Your First Visit
Your first visit to Omega’s surgical center will be a consultation with one of our dental implant experts to explain the different diagnosis and treatment options that we may have available for you. On occasion, surgery may be performed the same day, but often we review your medical history and treatment plan on the first appointment and complete the treatment another day.
You can make the first appointment easier for us by bringing the following items with you to your consultation:
1- Any X-rays or other records you have available
2- A list of all medications you take as well as any to which you may be allergic
3- Medical and dental insurance cards
Important: All patients who are under age 18 must have a treatment consent authorized by a parent or legal guardian.
If you will, or may be, having surgery that requires IV sedation, please do not eat or drink anything for six hours before the time of the surgery. Check with one of our nurses to find out if you should take your medication as scheduled—as general; you will take all medication as scheduled with a small amount of water.
Make sure you let our office know if you have any medical condition that may be of concern during the surgery. This could include issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. If you are taking medications or have an illness at the time of your appointment, this is also something our doctors need to know.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are a method of replacing teeth with alternatives that look, function and even feel just like your “real” teeth. If you have lost teeth, due to accident, injury or due to dental issues, you may not be able to eat certain foods or smile with confidence. Also, there is the worry that your facial contours will collapse over time, due to missing teeth.
Dental implants are changing the way people live—and deciding to utilize them for your situation may allow you to eat, smile, speak and enjoy life with confidence.
Dental Implant Placement
Dental implants will involve one or two surgical procedures. The first process involves the actual implant placement. The dentist places the metal within your jawbone. For around three to six months, the implants will bond with the bone. You will wear temporary crowns.
After the implants are integrated, we attach the posts and crowns. Dental implant placement requires teamwork between our oral surgeons and restorative dentists. The surgeon performs the extractions, implant surgery, and bone grafting procedures. The restorative dentist will fit and make the temporary and permanent prosthesis.
Most of the implants and bone grafting procedures can be performed under local anesthesia. At our facility, we provide an optimum level of sterility and the results you need.
If you are considering implants, we will examine your mouth and look at your medical and dental history. Even if your mouth is not ideal for implants, we may be able to improve the outcome through bone grafts, by encouraging you to stop smoking, or by helping you to control issues such as diabetes.
Over time, when you are missing teeth, your jawbone will begin to atrophy, and the bone will begin reabsorbing. This makes it harder for placement of dental implants because of both quality and quantity of bone. However, now there is an option for growing bone—allowing us to restore aesthetics and function in our patients.
Bone grafting enables us to repair implant sites that have weak bone structure—even if there has been prior extraction, gum disease, injuries or dental infections. Additionally, we may use specialized membranes to help encourage bone regeneration—called guided bone or tissue regeneration.
Is it necessary to replace the missing teeth?
When you have one or more teeth missing, you can have some loss of bone at the gap site. Losing bone can cause problems with your appearance and overall health. It can cause pain, problems with your remaining teeth, alter the appearance of your face and even make it harder for you to eat and speak normally.
Your natural teeth are embedded in the jaw, and when you chew and bite, the bone is stimulated. When these teeth are gone, the bone no longer gets this stimulation, so the bone will break down and may resorbs. What can this cause?
- Collapsed facial profile
- Limited lip support
- Skin wrinkling around the mouth
- Distortion of facial features
- TMJ pain
- Facial pain and headaches
- Difficulty speaking and communicating
- Inadequate nutrition
Several things could cause bone resorption; some of the most common include:
Tooth Extractions: When adult teeth are removed, and not replaced, jawbone resorptions may occur. Bone deterioration varies from person to person. Most loss occurs within the first year and a half after extraction. However, it may continue throughout life.
Periodontal Disease: Some periodontal diseases can affect your bone and destroy your natural teeth. Treating these diseases at an early stage is the key to preventing bone loss, but bone grafting may work to fix these issues.
Dental Infections: Both acute and chronic infections of the teeth can result in swelling, fistula, and abscesses. Over time, the jawbone can become resorbed and damaged.
Dentures and Bridges: Unanchored dentures placed on the gums rely on the bone to hold them in place. Over time, the bone may wear down, and it may be hard to keep the teeth in place. With proper care, repair and refitting, there is usually less bone loss from this issue.
Developmental Deformity: Some congenital defects can cause missing teeth or deformities in the jawbone area. Bone grafting can be used to restore bone function and growth where it is absent—even in areas where it may have been missing since birth.
Types of Bone Grafts
At Omega Surgical, we offer several different types of bone grafts. The type of graft used will be determined by our surgeons depending on your particular surgical needs. Here are a few of the options we utilize.
Autogenous Bone Grafts – Also known as Autografts, Autogenous bone grafts occur when we take bone from somewhere else in your body. We harvest the bone from the chin, lower leg, hip, skull or jaw. Since we use live bone, it is easier for us to grow the bone. However, the harvesting procedure may be difficult for some patients.
Allogenic Bone – Allograft of Allogenic bone is dead bone from a cadaver, proceed with a freeze-drying method. We use this as a scaffolding that your bone will eventually grow over and flourish.
Xenogenic Bone – Xenogenic bone is when bone is harvested from another species. It works much the same way as the Allogenic grafting method, serving as a scaffolding. This bone is processed at a very high temperature, so your body is less likely to reject it.
Synthetic Bone Graft – Synthetic bone is created with a processed form of the allograft bone, but it is boosted with collagens and proteins—creating a gel that can be injected through a syringe.
Graft Composites – Composites include nearly any other material used in creating bone graft material. Many new technologies are being studied and developed on a regular basis. These composites are showing exceptional promise.
After a tooth extraction, your dentist may want to perform ridge augmentation. This process is done if there is a chance the tooth may be replaced with an implant in the future to prevent jawbone deterioration.
Ridge augmentation is completed by placing graft material in the socket. Normally, it is done right when the tooth is removed, to avoid the need for a second procedure. Then, tissue is placed over the socket, and the socket is sutured. The procured is generally performed under local anesthesia.
It is important to note that the roots of the molars in the upper jaw are frequently near the air cavity of the maxilla (also called the maxillary sinus). Our Surgeons may need to perform a procedure called a sinus lift. This treats bone height deficiencies in the rear area of the upper jaw. For a stable implant, the lining of the sinus cavity be raised, and bone will be placed to increase the height of the rear jaw before we can place implants. Depending on how much space is needed, this may be done before or at the same time as the implant procedure.
A sinus lift may be necessary if you:
- Are missing more than one tooth in the back of your jaw
- Have significant bone loss in the jaw posterior
- Tooth loss from congenital defects
- Most of your maxillary teeth but require support for dental implants
Wisdom Teeth Removal
The average mouth only has room for 28 teeth, so when wisdom teeth try to come into a mouth that only holds 28 teeth, something may need to be done. Wisdom tooth extraction is often the solution. Sometimes, if they are not extracted, they grow sideways, partially emerge or remain trapped in the gum and bone. When they are not taken out, swelling, stiffness, pain and illness is not at all uncommon. Also, these teeth can get cavities and gum disease too. This is why our dentists recommend early wisdom tooth removal in many cases. We highly recommend an oral examination and x-rays, so our surgeon can best determine if there are likely to be any future problems.
If removal is chosen, it is performed under appropriate anesthesia—options may include local, laughing gas or general anesthesia. Your dentist will also talk with you about other options and any potential risks before determining if this is the right choice for you.
Omega Dental Specialists Houston is a leader in oral surgery and dental implants. We offer numerous procedures to improve the health, well-being, comfort and happiness of our patients. If you would like to learn more about what we can do for you, call or contact us online today. We can set up a consultation to get you on the road to better dental health. We look forward to putting a smile on your face that will last a lifetime!
Omega Dental Specialists is centrally located in midtown Houston just a short drive away from many key locations in the city. Our team has the goal of providing highly specialized care in a comfortable and caring environment. We have the training necessary to provide you with I.V. sedation, as needed, in our state of the art office setting to help you remain comfortable