We will always be as gentle as possible. The periodontal exam can be completed with little or no discomfort. For surgical procedures, in addition to local anesthesia ("novocaine") we are trained in administration of nitrous oxide ("laughing gas") and offer various levels of conscious sedation from simple pre-medication with an anti-anxiety medication to full intravenous conscious sedation administered by a board-certified medical anesthesiologist. You will need recent dental x-rays in order to make a proper diagnosis of dental and periodontal disease. If your dentist has taken x-rays, please request that they be forwarded to us.
Removal of teeth is sometimes necessary because of pain, infection, bone loss or fracture of the tooth. The bone that holds the tooth in place (the socket) is often damaged by disease and/or infection resulting in deformity of the jaw after the tooth is extracted. In addition, when teeth are extracted, the surrounding bone and gums can shrink and recede very quickly after the extraction resulting in unsightly defects and collapse of the lips, and cheeks. These jaw defects can create major problems in performing restorative dentistry whether your treatment involves dental implants, bridges or dentures.
Although many patients find wearing an upper denture acceptable, some people find it difficult to wear and eat with lower dentures. Several implant-supported replacement options are available if you are missing all of your lower teeth. One option is to have two implants placed in your lower jaw and a denture made that snaps onto these implants. This option allows your lower denture to be more stable while chewing than without implants. However, there will still be movement of your denture, though it will likely be significantly more stable and comfortable.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 40,000 cases of oral/pharyngeal cancer are diagnosed each year, with over 7500 of these cases resulting in the death of the patient. Fortunately, oral cancer, if caught early, can be more effectively treated. Oral cancer may first appear without producing any symptoms, making it hard to recognize without an exam. There are many types of oral cancer, including adenocarcinoma and melanoma, but the most common form of oral cancer is squamous cell carcinoma.