7/14/2017 10:51:00 AM |
Recovering from Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Finding out that it’s time to have your wisdom teeth removed is intimidating to many patients. What happens during the procedure? Will you feel anything? How long will your recovery last?
It’s understandable to have several questions running through your mind at once. Obtaining answers to these questions eases tension and helps you feel more comfortable undergoing oral surgery.
Why do you need your wisdom teeth taken out?
Wisdom teeth were once functional and acted as an extra set of teeth that would help ancient humans chew. As food preparation methods evolved, however, the jaw bone became smaller and wisdom teeth became obsolete.
Today, many patients find that their jaw does have enough room for wisdom teeth to grow, prompting them to have their teeth removed. Without a proper extraction, wisdom teeth upset the alignment of existing teeth and create issues with your bite.
When is the best time to have your wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth usually erupt between the ages of 17-25, which is when most patients choose to have them removed. A dentist or oral surgeon determines whether wisdom teeth extraction is necessary during an examination.
Can I see my general dentist for a wisdom teeth extraction?
Although your general dentist may be able to diagnose your condition, they may not be qualified to perform surgery. Your general dentist will refer you to a trusted oral surgeon, like Dr. Patel, to have your wisdom teeth extracted. Oral surgeons are the recommended specialists to have wisdom teeth removed, on the chance that teeth have not fully erupted, or are impacting the health of surrounding teeth.
How long do you have to wear gauze after the teeth are removed?
Patients experience bleeding from extraction sites for one or two days after surgery, and it’s important that you use gauze to absorb it. It's recommended that you apply gauze every 60 minutes and replace it when the material is soaked through. Continue to replace your gauze until all bleeding stops.
How long does it take for the sedation to wear off?
Depending on the type of sedation you receive, it could wear off immediately or it could take several minutes to an hour. With most wisdom teeth extractions, however, you can expect to return home the same day although you may feel loopy or drowsy after the procedure.
To ensure your safety after your surgery, you are required to have a friend or family member drive you to and from your surgery and accommodate you during the first few hours of your recovery.
What form of sedation should I use for wisdom teeth extraction?
The form of sedation you use depends on the severity of your case as well as your weight and general health. Your oral surgeon will suggest the best sedation method for your particular case.
Typically, patients receive a combination of, IV sedation or nitrous oxide, which will leave you in a twilight state during surgery. Each form of sedation keeps you from feeling any discomfort, and you shouldn’t remember anything about the procedure.
Learn More by Scheduling an Appointment!
At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery, we leave no question unanswered. If there is more that you’d like to know about wisdom teeth extraction, contact our office at 703-436-4633 and schedule an appointment.
7/7/2017 10:49:00 AM |
Your Diet After Your Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Some of the most common questions about wisdom teeth extraction involve recovery, especially in regards to diet and what you can and cannot eat. The good news is that your recovery from wisdom teeth extraction should last no more than a week, the not-so-good news is that you may have to refrain from eating certain foods during this time.
Your diet after surgery helps determine how fast your extraction sites heal. Foods that are easily lodged within your teeth or irritate your gums will often make your recovery longer. To help you recover as quickly as possible, keep your diet in mind as you heal.
Foods to Stay Away From
After surgery, you will want to steer clear of hard, sticky, and crunchy foods. Snacks like chips, apples, carrots, or candy get stuck in the areas where your wisdom teeth were removed. These foods also place pressure on extraction areas if you try to chew them. Since you’re unable to brush normally after surgery, you have an increased risk of infection if food particles are trapped in healing gum tissue.
Additionally, acidic foods like oranges, coffee can irritate your sensitive gums as well as the surgery site, which could prolong healing.
Foods You Can Enjoy
Soft foods are easy to chew and quick to digest. Apple sauce, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, and Jell-O are just some of the types of foods you can enjoy while you recover from surgery. When you eat soft foods, your jaw doesn’t work as hard to break them down, which means they remain in your mouth for a shorter period and don’t impose a risk of becoming lodged in the extraction site.
Think of your recovery as a chance for you to spoil yourself with foods that you don’t eat on a regular basis. Ice cream, mashed potatoes, and smoothies can make an excellent breakfast, lunch or dinner while you heal. After seven days, you can begin to eat normal foods, but it’s important to limit their consumption at first.
Want More Information? Call Today!
If you have unanswered questions about wisdom teeth removal, contact Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery at 703-436-4633 and schedule an appointment.
6/30/2017 10:45:00 AM |
Snap-On Smile vs. Permanent Implant Dentures
Not only is it difficult to live with missing teeth, but it can also be hard to choose the right treatment method for the sake of your dental health. There are many restorative options available, but only one will leave you completely satisfied.
There is often a debate about temporary and permanent dental appliances and whether they are effective at maintaining oral health and quality of life. Many patients find themselves choosing between the snap-on-smile and permanent implant dentures, both of which have their benefits and drawbacks.
The Snap-On Smile
The snap-on smile was developed for patients who are looking to enhance their smile without a large expense and who want a quick and easy solution for concealing missing, crooked, or stained teeth. The procedure takes only two appointments to complete, consisting of dental impressions and the actual placement of your new teeth.
A snap-on smile is made from thin yet durable dental resin though it does not functionally correct or replace missing teeth. It’s a cosmetic alternative that allows you to smile with confidence. Oral health and diet can remain relatively unchanged for patients, though the appliance must be removed every night. On average, a snap-on smile will last for up to two years before requiring a replacement.
Permanent Implant Dentures
Permanent implant dentures are made from porcelain and consist of a dental arch and implants that work together to create a brand-new smile. An oral surgeon will place two to six implants within the jaw which attach to a full or partial denture.
Many patients desire permanent implant dentures because of their stability. You are receiving a complete set of teeth that will not slip in your mouth as you chew or speak. Because they are permanent, there is no additional maintenance other than routine brushing and flossing.
Permanent implant dentures are bulkier and more costly than snap-on smiles, as the materials of the denture are designed to closely match the quality of natural tooth enamel. Patients who are comfortable with the additional expense and want a restoration that they can treat like their natural teeth often benefit from permanent implant dentures.
Want to Learn More?
To learn more about the restorative options available, or to find out which method is right for you, contact Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery at 703-436-4633 and schedule an appointment.
6/16/2017 10:44:00 AM |
Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridges
If you have lost one or more teeth, it can be difficult to figure out what to do next. While you likely want to receive treatment to replace your teeth, there are a number of options to choose from.
You might find yourself wondering whether you should receive dental implants or a fixed bridge. Both are effective when replacing and restoring missing teeth, but there are differences between them that may impact the treatment that you choose.
In the past, dental bridges were the only option for replacing missing teeth. Made of porcelain or ceramic material, a dental bridge uses a prosthetic called a pontic to fill the gap in between two teeth. The pontic is attached to adjacent teeth by crowns, making it necessary to prep the neighboring healthy teeth.
Patients will often choose to receive a bridge as a more cost-effective solution. They may also have existing health issues that limit their candidacy for an implant.
Although bridges are less expensive, their lifespan does not usually exceed 10 years compared to implants, which have the potential to last a lifetime. Additionally, bridges require significant alterations to other natural teeth and can still become susceptible to wear over time.
Dental implants are one of the most effective ways to restore missing teeth and are the number one choice for many patients. The procedure starts with the placement of a titanium implant that is allowed to integrate with your jawbone. Once healed, a restoration is placed atop the one or more implants, creating a natural and permanent prosthetic.
Unlike bridges, dental implants do not involve any prep work to surrounding teeth and can be fabricated to match the shape, size, and color of your natural tooth enamel. Oral hygiene is also easier with implants, requiring only your usual brushing and flossing routine as opposed to bridges that can make the practice more challenging.
Although dental implants carry a heavier price tag, they are often more cost-effective in the long-run. Because they are permanent, you run no risk of needing a replacement or spending additional money in the future.
Get Your Dental Implants Today!
If you would like more information about dental implants or to find out whether they are the right treatment method for you, contact Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery at 703-436-4633 and schedule an appointment.
5/26/2017 10:37:00 AM |
How to Get an Oral Surgery Referral
For major surgical procedures, it’s important to see a specialist in the field in order to receive the best care possible. However, if you’ve been notified by your general dentist that a wisdom tooth extraction is necessary, or that dental implants are the chosen treatment to replace missing teeth in your smile.
In order to see an oral surgeon, and to ensure collaboration between them and your general dentist for further treatment, a referral is recommended. But how do you get an oral surgery referral?
Speak to Your General Dentist
As the only professional who can provide a referral for a dental specialist, speaking to them first can give you better insight as to what to expect when visiting an oral surgery practice. Most times, general dentists have a network of local specialists who they can refer you to if you have extensive procedures that need to be done. Once they’ve gone over what to expect from treatment and provided you with contact information or have scheduled a consultation at the specialist’s office, you can move forward by attending that visit and receive the care you need.
Contact Specialists in Your Area or Insurance Network
On the chance your general dentist does not have a connection to the type of specialist you require, independent research can help you to find a specialist’s contact information. Your general dentist can take the time to contact their practice to determine if they would be an ideal option for you.
If you find that many of the recommendations are far from your local area, take a look online to see who is in your general vicinity. This can be easily done through your insurance network provider if their website has a database you can use. You can do your own research and see any reviews left by previous patients. Your dentist can then provide a referral and you can schedule visit yourself or have them contact the specialist's practice for you.
A referral to see an oral surgeon is the recommended method of receiving a consultation for your specific oral surgery procedure. This collaboration between dentist and specialists can make transferring over x-rays and other medical documents easy and provide interdisciplinary treatment so that your oral health is taken care of.
At Lorton Spring Field Dental Implants and Oral Surgery, we provide experienced oral surgery procedures that restore the health of patients’ smiles. For more information, or to schedule a consult, contact us today.
5/12/2017 10:28:00 AM |
The Myths of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry is often misrepresented. Some see it as unnecessary or even harmful. Others just can’t tell whether it’s right for them. For patients who fear the dentist, it’s one of the most practical and efficient forms of treatment available. Even those who do just fine at the dentist’s office may not be aware of potential benefits.
If you’re curious about sedation dentistry but are unsure what to believe, read on to learn about and debunk some of the most common sedation myths.
Sedation Dentistry Makes You Unconscious
While it’s true you will be in a twilight state under sedation, you will still be conscious and capable of responding to simple commands. Many people think of sedation and general anesthesia as interchangeable terms when, in fact, the two techniques couldn’t be any more different. Sedation dentistry makes you feel drowsy enough that you don’t feel any discomfort or anxiety while you receive treatment.
You Can Only Receive Sedation for Complex Procedures
Sedation dentistry is very safe and can be used for even the simplest procedures. Patients who are unable to receive a dental cleaning due to their anxiety benefit from sedation techniques like nitrous oxide or IV sedation. On the other hand, more invasive procedures like wisdom teeth extraction can be combined sedation in pill form. If you’re interested in sedation options to improve your patient experience, contact Lorton Springfield Dental Implant Oral Surgery today!
Sedation is Only for Patients with Dental Anxiety
Sedation dentistry became well-known due to the many benefits it carries for dental anxiety patients; however, sedation is also effective on individuals who do not exhibit any fear. Patients with disabilities may be sedated to keep them calm during treatment while those with a sensitive gag can receive treatment more comfortably.
Particular procedures, like dental implants or veneers that are on the cusp of being more invasive, usually involve sedation practices instead of general anesthesia as a better way for dentists to monitor their patients.
The Side Effects
As with any dental procedure, there is some risk involved with sedation, but with proper care and diligence, you may have some side effects. At most, you will remain drowsy after your treatment, but any sensation will wear off in a matter of hours. And to always better prepare, it’s better to have a trusted friend or family member bring you to and from your appointment if you know you will receive sedation.
Your dentist will also explain recovery details so that you know what to expect after receiving sedation. As long as you follow your dentist’s instructions, you shouldn’t experience any issues.
Learn More About Sedation By Scheduling an Appointment!
If you have questions about sedation dentistry or would like to find out whether the technique is right for you, contact Lorton Springfield Dental Implant Oral Surgery and schedule an appointment!
4/17/2017 9:00:00 AM |
While most patients are familiar with the benefits of this innovative restoration option, few understand how each component of a dental implant supports long-term success.
The Implant Post
Made of titanium, the implant fixture provides the base for the future prosthetic. During placement surgery, our oral surgeon makes an incision into the gums at the placement area to expose the bone. Specific instruments are then used to create a site for the implant to be placed. The fixture is then covered with a healing cap.
All successful implant treatments require a sturdy foundation. As titanium is biocompatible, it interacts with surrounding bone tissue to anchor itself in place. Over the course of recovery, this compatibility encourages successful osseointegration and ultimately provides a stable base for the rest of the prosthetic.
This component is a connective piece that sits on top of the implant fixture and holds the dental prosthesis, which can be a crown, bridge, or denture. Often made of zirconia, abutments are secured after the implant has fully integrated into the bone. Similar to crowns, abutments are custom made for each patient. Impressions for the abutment are typically taken at the same time your prosthetic is being developed, ensuring consistency and precision in your restoration.
Unlike traditional restorative solutions, dental implants can be adapted to meet a wide number of teeth replacement needs. As such, the prosthetic used to cover the abutment can vary from patient to patient. For patients with single tooth loss, porcelain crowns are ideal and are uniquely fabricated to match neighboring teeth. For patients in need of two or more implants, larger restorations such as bridges and dentures are typically attached. Unique abutments may also be created to support these larger prosthetics, particularly for patients receiving removable dentures.
Ready for Dental Implants? Call Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery
Our two locations in Lorton and Springfield serve patients throughout Prince William County. NOVA oral surgeon Dr. Snehal Patel works closely with local dentists to provide patients with long-term teeth replacement options through dental implants. Whether you’re looking to replace one missing tooth or need full arch replacement with hybrid dental implants, our experienced oral surgeon can provide you with a personalized implant solution for your smile. Call today!
4/3/2017 9:00:00 AM |
Are you interested in receiving dental implants? Learn the facts about this innovative procedure for restoring missing teeth and schedule your complimentary dental implant consultation with our oral surgeon in Northern Virginia, Dr. Snehal Patel
. Below are common misconceptions individuals have regarding dental implants:
Only Certain Patients can get Dental Implants
Thanks to innovative applications of dental implant technology, many patients are candidates for dental implants or implant-based treatments. During your first visit to our dental office in Lorton, our oral surgeon will thoroughly evaluate the condition of your smile, paying close attention to the density of your jaw. From there, Dr. Patel will determine whether preliminary bone grafting may be needed to strengthen the jaw and ensure successful implant treatment.
Dentures are the only way to Replace Multiple Teeth
While most patients consider dental implants to be single tooth restorations, the truth is they can be adapted to larger restorations. For patients missing multiple teeth (even entire arches), Dr. Patel strategically places several dental implants as the foundation for permanent fixed bridges. Implants are placed to secure removable dentures, helping patients with existing dentures, and creating a stabilized bite.
Any Dentist will Place a Dental Implant
While many general dentists may offer dental implant placement, this procedure is often best left to extensively trained oral surgeons. In Northern Virginia, our oral surgeon works closely with local general dentists to coordinate post-treatment care and restoration placement.
Dental Implants are Noticeable
Unlike bulky dentures or bridges, dental implants are designed to look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. Implant crowns are made of porcelain, giving patients a natural looking, completed smile. Likewise, implant bridges and dentures are custom-made to match the rest of your smile, ensuring a seamless appearance.
Care for Dental Implants is Simple
Compared to traditional restorations, caring for dental implants is as easy as caring for your original teeth. In addition to daily brushing and flossing, patients should visit their general dentist for routine cleanings every six months. For patients who used dental implants to replace teeth lost due to gum disease or other dental infection, your dentist may have additional instructions for at-home hygiene.
Interested in Dental Implants? Call our Lorton Oral Surgeon Today!
Dr. Patel and his team at Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery are proud to offer dental implants to patients throughout Northern Virginia. To learn more about this innovative treatments, call
your nearest location today and schedule your implant consultation.
3/15/2017 12:00:00 PM |
After undergoing tooth extraction, it is critical that patients closely follow their oral surgeon’s post-operative instructions. This not only makes for a quicker, more comfortable recovery process, it can prevent difficulties from occurring during this time. However, even patients who keep these directions perfectly may experience complications such as dry socket.
What Causes Dry Socket?
Dry socket is a fairly common condition, particularly following wisdom tooth extraction. After this procedure, blood clots form as part of the healing process, covering exposed bone and nerves to protect these delicate tissues from damage and infection. However, if these blood clots are dislodged, bacteria and debris may enter and become trapped in the empty socket. Without sufficient cleaning and treatment, infection occurs, causing patients severe pain as well as difficulty with chewing and swallowing.
Symptoms of dry socket include:
- Severe pain in the days following extraction
- Visible bone tissue
- Partial or complete blood Loss at extraction site
- Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth
How to Treat and Prevent Dry Socket
- Avoid tobacco use: Smoking a cigarette can dislodge the newly forming blood clot. In addition, chemicals in tobacco are known to disrupt proper healing and can contaminate the extraction site, triggering development of dry socket.
- Avoid touching the site: Poking the empty socket with your tongue or touching it with your fingers can lead to infection and, subsequently, dry socket.
- Don’t use a straw: The suction from using a straw may dislodge blood clots, leading to dry socket.
Treatment for dry socket is often fairly straight forward. To remove debris and infected tissue, our oral surgeon will flush out the socket before covering the area with a medicated gel or paste. Pain medication may also be provided to alleviate discomfort. Typically, symptoms clear up within five to six days of treatment. At your follow-up visit, Dr. Patel will examine the extraction area, checking for the development of a new blood clot and improved healing.
Experiencing Dry Socket? Call our Oral Surgeon in NOVA Immediately
Left untreated, dry socket can quickly compromise both your oral and overall wellbeing. If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with this condition, call our oral surgery practice
immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.
3/8/2017 12:00:00 PM |
While some may find newly developing wisdom teeth
a mere nuisance, few fully recognize the lasting impact third molars can have on the health of your entire smile. In particular, patients with partially impacted teeth are at risk of developing pericoronitis
, an inflammation of the soft tissues around the tooth.
What is Pericoronitis?
When wisdom teeth develop, some third molars may be able to partially emerge through the gums. However, because the tooth does not fully push through the gums, partial emergence tends to create a gum flap over the tooth. Food and bacteria are often trapped beneath the gum flap, causing soft tissue inflammation as well as exposing the new tooth to plaque and tartar development and leading to the development of pericoronitis.
Like any other oral infection, this soft tissue infection can seriously compromise a patient’s oral health, spreading to the blood stream and lymph nodes if left untreated. As a result, if you notice any of the following symptoms, be sure to call you general dentist for an appointment.
- Gum swelling, changes in color, tenderness
- Persistent Bad Taste
- Difficulty opening the mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Treatment for this condition depends on the extent of infection. In cases were the irritation is isolated to the area around the wisdom tooth and where the tooth is likely to fully emerge without damaging neighboring teeth, some dentist may recommend a more comprehensive hygiene plan until the molar has fully developed. In other cases, the arch may not have enough room to support a new molar, requiring wisdom tooth extraction.
For patients experiencing severe pericoronitis, tooth extraction followed by a course of antibiotics may be the only way to restore oral health to the smile. In these instances, your general dentist may coordinate treatment with an experienced oral surgeon to ensure predictable extraction and lasting results.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction and Treatment in Lorton
At the Northern Virginia oral surgery practice of Dr. Snehal Patel, our goal is to provide patients with lasting oral health. If you are experiencing pericoronitis symptoms like painful or swollen cheeks or gums, call Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery
today to schedule a consultation with our oral surgeon. We’ll discuss your treatment options and find the best way to help you regain a healthy smile.
2/24/2017 12:00:00 PM |
While easily prevented, gum disease can leave a lasting negative impact on the rest of your smile. In more advanced cases, periodontitis can cause teeth loss, compromising the long-term function, aesthetics, and health of the dentition.
For patients suffering from advanced gum disease, treatment and restoration go hand in hand. In Northern Virginia, Lorton-Springfield oral surgeon Dr. Snehal Patel
offers dental implants
as a long-term restorative solution for people who have lost one or more teeth to gum disease. By coordinating treatment and restoration care closely with your general dentist and periodontist, our oral surgeon in Springfield helps patients reverse the damage caused by advanced periodontitis and restore function to their smile.
Why Consider Dental Implants after Gum Disease
Treating advanced gum disease requires a multi-faceted approach. In cases where infection has caused tooth loss or bone deterioration, treating and removing infected tissue is just one part of the solution. While some may opt for traditional tooth replacement, dentures and bridges do not fully address bone loss, opening to door for further dental issues in the future.
Dental implants are purposely designed to functionally mimic natural teeth and interact with bone tissue just like natural teeth roots. As a result, implants stimulate bone regrowth, preventing further tissue resorption and protecting the overall structure of the jaw. Since most patients with weakened jaw bones often require bone grafting prior to implant placement, this oral surgery further reinforces the jaw bone and helps improve overall oral health.
Above the gums, dental implants serve as a sterile tooth replacement, protecting dental alignment and restoring missing teeth without compromising neighboring healthy teeth. While patients recovering from gum disease do have a higher risk of implant failure, comprehensive gum disease therapy before implant placement and vigilant oral hygiene following implant treatment can enhance the longevity of your new restoration.
Dental Implants in Lorton and Springfield
During your implant treatment, our goal is to ensure long-lasting, predictable results. By relying on the latest dental technology and coordinating treatment with your dentist, our oral surgeon is able to provide patients with comprehensive care. For more information about dental implants following gum disease treatment, call or visit Dr. Patel
2/10/2017 12:00:00 PM |
At Dr. Snehal Patel’s practice, advanced dental technology allows our Springfield oral surgeon to provide patients with precise, long-lasting dental solutions. Guided dental implant surgery
is one more way we help patients regain full dental function.
Guided implant surgery is based on in-depth images of your entire smile using a cone beam scan. The resulting scans are then used to create a 3D model of the dentition and jaw bone, which allows our oral surgeon to create a virtual surgical guide for future implant placement. During the procedure, this guide is used to preprogram the instruments used to place the implants, ensuring the post is placed in t
the optimal location and at the right depth for best results.
Advantages of Guided Surgery
The use of a digitized system for implant dentistry provides a number of benefits to patients before, during, and after their treatment.
Prior to treatment, the creation of a personalized surgical guide ensures that your implant treatment is as customized to your smile as possible. The comprehensive measurements used to create the guide allow for future implants to be placed precisely and strategically, creating best support for restorations while protecting the overall structure of the smile.
Traditional implant placement requires a good deal of guesswork during the actual surgery; dentists and oral surgeons manually placing implants the traditional way must be careful to drill into bone just enough to place the implants without causing damage to the overall bone structure. On the other hand, if the implant is not placed deep enough, there is an elevated risk of implant failure and patients may not enjoy full use of their new restoration.
With guided surgery, the depth and size of the bone is already predetermined, eliminating the risk of over- or under-drilling. During implant placement, the surgical guides help minimize the risk of damage to other important components of the smile, including the nerves, sinuses, and blood vessels that surround bone. Ultimately, this precision and accuracy leaves patients with higher chances of successful implant treatment and predictable results.
Guided Implant Surgery in Northern Virginia
At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery
, we offer a number of dental implant options and work with local general dentists to ensure patients receive the best care possible. To learn more about the advantages of guided implant surgery and explore your dental implant options, call our locations in Springfield
or schedule a complimentary dental implant consultation online
1/23/2017 12:00:00 PM |
The alignment of your teeth does more than influence the look of your smile, in fact our teeth guide the way we bite. An improper bite, or malocclusion, can cause serious dental health issues, ranging from cavities to gum disease. Traditionally, orthodontics prove to be an effective means of straightening teeth. However, in some instances conditions in the jaw do not permit lasting results even with orthodontics. In these particular instances, orthognathic or corrective jaw surgery may be recommended.
Why Choose Jaw Surgery for Misalignment?
By itself, orthodontics is ideal for correcting dental misalignment, either caused by trauma or by improper bone development. However, unless patients undergo proactive Phase I and Phase II orthodontic therapy, braces can fail to fully treat the jaw, which determines tooth alignment. Until treated, skeletal jaw misalignment constantly works against orthodontic therapy, preventing patients from enjoying a fully functional and uniform dentition. Potential side effects of serious jaw misalignment range from temporomandibular joint disorder to sleep apnea.
In instances of severe jaw malocclusion, jaw surgery is among the most effective, permanent methods of correcting the bite. This treatment is carefully planned after extensive diagnostic imaging and in coordination with an orthodontic specialist. By targeting the cause of misalignment at the source, patients are able to enjoy improved bite function as well as successful orthodontic results with a lowered risk of alignment relapse. Over the years studies have shown that this combination treatment yields positive, lasting results for patients with serious jaw malocclusion.
Coordinating Care in Lorton
At our oral surgery practices in Lorton and Springfield, Dr. Patel and his team are dedicated to ensuring that patients receive surgical solutions that yield lifelong results. By working closely with your orthodontist and general dentist, our oral surgeon is able to develop a multi-faceted treatment plan that works for your unique smile. Throughout the surgical process, Dr. Patel remains on hand to ensure proper recovery and results.
Lorton Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery is your home for advanced oral surgeries in Northern Virginia. To learn more about our treatment options, contact our team
to schedule your consultation. We welcome referrals
from dentists throughout the community.
1/16/2017 12:00:00 PM |
Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, is caused by jaw malocclusion, or misalignment combined with the subsequent tightness of connected muscles. While the condition is typically addressed through the use of physical therapy and orthotics, some cases of misalignment may not be sufficiently treated through these traditional methods. In these cases, corrective jaw surgery may be the best solution.
What is Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Also known as orthognathic surgery, this type of oral surgery focuses on correcting the structure of the jaw. As a number of conditions stem from jaw position, corrective surgery can be applied to a number of dental issues, ranging from severe over and underbites to sleep apnea. In the case of treating TMD, corrective jaw surgery allows our oral surgeon to precisely target the cause of the condition, poor jaw alignment.
Causes of Jaw Misalignment
Facial trauma can certainly be a contributing factor to jaw misalignment, additionally, developmental issues are a common reason behind malocclusion. Incorrect skeletal development can have a long-term impact on the jaw, causing the teeth to grow incorrectly. Over time, misalignment causes unequal wear on teeth, accelerating dental deterioration and leaving patients vulnerable to cavities and decay. Jaw malocclusion also leads to increased pressure on the jaw joint, thereby triggering the characteristic symptoms of TMJ disorder (TMD).
Traditionally, treating TMD requires a plan that incorporates a combination of oral devices, orthodontics, and dental restorations. While some cases of severe skeletal misalignment can be corrected with these traditional methods, these treatment options may not fully address to root cause of malocclusion. As corrective jaw surgery is specifically tailored to each unique patient, orthognathic surgery is able to directly target and permanently correct the cause of malocclusion. In the long run, corrective jaw surgery is able to alleviate the symptoms of TMD and ultimately allows patients to enjoy healthful dental function.
Planning Corrective Jaw Surgery
At Lorton Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery, orthognathic surgery starts with an in-depth assessment of the jaw, bite, and teeth. Using advanced diagnostic tools, Lorton oral surgeon Snehal Patel evaluates the condition of the smile and plots a strategic surgical plan. Following surgery, our experienced dental specialist works closely with your general dentist to ensure successful recovery and improved oral health well into the future.
If you’re experiencing serious symptoms of TMD, including migraines, difficulty chewing or swallowing, or excessive dental wear, contact our Lorton oral surgeon today
. Together, Dr. Patel can help you regain full function of your smile.
12/20/2016 12:00:00 PM |
In recent years, modern dentistry has sought to incorporate new developing technologies into current treatment options as a means of improving treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction. At Lorton Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery
, one way we encourage better treatment results is through the use of 3D printing to create personalized surgical guides for dental implant treatments.
Proper implant placement is critical to the longevity of dental implants. While it is possible to place implants without surgical guides, the traditional process of implant placement comes with higher risks, including implant failure.
To help ensure successful implant treatment, most experienced oral surgeons will use panoramic and CBCT imaging to create 3D digital models of the dentition and generate computerized surgical guides. However, there are certain drawbacks to this technology. As guides must be physically made in a lab, use of surgical guides can add time to the overall treatment. The cost of surgical guides also increases the cost of overall implant treatment, making it potentially prohibitive to certain patients.
3D printing presents patients with the opportunity to enjoy high quality implant placement without these traditional guide limitations. Similar to traditional surgical guides, 3D printed guides are customized based on advanced imaging and modelling. However, rather than having to wait for a lab to manufacture the final surgical guides, Lorton Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery has in-office 3D printers, allowing our team to generate precise replicas of your jaw in our office quickly and efficiently.
At Lorton Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery
, our goal is to ensure patients are in full control of their treatment from start to finish. With this precise replica, Dr. Patel is able to walk patients through their treatment and give them a realistic perspective of their prospective results.
To learn more about this treatment option, we encourage dental implant patients to call and schedule
their implant consultation with our Lorton oral surgeon today.
12/6/2016 12:00:00 PM |
At Lorton Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery
, our goal is to provide patients with long-lasting dental solutions. To do so, we frequently incorporate modern technologies into our treatment planning strategies, particularly for patients receiving advanced dental care such as dental implants. One such technology we regularly utilize is the TRIOS scanner, an innovative alternative to traditional impressions known for improving patient experience and treatment results.
TRIOS – Enhancing Patient Experiences
On its own, implant preparation and placement is a lengthy process. Even after the implant has been placed into the jaw, patients must return to have additional scans and impressions taken of their smile in order to create a restoration that fits in perfectly with the rest of the smile. Unfortunately, the process of taking traditional impressions can be less than comfortable. Many patients find the “dental goop” to be difficult to tolerate, leading to incorrect impressions that require patients return in order to achieve an accurate model of the arch. Inaccurate impressions can also lead to inaccurate restorations, compromising the final look of the implant crown or bridge.
TRIOS eliminates many of these difficulties. Using 3D scanning technology, TRIOS takes digital images of each tooth, arch, and occlusion, creating an accurate digital model of the entire dentition. Our oral surgeon can manipulate the digital model through the TRIOS software, creating a precise implant restoration that will fit in naturally with the rest of your smile.
As the scan only takes moments to create a comprehensive and accurate model, TRIOS limits how much time patients spend in the chair. The intraoral camera is small and unobtrusive, making it ideal for patients with small mouths as well as those who have a hard time tolerating traditional impression material. Ultimately, TRIOS allows patients to enjoy an enhanced experience and improved restoration results.
Learn More about TRIOS Today
Our mission is to provide patients with the best care possible at every phase of their oral surgery or dental implant treatment. With TRIOS scanning, our team is able to ensure lasting, natural looking results. Contact our offices
in Springfield and Lorton today to schedule your consultation with our oral surgeon.
11/18/2016 12:00:00 PM |
Like any other medical procedure, choosing the right oral surgeon can be a difficult process. Individuals looking for advanced surgical care should ask the following questions when vetting potential oral surgeons for your upcoming treatment.
What is their experience?
When it comes to oral surgery, training and experience are especially important factors to consider. Rather than simply picking out an oral surgeon, look for a dental professional who has extensive experience treating your specific needs. Residency and clinical experience can also be indicative of an oral surgeon’s specialty focus, providing patients with the peace of mind that their experienced professional has experience performing similar procedures.
Is the surgeon a member of any professional associations?
Professional dental societies, associations, and continuing education courses provide critical opportunities for oral surgeons to stay on top of the latest treatment techniques and dental technologies. Some societies, including the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery require members to meet certain thresholds of continuing education hours per year as well as pass intensive certification examinations. With these strict regulations in mind, look for a board certified oral surgeon.
Do they accept referrals?
Not every oral surgeon accepts walk in patients. Many offer their services on a referral basis, working with nearby dentists and other professionals to provide care to patients. As a result, it is worthwhile to check with your general dentist and see whether they have any recommendations.
Do they accept my insurance?
There are a number of factors that determine the cost of care. Between the surgeon’s fees, cost of equipment and anesthesia, as well as pre-treatment diagnostic x-rays or treatments, the expenses of undergoing oral surgery can become expensive very quickly. While dental insurance may cover some of the treatment process, patients may still be responsible for out-of-pocket expenses. Searching for an oral surgeon in network with your insurance plan or one who offers in-office financing options can help alleviate some of the financial stress that comes with planning for oral surgery.
Can the surgeon be reached easily?
Even if the surgery was performed perfectly, accidents and emergencies can still happen during the recovery phase. If your surgeon frequently travels between practices across a large region, it may be more difficult to receive appropriate care when needed. Consider an oral surgeon’s availability before pursuing treatment.
Looking for an Oral Surgeon? Contact our Practice Today
11/4/2016 12:00:00 PM |
There are certain scenarios in which seeking the experience of a specialized dental professional may provide greater long-term results. Some of these scenarios include:
Impacted Tooth Extraction
Unlike simple extraction, in which a damaged tooth is simply removed, the process of extracting an impacted tooth is a more complex process. Depending on the placement and size of the tooth, gum and bone tissue may need to be removed in order to expose the compromised tooth, a procedure oral surgeons are well-trained to perform. Combined with experience, and in-office sedation, patients can remain comfortable and relaxed during treatment.
In addition to dental school, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are required to undergo additional courses as well as surgical residencies. This extensive training goes beyond what is covered in dental school, allowing oral surgeons to gain an in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy. As a result, oral surgeons are well-equipped to treat jaw damage and trauma. In fact, the American College of Surgeons recommends that an oral and maxillofacial surgeon be present when treating severe and complex facial trauma patients.
Bone Reinforcement Procedures
When completed properly, bone grafting, sinus augmentation, and ridge modification procedures can reinforce the health and function of deteriorating jaw bones, thus, protecting facial structure and improving oral health. Advanced osseous, or bone, surgeries require the unique touch that oral surgeons provide.
Dental implant success hinges on the strategic placement of implant posts into the jaw bone. The advanced training of oral surgeons provides these dental specialists with the advantage when it comes to successful implant integration and restoration. They know the ins and outs of the jaw, making for a successful dental implant planning and implementation.
In addition to surgical procedures, patients may also be recommended to an oral surgeon in the event of oral abnormality. This can include instances of benign or malignant tumors of the face or mouth. Beyond conducting tissue biopsies, your oral surgeon may coordinate treatment with an oncologist and your general dentist in the event oral cancer is detected.
Consult our Oral Surgeon Today
10/31/2016 12:00:00 PM |
In Lorton and Springfield, oral surgery is in the experienced hands of Snehal Patel, DDS, MD. He and his team work tirelessly to provide the best care possible to their cities and communities. Through continued education, dedicated years of practice, and community service, Lorton Springfield Dental has become a one-stop shop for anyone’s oral surgery and dental implant needs.
Any success we experience here is due to our customer commitment and high quality treatments. We strive to better ourselves in delivering efficient, precise procedures that put patient comfort first. Gentle treatments and advanced technology equip us to serve. From bone grafting and sinus augmentation to dental implant placement and wisdom teeth extraction, we are prepared to put patients on the path to a beautiful, healthy smile.
A Leader in the Oral Surgery Field and the Community
Dr. Patel gives much of his time serving communities beyond just Lorton and Springfield. He has been to Ecuador and Columbia to participate with Healing the Children, and aided children suffering cleft lips and palates. He completed his dental and physician education at Columbia University, and finished his residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. He maintains a lead in the oral surgery industry with his membership to the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
Proof of our commitment is the many awards we have earned. We won the Patient’s Choice Award from 2012-2014, and Dr. Patel has won Compassionate Doctor Recognition and an On-Time Doctor Award (2014). Our care, the best in Lorton and Springfield, helps patients feel relaxed and safe.
Contact Lorton Springfield Dental Today
For care that will repair the jaws and gums and restore the confidence of a long-lasting smile, call us today
. We want nothing more than to deliver quality service that treats each patient with genuine care. We look forward to hearing from you!
10/26/2016 12:00:00 PM |
Taking care of oral health is more than just good dental care at home. It also including practicing good, consistent hygiene habits and making wise choices daily to protect the longevity of the jaw. Although brushing and flossing is one of the best ways to protect the smile, our oral surgeon
in Northern Virginia has some tips that can improve oral health all the way down to the bone.
Good Habits Enforce a Healthy Smile
The jaw is a sensitive machine, and it’s important to practice good habits to reverse the effects of normal wear and tear as well as combat the effects of negative habits. Here are some good habits to follow for improved jaw health:
Eat and Drink Healthy:
Drinking water as opposed to sodas, coffee, or alcoholic beverages will leave the mouth cleaner. Sugary and alcoholic beverages encourages bacteria to grow in the teeth and gums. If left alone, this bacteria will decay the teeth and jaw. Eating healthy foods will also contribute to the cleanliness of the teeth and jaws, strengthening the jaw muscles to do exactly what they’re supposed to. Chewing gum is not recommended, as it puts undue stress on the jaw muscles.
Besides eating and drinking, it’s important to protect the jaw from other potential diseases. The chances of developing oral cancer when smoking or chewing tobacco are significantly higher, and cutting down on these habits will reduce inflammation and gum disease in the mouth. Nicotine and alcohol have adverse effects on the mouth, and research has even found that e-cigarettes and vaping aren’t good for the mouth either.
Relax Facial Muscles with Treatment:
Many Americans suffer from TMD, where the jaw muscles are tight and do not function properly. This is often due to bruxism, or teeth grinding. This can happen unconsciously at night, or during the day. Bruxing at night wears down teeth, leading to fractures and cracks that can have long-term effects on the smile. The grinding motion also makes the muscles tight from the jaw to the neck.
Treatments for bruxism include oral appliances like night guards, which will protect the teeth from breaking and force the jaws to relax at night time. These are also important for sports and activities where the jaws and teeth can get damaged. Many oral surgeons prescribe the mouth guards and have them custom-fit to each patient’s mouth.
Call Lorton, Springfield Oral Surgeons for Great Jaw Health
Call one of our offices today to receive an examination for your smile. If you are experiencing tight jaw muscles, or your mouth feels uncomfortable, please contact us
10/21/2016 12:00:00 PM |
Although it sounds intimidating, receiving a bone graft is a simple procedure that has many benefits. Typically, individuals require bone grafts when their jaw isn’t in a condition to receive important oral treatments including dental implant placement, or when your gums need to be restored.
Bone Grafts Solve Oral Health Issues
After having teeth extracted or losing them through an accident, the root structure is no longer in the jaw. The jaw bone, after time, loses strength in the area where the tooth was. Called resorption, this process absorbs turns the tooth-supporting structures into nutrients for the body. If many teeth are missing or have been extracted, the whole jaw may suffer from losing strength. Your jaws may shrink as a result of oral cancer or other diseases. Bone grafting is a necessary procedure for patients to have a healthy smile again.
Shrinking jaws make the face look concave and saggy, and wrinkles form around the mouth area. This adds years to the smile. The bone graft procedures restores strength and bone density to the jaw, preparing it for further treatment.
Bone Grafts Provide a New Foundation for other Treatments
When receiving restorative treatments, or procedures that require strong bone structure, bone grafts are needed. Dental implant placement, for example, requires the bone to be a certain density and width to comfortably and safely complete the procedure. Dental implants won’t fuse with the bone properly without enough bone tissue. Bone grafts encourage new tissue growth and restore the full function of the jaw.
After wisdom teeth or regular teeth are extracted, your oral surgeon may also give patients bone grafts to inspire the bone tissue to grow into the empty space. This will protect the jaw from resorption, and ensure the gums continue to hold their natural line. This is often the first step before dental implants, bridges, or dentures are placed. In the case of wisdom teeth removal, a bone graft will aid in healing for long-term oral health.
Looking to Restore the Smile? Call your Lorton Oral Surgeon
Bone grafts are a common and easy procedure for oral surgeons like Dr. Snehal Patel. Referrals can fill out the online form, and are welcome to contact us
today to schedule treatment consultations.
10/17/2016 12:00:00 PM |
Gum disease, jaw and teeth misalignment, or dental accidents can ruin the functionality of the mouth. At Lorton Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery
, we want to restore your smile to working order and make sure it is fully functional and in optimal health. Below are some oral procedures that will protect your dentition from bone loss, oral diseases, and misalignment.
This procedure has wide applications in aiding the dentition to be healthy. After losing a tooth or teeth, the jaw bone slowly deteriorates, and it can grow too weak to support other treatments like dental implants and bridges. In this procedure, your Lorton oral surgeon will place natural tissue into your jaw to support future tissue regeneration. Diseased or deteriorated bones can have tissue replaced which will protect your everyday oral function. This also prepares tissue for dental implant placement, ensuring long-term restorative success.
Extracting teeth keep the whole mouth safe from infection and alleviate oral pain. As gum disease progresses into its more serious form of periodontitis, bacteria infect the supportive connective tissues that hold teeth in place. As this support weakens, teeth become loose and often need to be removed in order to thoroughly treat the dentition and protect the health of the smile as a whole. Beyond periodontal disease, other reasons for extraction can include misalignment, dental fracture, and root canal failure.
Extraction is also recommended for patients suffering from impacted wisdom teeth. As most people don’t have enough room in their mouths for wisdom teeth, when teeth emerge their arches cannot accommodate the extra teeth. As a result, the molars become impacted (stuck) within the bone or gum tissue and can cause serious oral health issues.
Ridge and Sinus Augmentation
These are procedures are designed to restore structural integrity to the jaws. The ridge in your mouth refers to the area where teeth come out of the gums. This needs repair after having a tooth extracted, otherwise the jaw may appear uneven and will not be ready for future jaw bone surgeries.
Sinus augmentation is a procedure that improves the structure of the upper jaws. Your oral surgeon will make an incision and place bone grafting tissue to fill the space between the jaw bone and sinus membrane, creating a barrier that can accommodate eventual dental implant placement.
Learn More Today at Lorton Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery
Northern Virginia oral surgeon Dr. Snehal Patel
is dedicated to providing all patients with the advanced oral surgeries needed to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. If you are looking for an oral surgeon in Lorton or Springfield, contact Dr. Patel to schedule your consultation. Our locations in Lorton and Springfield make receiving oral surgery a comfortable, convenient experience.
10/12/2016 12:00:00 PM |
Traditional implants are used to replace missing spaces in your smile and can be used to support prosthetics such as dentures and bridges. However, in some instances traditional dental implants may not be the most cost-effective treatment options. In cases where bone structure is too weak to support new implant placement, many patients have turned to mini dental implants.
What are Mini Dental Implants?
Similar to traditional implants, mini dental implants (MDIs) use medical grade titanium alloy to support restorations. Uniquely, MDIs use an o-ball shaped head rather than abutments to support the future restoration.
Like their name suggests, mini dental implants are smaller in diameter than traditional implants, making them ideal for placement specifically in vertical bone. Given their smaller size, MDIs are less likely to interfere with other anatomical structures within your mouth.
Why Consider Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are often considered a cost effective alternative to replace missing spaces in your smile. As the placement procedure is less invasive than traditional implants, MDIs often require less healing time. In some cases, healthy patients may be eligible to have their implants placed and covered with a prosthetic tooth in one day, minimizing risk to the patient and the number of visits.
Stabilized restorations – for patients who feel as those their dentures are loose or ill fitting, utilizing mini dental implant to secure their prosthetic is a great way to restore functionality to their smile.
Support facial structures – like traditional implants, mini dental implants fully integrate with the bone in your jaw and support it, supporting existing structures of your face.
Drawbacks of Mini Dental Implants
While mini dental implants may offer a number of advantages, there are some disadvantages which may make them less than ideal for certain individuals. In particular, patients with severe bone deterioration may find that implants do not provide sufficient support for the eventual restorations.
Additionally, if the posts are incorrectly placed within the bone, patients may not enjoy optimal recovery success, putting them at risk of developing peri-implantitis as well as overall implant failure. Lastly, lack of clinical experimentation has led many dentists to have reservations concerning the long-term use of mini dental implants in cases where regular dental implants would suffice.
Contact Our Northern Virginia Oral Surgeon Today and Learn More
For more information about dental implants and implant-supported restorations, visit Dr. Snehal Patel
and his team today to discuss your implant options. We can help you find a solution that best supports your ongoing tooth replacement needs and helps you enjoy a fully restored smile.
10/7/2016 2:00:00 PM |
Dental Implant vs. Dental Bridges
Spaces in your smile can seriously impact patients’ self-confidence. To help complete smiles, dental implants
and bridges are often recommended options for restoring missing teeth. As each procedure has its own advantages and drawbacks, it is important for patients to be fully informed before choosing the best restoration for their smile.
Made up of three components, dental implants are considered the ideal solution for replacing missing teeth. During this treatment, titanium implant posts are surgically inserted into jaw bone. Over the course of recovery, these biocompatible components fuse with the rest of the bone tissue to create a solid foundation for the final porcelain restoration. As implants are precisely designed to replicate the shape and function of tooth roots, this alternative treatment prevents jaw bone resorption.
While implants tend to have larger up-front costs than traditional dentures or bridges, dental implants and implant-supported restorations are often considered long-term investments given their longevity. Whereas traditional restorations must be replaced or expanded frequently to maintain functionality, implants are permanent and can prevent additional problems from damaging the smile. Additionally, multiple implants can be used to support larger restorations like bridges and dentures.
Often the go-to treatment for tooth loss, dental bridges come in three varieties: the traditional bridges
, which use a crown for each tooth on either side of the gap; Cantilever bridges
, which are secured to adjacent teeth at one side of the gap; and Maryland bonded bridges
or resin bonded
, on which plastic teeth and gums secured to a metal frame work is bonded to existing teeth.
While bridges take less time to create and place than dental implants, this traditional restoration is only a temporary solution to tooth loss. As neighboring teeth must be filed or altered to support dental bridges, this procedure can unnecessarily damage otherwise healthy teeth, leaving them vulnerable to infection and accelerating deterioration. With this in mind, many patients with dental bridges find themselves facing frequent retreatment as well as more extensive restoration needs. Over time, these costs can quickly add up, making bridges a more expensive treatment in the long-term.
At our Lorton and Springfield dental practices, Dr. Snehal Patel
is here to help you find the right solution for your smile. Whether you’re looking to replace one tooth or an entire arch with implants and implant-supported dentures or bridges, Lorton-Springfield Dental Implants & Oral Surgery offers comprehensive treatments tailored to your smile. To learn more, contact our nearest location
8/1/2016 12:00:00 PM |
Seeking proper insurance for your oral surgery needs can be confusing. However, figuring out what is covered, what isn’t, and seeking alternatives is something that can be achieved through proper communication with different health care providers and our oral surgeon. At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implant & Oral Surgery, we hope to provide all of your surgical care and offer information for coverage and alternative sources of financing.
In The Case of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a restorative procedure that allows for one or more teeth to be replaced. However, this effective and long lasting treatment is more expensive than other prosthetics and may not be covered by most traditional dental insurances. If you are interested in dental implants, inquire with our office about a payment plan for the best treatment available to replace teeth, regardless of your insurance coverage.
Although dental implants are more expensive initially, over time they are much more cost-effective than dentures. Over the course of use, removable prosthetics can wear down existing teeth and tissue. Dental implants replace teeth entirely, and when properly placed can integrate into the supportive structures to ensure long lasting restoration.
Dental Insurance: What Is Covered and What Isn’t?
While most basic preventive and diagnostic care is covered by dental insurance, restorative treatments are often not included as covered services. Depending on your insurance plan’s benefits, fillings, root canals, crowns, and bridges may require a copayment. In some instances, paying for restorative dentistry falls squarely on the patient. There isn’t an all-in-one insurance plan that can cover everything, including implants, but talking to your healthcare provider for options is recommended.
At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implant & Oral Surgery, we accept most major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover), and PayPal. However, before you begin implant treatment, ask our front office team about a pre-treatment estimate. This service allows you to know upfront what your dental plan will cost and what you will be responsible for.
For more information about health care coverage and financing options for all of your oral and maxillofacial surgery needs, contact us at our Lorton, VA or Springfield, VA practices.