of the old tooth and a customized porcelain crown is placed on top. Your teeth will be returned to their original, unblemished state, allowing you to eat and drink with no restrictions — it will be like you have your old teeth back again.

You Want to Restore a Realistic Smile

Of course, dental implants are not the only way patients can restore missing teeth. You can get custom-fitted dentures as well. While dentures also may seem like a reasonable choice, a common complaint from patients who have opted for dentures over implants is that the teeth look false. Dentures do not provide the same quality and bright appearance of porcelain implants.

You Aren’t Happy with Dentures or Bridges

Also, in many cases, your mouth can become sore from wearing your denture or bridge all day. The device may come loose during the day or cause you pain when you are eating or drinking. In contrast, once a dental implant is placed and heals, you will not feel discomfort. Your mouth will feel natural and you will be pain-free.

Your Missing Teeth Affect Your Daily Life

Do you have to watch what you eat due to your current dental device? Do you have difficulty chewing and swallowing? Do you spend too much time cleaning and adjusting your bridge or denture?

Dental implants are the solution. Other than regular brushing and flossing, no extra care is needed to keep the fixture in good condition. You also will no longer have to monitor the types of foods you eat. You are free to begin eating all of your old favorite snacks once again.

Are You a Good Candidate?

Dental implants are successful additions to a healthy mouth. In order to be a good candidate for the procedure, you should have no reoccurring periodontal disease, and you should have a strong jaw and bone structure remaining where the teeth are missing. It’s best if you do not smoke or quit smoking before the procedure, as smoking prolongs the healing process and contributes to overall negative oral health.

Consult with the team at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery if you are interested in learning more about dental implants and whether this form of treatment could improve your dental health and your overall quality of life.

Sleep Apnea Kokomo

SLEEP APNEA CURES: IS ORAL SURGERY THE RIGHT CHOICE?

Implementing an effective sleep apnea treatment plan is the only way to reduce the symptoms and negative side effects of this troubling condition. An estimated 18 million

Sleep-Apnea-300x200American adults suffer from it, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and it may also affect many children in the United States as well.

While medical professionals assess each case on an individual basis and attempt to prescribe effective, nonsurgical treatment approaches whenever possible, sometimes surgery is the only way of securing a restful, healthy sleep throughout your lifetime. Learn more about sleep apnea and how oral surgery may be the right treatment choice, depending on the severity of your condition.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which your oral tissues obstruct your breathing passageways when they relax during sleep. As the blood oxygen levels drop, the body wakes enough to initiate breathing once again, signified by a sudden grunt or intake of breath, but then the cycle continues repeatedly throughout the night.

Overweight people are at a higher risk of developing OSA, along with people with large necks, small airway passages or swollen tonsils. Men are more likely to suffer from the condition than women, and everyone’s risk for developing OSA increases with age.

Negative Side Effects

OSA may not seem serious, but it can drastically increase your odds of suffering heart problems or strokes, as well as raise blood pressure. You may feel physically and mentally tired on a daily basis and be unable to focus or concentrate for long periods of time. This can lead to depression and a decreased sex drive. Since the chest and abdominal muscles work harder to suck in air while you are asleep, you may feel sore or have chest pains during the day.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options

OSA is typically diagnosed by a primary physician or dentist who may then work with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon to determine the best course of treatment for you. First, they may outfit you with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. You will wear a mask, and pressurized air will be fed into your airway passages during sleep, limiting the collapse of excess tissues that originally caused the obstruction.

You may also be counseled on how to effectively lose weight, wear a mouthguard and position yourself during sleep to see a reduction in symptoms. If these treatment approaches fail to produce positive results or your condition warrants permanent correction, surgical procedures are the next option.

How Does Surgery Help?

The most permanent surgical option is maxillomandibular advancement (MMA), which repositions the upper and lower jaw to a more forward position in order to enlarge your airway. Other surgical options include repositioning the tongue’s tendons and removing tonsils. Overall, surgery offers you the most permanent form of relief.

Contact Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for more information on the surgical procedures available, as well as detailed facts on how oral surgery can correct and treat your obstructive sleep apnea.