Pittsburgh Oral Surgery

No More Wisdom Teeth Means More Ice Cream!   

You’re fresh out of high school and wondering what’s next. Maybe it’s college, maybe it’s a summer internship, or maybe you still haven’t decided. Perhaps, what you do know is that there is a sharp pain in the back of your mouth. So, while you’re thinking about your future impact on the world, your wisdom teeth might just be impacted within your gums.   

If you’re like most teens, however, you don’t feel a thing. This does not mean nothing needs to be done. In fact, having your wisdom teeth removed before there’s a problem is the best way to go. And if the thought of surgery stresses you out, fear not. Wisdom teeth removal is a routine procedure experienced by most teenagers. You’re joining the ranks. Consider it a rite of passage.  

10 million wisdom teeth are removed every year.  

 The bottom line: it’s important to get your wisdom teeth out sooner rather than later. This is because it much easier to extract the tooth the tooth before its roots are fully formed. The longer you wait, the more established the tooth becomes in your gums. There is also the risk of gum disease or other infection if the tooth stays in your mouth longer than it should.   

When’s the best time to have your wisdom teeth removed?  

Summertime is the perfect opportunity to get rid of those pesky wisdom teeth, especially if you are vacationing from school or in between jobs. You’ll need to have some downtime after your surgery, so it’s best to clear your schedule, so you can really focus on relaxing, and ultimately, healing.   

What can I eat after wisdom teeth removal?  

Of course, the biggest (and maybe the most important) question you’re asking is, “What can I eat?” Or perhaps that was just me… but regardless, this is a great question. The key is to keep it simple and easy. In other words, even chewing is too much work after you’ve had your wisdom teeth extracted. Look for foods that are smooth and go down easily.  

Enjoy soft foods, such as:  

  • Soup  
  • Yogurt 
  • Scrambled Eggs 
  • Mashed Potatoes 
  • Applesauce 
  • Avocado 
  • Ice Cream 

 Why the emphasis on ice cream? 

July is National Ice Cream Month! Also, there should always be an emphasis on ice cream. Ice cream is not only easy to eat, but its cold temperature will help soothe the swelling in your mouth. Plus, after a wisdom tooth extraction, you deserve a scoop of ice cream! However, it’s best to have this tasty treat in moderation, as there is a lot of sugar in ice cream.   

If you’re looking to take a healthy approach to National Ice Cream Month, try making your own ice cream from frozen bananas! Here’s an easy recipe that you or your parents can use:   

  1. Get a large, ripe banana. 
  2. Peel it, chop it up, and stick in the freezer overnight or at least for 2 hours. The banana pieces should be frozen.  
  3. Put the frozen banana pieces into a food processor or ahigh powered  Use the pulse setting to break the pieces up.   
  4. Blend until there is a smooth creamy consistency.  
  5. Add some peanut butter or chocolate for flavor, or not! This is where you can get creative.  
  6. Transfer the mixture into an airtight container and freeze until solid.  

 Use this summer to schedule that wisdom tooth extraction with Pittsburgh Oral Surgery, PC. Schedule your consultation today: Pittsburgh Oral Surgery Shadyside Phone Number 412-661-7690.

How to Take Care of Your Dental Implant

Cleaning and taking care of your implant is just as important as cleaning your natural teeth. Here are some things you should know about caring for your implant.

Your implant and your natural teeth are similar because they both rely on healthy tissue for support! Just like with real teeth, plaque buildup can be harmful. It’s important to remove that plaque because it can develop into an infection. If the infection isn’t properly treated, it can result in a loss of bone around the implant which could progress to the loss of the implant itself.

It’s important to get your teeth cleaned on a regular basis so your dental hygienist can get biofilm off your teeth and keep your teeth infection-free. As always, you should be brushing your teeth and flossing twice a day.

Dental implants are the closest thing you can get to real and natural teeth. They don’t require any special products or treatment, just a simple brush and floss will do the job! If they are properly cared for, they can last a lifetime, avoiding any further dental work down the road.

With a dental implant, you can still enjoy all your favorite foods. It will not loosen or fall out if you are chewing something hard.

Overall, dental implants are meant to make life better and easier! You don’t have to go out of your way to take care of them – a simple brush and floss will ensure that they improve your overall quality of life for many years to come.

If you think a dental implant may be right for you, call Pittsburgh Oral Surgery, PC at 412-661-7690 to schedule a consultation!

Flossing: Absolutely Necessary!

Yes, You Still Have to Floss. No, the dance move “flossing” does not count. The AP recently released an article making the claim that “there’s little proof that flossing works”. Their review cited a series of studies that found flossing does little or nothing to improve oral health. Here’s the problem: the studies were flawed. The AP concluded that floss does little for oral health, but it’s important to note that the evidence they cited was very weak at best. In fact, they said so themselves.

As acknowledged by the AP, many of these studies were extremely short. “Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop” (Associated Press). They also say that “One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss” (Associated Press).

Of course, the evidence is unreliable. You don’t simply develop gum disease because you forgot to floss yesterday. Cavities and gum disease do not happen overnight. Gum disease is preventable by maintain great oral health habits for a long period of time. Lets put it this way: If a study claims drinking milk does nothing for bone health, but draws conclusions after only three glasses of milk, is it a reliable study?

The fact of the matter is floss removes gunk from teeth. You can see it. Gunk feeds bacteria which leads to plaque, cavities, poor gum health, and eventually gum disease. Floss has the ability to reach the food particles that your brush can’t get to. Using a sawing motion instead of moving up and around the teeth to clean the cracks. Positive results come from correct use and it’s critical that people learn to use a tool properly before discarding it as useless.

That’s just what floss is: a tool. Just like your toothbrush, it is designed to keep your mouth clean, and therefore keep your body safe from infection. Both your toothbrush and floss are designed to do what the other can’t, and both successfully remove bacteria from your mouth. Just like proper brushing technique, it is important that you know how to use floss properly, so that you can reap the long-term health benefits of good oral hygiene.

Oral hygiene is a long-term process and requires long term observations to make worthwhile conclusions. In the meantime, it’s obvious that you should continue to do everything you can to protect your well-being, and floss is one of many tools that can help you do that. If you would like a refresher on the best, most efficient techniques for floss use feel free to call our office today

Wisdom Teeth Aftercare

Having your impacted wisdom teeth removed is a serious surgical procedure, and post-operative care is extremely important! Read on for instructions on how to care for your sore mouth, and how to minimize unnecessary pain and complications.

Immediately Following Surgery:
Keep a firm, yet gentle, bite on the gauze packs that have been placed in your mouth to keep them in place. You can remove them after an hour if the bleeding is controlled. If the surgical area continues to bleed, place new gauze for another 30 to 45 minutes.

Do Not:
• Rinse vigorously
• Probe the area
• Smoke (hopefully you don’t!!)
• Participate in strenuous activities

You Can:
• Brush gently (but not the area)
• Begin saltwater rinses 24 hours after surgery (mix 1 tbs of salt with 1 cup of water).
• Make sure to swish gently. These rinses should be done 2-3 times a day, especially after eating.

Enjoy some down-time! Keep activity level to a minimum! Enjoy a day of couch or bed-rest, as being active could result in increased bleeding. Avoid exercise for 3-4 days, and when you do begin exercising again, keep in mind your caloric intake has been reduced so you may feel weaker. There are also some diet restrictions to keep in mind!

Avoid:
• Extremely hot foods
• Straws (for the first few days)
• Chewing (until tongue sensation has returned)
• Smaller foods that can become stuck in the socket area
• Skipping meals—while eating may seem like a lot of work, you need your nourishment to be able to heal and feel better!

Swelling is a completely normal occurrence. Keep in mind, swelling will usually be at it’s worst in the 2-3 days after surgery. You can minimize swelling by applying a cold compress (covered with a towel) firmly to the cheek next to the surgical area. Apply the pack with 20 minutes on, and 20 minutes off for the first 24-48 hours.

Since no two mouths are alike, do not take advice from friends (even well-intended advice could cause a healing set-back). The advice given to you from your doctor and team are tailored to fit your needs. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns about your recovery. Happy healing!

3 Tips to Keep Your Gums Healthy and Happy

3tipsforhappygums

Keeping your gums healthy is vital to ensuring that your mouth stays clean and your teeth stay intact and in pristine condition. Incorporating a few simple steps into your daily oral hygiene routine will keep your teeth and gums healthy, happy and your smile shining bright for years to come.

Floss Like a Boss
Flossing is one of the easiest and most effective steps you can take to fight against gum disease and keep your gums healthy. Flossing once to twice a day helps to clean the hard to reach areas in-between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach.

Keep ‘em Clean
Brushing twice a day is the most commonly preached method of keeping your mouth clean and cavities at bay. Be sure to brush with a fluoride based toothpaste to help to give you the best results when brushing. Next time you are shopping for toothpaste, look for the ADA seal of acceptance in order to ensure your toothpaste is backed by experts!

It is also beneficial to rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash twice a day in order to protect your gums. Rinsing with mouthwash is a great way to finish off thoroughly cleaning your mouth, because it reaches areas that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.

Stay Regular
Visiting your dentist twice a year is extremely important in preventing oral diseases and guaranteeing that your teeth stay in tip top shape.
Your dentist will perform a thorough cleaning and will show you the proper way to brush and floss if you need a bit of help!

These three steps can help you significantly improve the health of your gums and reduce your risk of developing gum disease. If you have any questions about how to keep your gums healthy and happy, give our office a call, today!

When Should You Consider Dental Implants?

considerimplants-blog

Dental implants typically consist of three components: the post, the abutment, and the restoration. The post is a screw which is inserted into the bone. The abutment is attached to the post and the restoration is placed on top, giving the finished product a beautiful, realistic look.

Dental implants are an effective way to replace missing or damaged teeth, but when is getting a dental implant the best option for you? There are a few circumstances where receiving an implant might be the best option for improving your smile.

To restore and preserve your appearance
One of the main functions of dental implants is to restore a smile back to its original glory. They are built to last a lifetime, and last much longer than dental bridges. If you are looking for a permanent solution to damaged or missing teeth, dental implants are your best option.

To protect and preserve a healthy jawbone
Missing spaces in your smile can lead your jawbone to deterioration. Dental implants are the only option which will protect and save your natural bone. Waiting to get a dental implant can continue to increase the chances of your jawbone not being able to support dental implants in the future.

To stop your teeth from shifting
Losing a tooth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift and look unnatural. These teeth can become crowded or can be shifted unevenly. This can cause your teeth to become harder to clean and can also cause your face to sag and appear sunken.

These are just a few of the instances in which you should consider getting dental implants. Dental implants are one of the most useful and successful restoration options available today. For more information on how we can restore your smile with dental implants, contact our practice today at Pittsburgh Oral Surgery Shadyside Phone Number 412-661-7690 !

Wisdom Teeth: Questions Answered

Wisdom-Teeth--Questions-Answered

If you or your child are getting your wisdom teeth removed, you must have questions! We are here to make you feel as comfortable as possible. As always, if you have other questions feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to help you understand more on your upcoming procedure. Read on for some frequently asked questions:

1. Why do we have Wisdom Teeth?
Centuries ago our human ancestors used wisdom teeth to help them grind up tough food, like leaves and roots. Their jaws were larger and had more room for extra molars. As we evolved, our diets changed to include softer foods. The third molars became unnecessary as our jaws became smaller.

2. Why do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?
There are several reasons why you would need your wisdom teeth extracted, as they can cause a variety of complications.
• Impaction: If there is not enough room in your mouth, your wisdom teeth will become impacted and grow at an angle. This can cause problems such as pain and discomfort while eating.
• Damage to other teeth: Your impacted tooth can begin pushing against your second molars, causing potential tooth decay.
• Disease: Spaces between the impacted tooth and your molars allows room for bacteria to grow, putting you at risk for inflammation, cysts, and periodontal (gum) disease.

3. When should I get my wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth usually come out between the ages of 17- 25, and are typically removed during your high school years. The longer you wait, the more complications that may arise. The root will continue growing and can cause potential permanent nerve damage.

4. When are wisdom teeth okay to keep?
If there is enough room for them to erupt correctly without causing any damage, then they are safe to keep. It is also important to note that not everyone is born with all four wisdom teeth, as evolution has been removing them for generations.

We hope this article has helped you, and if you have any other questions please contact us. Everyone’s teeth are different, and we want to make sure we take the right course of action for your wisdom teeth.

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Bone Grafting!

Everything you need to know about Dental Bone Grafting

What exactly is a bone graft?: Bone grafting is a surgical procedure done when you need to repair bone fractures or replace bone loss. When a tooth is missing or retracted from the alveolar bones that support your roots, gums and teeth, it eventually evaporates, causing facial features to shift and sag over time. This then creates potential problems such as pain in your mouth, not being able to speak properly, or chew food adequately. Fortunately, with the help of bone grafts, the bone that has been lost can be built again, which will not only heighten your appearance by providing strength back into your jaw bone, but also allows us to place a dental implant (artificial tooth) on top of it! In simple terms, the goal of bone grafting is to provide a safe, long-term solution to tooth loss!

How it works: The procedure itself is done by using a piece of bone (typically from your own jawbone; however artificial is also an option) as the base for your implant. Depending on the type of dental implant you plan on the receiving, and the condition of your jawbone, the process of recovery can take up to several months for the transplanted bone to grow enough to fully support the implant. Once the jawbone is healed, titanium, screw-like posts act as the new implant’s roots for fully functioning tooth support. The final step of dental bone grafting is to make molds of your teeth and jawbone, which will then follow with the placement of your realistic-looking artificial tooth!

After The Procedure: Bone grafting is a very popular and safe procedure, with over two million surgeries being reported each year. Of course with any surgery, come a few risks. Common ones include infection at the source, damage to the surrounding teeth or blood vessels, nerve damage, and sinus problems. The post-procedure discomforts include swelling of the gums, brushing on the skin, and minor bleeding. Any discomfort after the procedure should only last a few days and can be managed with anti-inflammatory medication, as well as ice therapy.

Following a successful bone grafting and implant surgery, it is recommended to practice excellent oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly to ensure proper functioning of your implant! To learn more about bone grafting or if you think you are a qualified candidate to have it done, give us a call at Pittsburgh Oral Surgery Shadyside Phone Number 412-661-7690!

What Exactly is a Dental Implant?

 

What Exactly is a Dental Implant

Missing teeth? No problem. A dental implant is a way to replace an empty void that may be leaving you self-conscious about your smile. Whether the vacant spot is due to a sports injury, facial trauma, periodontal complication, or bad oral hygiene, it can fill the vacancy permanently and give you a boost of confidence. So, what exactly is a dental implant? Here are a few things you need to know:

• Dental implants act as a replacement for the roots of a tooth. Metaphorically speaking, they can be the anchor for crowns, bridges and dentures and are screwed into the jaw bone to provide support for replacement teeth. They are surgically inserted into the jawbone beneath the gum line.

• Dental implants resemble the shape of screws and once placed into the jawbone, will naturally bond with your natural bone to provide a strong base for artificial teeth.

• Dental implant surgery is one of the safest procedures done in dentistry.

• Dental implants will be the next best thing you’ll have to healthy and natural teeth.

• A dental implant is dependent on the oral health of the person undergoing treatment. There needs to be healthy tissue in the mouth and enough jaw bone to support these dental implants.

• After undergoing a dental implant procedure, keeping the structures healthy and clean should be done precisely and with attention to detail. This will help to maintain and ensure the long-term success of the treatment and the oral health of your mouth.

Don’t let a missing tooth or teeth stop you from living a full life without limits. Laugh and smile, indulge in foods without restriction, and most importantly, feel comfortable in your own skin. Call our office Pittsburgh Oral Surgery Shadyside Phone Number 412-661-7690 to find out how a dental implant can be beneficial to you and the overall health of your teeth. What have you got to lose? Call us today!

Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Getting your wisdom teeth removed seems to be a rite of passage these days. Everyone knows a friend or a family member who has gotten them extracted or even have had them pulled themselves. Aside from enjoying the perks of getting these last sets of molars extracted such as getting to miss school or even work for a few days, or the endless and guiltless ice cream soiree, here are the occasional and sometimes painful telltale signs that you need your wisdom teeth removed:

• Gum pain: When your “third molars” or wisdom teeth begin to erupt, they push past the gums creating an uncomfortable and hot feeling. It will most likely be accompanied with pressure or a dull throbbing sensation in the gums nearest the jaw bone. Infection can also lead to puffy and swollen gums and some unwanted drainage.

• Jaw pain: A wisdom tooth infection can cause sore throats and swollen lymph glands under the jaw. These symptoms can make the area around your jaw uncomfortable and difficulty chewing and eating may become persistent. In the case where an impacted wisdom tooth is present, it can lead to jaw aches and ear pain as well.

• Teeth and mouth pain: When you have an impacted wisdom tooth that is growing in at an angle, it can impact surrounding teeth. This can result in an increase of pressure on tooth nerves and bone, crowding the surrounding teeth. Symptoms include swelling, tenderness and pain.

You may be the lucky few who never experience these symptoms and may not even need your wisdom teeth removed if they are growing properly positioned, but making sure to address the pain and getting them removed early will ensure that you get to enjoy the perks of wisdom teeth extraction without the pain! Call our office today! Pittsburgh Oral Surgery Shadyside Phone Number 412-661-7690