Whether you are in the pre-planning stages for dental implants, or are seeking to correct a congenital jaw defect or injury, a bone grafting procedure can help restore sufficient bone tissue within the jaw and promote proper functioning. Many patients require this procedure prior to dental implant surgery in order to restore an adequate amount of healthy bone tissue to support the dental implants.
Bone Regeneration: Providing Invaluable Support
Loss of hard and soft tissue can create functional and aesthetic problems that interfere with normal chewing. Bone loss can lead to physical changes in the structure of your face, affecting both your appearance and function. In addition, wearing dentures or placing dental implants can be very difficult without adequate supporting structure.
Loss of soft tissue can lead to tooth sensitivity, tooth decay, gum disease and an unsightly appearance to both the teeth and gums. At Coastal Jaw Surgery Center for Implant & Oral Reconstruction, our Board-Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons use today’s most advanced state of the art techniques for bone and soft tissue regeneration for patients in the Tampa, FL, (Tampa Bay Area Florida Offices) area. Please contact our office to learn more.
Ridge Augmentation — When teeth are extracted, the bone typically shrinks during healing and leaves an indentation in the gum tissue resulting in both cosmetic and potentially functional problems. Ridge augmentation is a specialized procedure that builds up lost bone and even gum tissue by using different surgical techniques.
Digitally Guided Bone Augmentation™ (DGBA) — DGBA is a proprietary approach for three-dimensional reconstruction and restoration of complex bony defects. The use of CT scan and precision software along with reverse tissue engineering is utilized to create an optimum clinical result.
Sinus Lift — This procedure builds up bone in the back part of the upper jaw prior to dental implant procedures. The sinus membrane is elevated, creating a small compartment where bone graft materials are placed along the sinus floor. Implants can be placed either simultaneously with the sinus graft or several months later in preparation for the implant.
For more information about our leading-edge regenerative therapy capabilities, please contact us today to schedule your consultation.
Soft Tissue Regeneration
Our dental specialists use the most advanced state-of-the-art technology in the industry to perform bone and soft tissue regeneration procedures. When preparing for dental implants, it is common for patients to have a sinus lift, ridge augmentation, or soft tissue grafting procedure to restore sufficient healthy bone and soft tissues. This is often required in order to support the titanium posts and withstand the pressures of chewing, eating, and speaking. We can perform bone and soft tissue regeneration in our office.
Soft Tissue Regeneration: Providing Invaluable Support
Soft-tissue grafting includes roof-of-mouth tissue and cadaver tissue that are used to regenerate lost gum tissue for teeth and implant reconstruction. These procedures are especially important in creating a beautiful smile and providing for a stable long-term functional result.
Surgical Tooth Extraction
If disease, decay, or damage to a tooth is left untreated, the only treatment option left is often tooth extraction. If needed, we can extract a tooth to preserve your oral health. Our dental specialists can perform tooth extraction procedures in a safe environment, and you will be given different sedation options to ensure your comfort during surgery. If you are suffering with a compromised tooth, schedule a consultation to determine your options.
At our Tampa, FL, (Tampa Bay Area Florida Offices) surgical based multi-specialty dental practice, we make your comfort and safety our top priorities during this and all procedures we provide.
Our doctors are among the leading oral maxillofacial surgeons in the country, and have a wealth of experience and knowledge in preserving the health of your smile. If you have suffered damage or extensive decay to one or more of your teeth, contact our office today to make an appointment.
When to Consider Tooth Extraction
Certain conditions may indicate the need for an extraction over other treatment options:
Infection – When damage to a tooth has progressed beyond the point that root canal therapy or other treatments can not save it, an extraction may be necessary to prevent the spread of the infection to the surrounding tissues of the mouth.
Overcrowding – A tooth may require extraction if there is not enough room to properly erupt above the gum line without disrupting the alignment of surrounding teeth.
Periodontal Disease – If advanced periodontal disease has weakened the supporting tissues of your gums and jawbone, a tooth extraction may be necessary.
Wisdom Teeth – The third molars can often erupt at an awkward angle and affect the alignment of the rest of your teeth. Some fail to erupt at all, instead damaging the tissues of the jaw. Wisdom tooth removal is recommended for teenagers and adults aged 14-24 to preserve their oral health.
If you suffer from any of these conditions, or believe that you may have a damaged or diseased tooth in need of extraction, speak with our team. If extraction is the best treatment option, we can discuss how we can fully restore your oral health with dental implants.
The Tooth Extraction Procedure
Our practice offers different sedation dentistry options to ensure your comfort during treatment. Nitrous oxide, oral sedatives, and intravenous (IV) sedation all provide varying levels of sedation. With these sedatives, you probably will not remember much, if anything, from your procedure. For patients who require a higher degree of sedation, our doctors are also licensed and certified to administer general anesthesia.
Once you have been sedated, the extraction can take place. Some extraction procedures are simple and relatively straightforward. If a tooth is broken or has not fully erupted through the gums, it may require more advanced techniques. If this is the case, your surgeon will lift the gum tissue to gain access to the tooth and remove all areas of damage or disease.
If you have teeth that are damaged or decayed, and would like an experienced oral surgeon to assess the need for an extraction, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Wisdom Tooth Removal
If your wisdom teeth (or third molars) begin to emerge from the gum line, they can cause many problems. In fact, even if your wisdom teeth have not yet erupted, they may still negatively impact your oral health. Wisdom teeth can grow in at angles, which makes them difficult to clean and maintain, and can cause overcrowding, disrupting the alignment of your surrounding teeth. Our surgeons can perform wisdom tooth extractions before they start causing significant pain, discomfort, and complications.
Wisdom Tooth Removal: Improve Your Comfort and Oral Health
When the third molars, or wisdom teeth, begin to erupt, they can become impacted and disturb the alignment of surrounding teeth. Wisdom teeth can eventually become infected, and even cause cysts or tumors to form around the molar. In all of these cases, our doctors recommend wisdom tooth removal.
Patients in the Tampa, FL, (Tampa Bay Area Florida Offices) area 14 years of age and older who have not had their wisdom teeth removed can elect to undergo this procedure to preserve their oral health and prevent complications. All of the surgeons at Coastal Jaw Surgery have extensive knowledge and experience performing extractions and other oral surgery procedures, and can provide quality care. Please contact our office to make an appointment with one of our doctors.
Understanding the Third Molars
The third molars are the last teeth to erupt, typically after all of the permanent teeth have settled into their permanent positions. Unfortunately, there is simply not enough room in most patients’ smiles to accommodate the wisdom teeth without disrupting bite alignment. Often, the wisdom teeth will grow in at angles and fail to erupt at all, which impacts nearby teeth and makes them difficult to brush and floss. We recommend that patients have their wisdom teeth removed before the root of the tooth forms and attaches to the jawbone. This usually occurs between the ages of 14-24, but treatment may be recommended for younger patients if the third molars begin to emerge early.
The Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
When you come in for your initial consultation, we will use different diagnostic imaging techniques to obtain a clear understanding of the positioning of your wisdom teeth. Typically, they are located beneath the gum line and under a small layer of bone, behind your existing molars. Our doctors will administer intravenous (IV) sedation and a local anesthetic to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the procedure. Your surgeon will make an incision in the gum line to gain access to the wisdom teeth and gently remove them. For more complex cases, it may be necessary to remove the teeth in small pieces.
When the surgery is complete, your doctor will close the incisions with sutures that will dissolve after your gums have healed. Some bleeding and swelling is to be expected in the days following your procedure, and your doctor will discuss pain management during your consultation. You will be advised to rest for the remainder of the day and use ice packs to reduce any swelling. Patients can typically return to their normal routines one to three days following their surgery. As with all of our oral surgery procedures, your comfort and safety are our top priorities throughout treatment.
Pathology / Biopsy
As with many other conditions and diseases of the oral cavity, the chances of successful treatment of oral cancer are much better if it is detected in the earliest stages. Oral cancers are the most prevalent form of disease in the head and neck, and early stages typically do not present painful or discomforting symptoms. This is why it is important to check for oral cancer even if no symptoms are apparent. If oral cancer screenings detect any abnormalities, our surgeons can perform a biopsy for a more thorough analysis, and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
An Oral Cancer Biopsy Can Help You Receive Prompt, Specialized Care
The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that nearly 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. As with any form of cancer, the survival rate for oral cancer is highest among those who receive treatment in the earliest stages of the disease. However, oral cancer often does not present symptoms in the early stages, making regular screenings essential. Many general dentists include oral cancer screenings with every six-month checkup. If a screening reveals an unusual lesion, Dr. Michael A. Pikos and his team can perform an oral cancer biopsy at their Tampa, FL, (Tampa Bay Area Florida Offices) practice. To schedule an appointment, contact our office today.
Oral Cancer: Signs and Risk Factors
Oral cancer can occur on the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, sinuses, pharynx, and throat. Although oral cancer does not always present obvious signs, indications of cancerous or precancerous tissue can include:
- Lumps, rough spots, or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other oral tissues
- Red or white patches
- Chronic sores
- A sore throat that does not go away
- Numbness in or around the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or moving the tongue
Meanwhile, several factors can increase a patient’s risk of developing oral cancer:
- Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco
- Heavy alcohol use
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables
- A previous oral cancer diagnosis
- Significant exposure to ultraviolet light
- HPV (human papilloma virus)
Oral Cancer Screenings: The Importance of Early Detection
It cannot be overstated that although the risk factors may not apply to you, and you may not be experiencing any outward signs of oral cancer, it is still very important to undergo regular screenings.
During an oral cancer screening, the dentist will inspect the inside of your mouth for any abnormal tissue that could indicate cancerous or precancerous conditions. This process often involves the use of a tool such as a VELscope®, which uses a special blue light to reveal suspicious lesions that a visual inspection alone often cannot detect. If the dentist finds any lesions, he or she may recommend a biopsy. This involves removing a small sample of the tissue for testing by a pathologist. Our doctors can provide a thorough and accurate biopsy to determine if these lesions are a cause for concern, and can coordinate further analysis by a specialist.
Oral cancer is a serious diagnosis, but it can be overcome when it is detected in its earliest stages. If you are not currently undergoing oral cancer screenings as part of your regular six-month dental checkups, you owe it to yourself to seek treatment from a practice that provides this service. Meanwhile, if a screening reveals a suspicious lesion, the team at Coastal Jaw Surgery can perform a biopsy to determine if further tests are necessary, and place you in touch with the specialists necessary to provide the prompt, effective care you deserve.
Soft Tissue Grafting
Soft tissue grafting is performed to protect your teeth from the damaging effects of gum recession, and to enhance the appearance of your smile. A gum graft is accomplished by taking a small piece of epithelial tissue, usually from the roof of the mouth, and suturing it into place in the treatment area to cover exposed portions of teeth. Our oral surgeons and periodontist can use tissue-stimulating proteins to aid in the healing process. The overall result is improved oral health and, often, a more attractive smile.
Restore the Health and Look of Your Gums with Soft Tissue Grafting
Whether your gums are damaged and require repair, or you are unhappy with how they affect your smile, soft tissue grafting can help your gums look and feel their best. Dr. Michael A. Pikos and his team of dental implant specialists perform soft tissue grafting at their Tampa, FL (Tampa Bay Area Florida Offices). The various soft tissue grafting procedures and your candidacy can be reviewed during your consultation.
The Purpose of Soft Tissue Grafting
“Soft tissue grafting, also called gum graft surgery, is performed for one of two reasons: to protect a patient’s teeth from the damaging effects of gum recession or to enhance the appearance of their smile. Placing healthy gum tissue on top of thin or damaged gums helps stimulate new growth.”
Gum recession occurs when the tissue around the teeth pulls away, typically due to inflammation caused by a bacterial infection. As a result, more of the tooth, and sometimes the root, are exposed, leaving the entire structure vulnerable to infection and decay. Since gum recession is a gradual process, patients may not notice until the later stages. Left untreated, it can lead to increased sensitivity to temperature changes in the teeth, tooth loss, and damage to the supporting bone.
Soft tissue grafting is a relatively straightforward procedure. The tissue can be drawn from either the patient’s own body or from a donor bank.
Cosmetically, some people are dissatisfied with the appearance of their gums, either because of the effects of gum recession or genetics. Dr. Pikos and his team believe that the gums are to the teeth as curtains are to a window: a frame for the centerpiece. An uneven gum line can leave a smile asymmetric, while a low line can make the teeth appear unusually long. Sometimes, soft tissue grafting can be performed in conjunction with other procedures or regenerative surgeries.
The Procedure: What to Expect
Soft tissue grafting is a relatively straightforward procedure. After administering an anesthetic, we will remove the graft from its original source and suture it into place on top of the exposed portions of the teeth in the treatment site. In some cases, we can apply proteins which stimulate tissue growth on top of the treated gums, to help assist the healing process.
The tissue for a gum graft can be drawn from either the patient’s own body or from an outside donor bank. If taken from the patient, the graft is usually one of three types:
Connective tissue: This graft is taken from the roof of a patient’s mouth. A small flap is created to remove a small piece of epithelial tissue from beneath the flap. The flap is then sutured closed, and the extracted tissue is placed on top of the treatment site.
Free gingival: Similar to the connective tissue graft, this tissue is also extracted from the roof of the mouth. But rather than tissue from underneath the flap, the graft is taken from the topmost layer and placed over the treatment site. This type of graft is usually performed on patients whose gums are thin and require a substantial amount of tissue.
Pedicle: Rather than the roof of the mouth, this graft is taken from nearby gum tissue. With this procedure, we make an incision and then stretch the tissue over the treatment site. A pedicle graft is typically reserved for patients who have plenty of healthy gum tissue nearby. If the damage is more extensive, other sources are usually preferred.
While patients can return home immediately after the procedure, they will require a ride home from a family member or friend while the sedation wears off. We will review your post-operative care instructions with you prior to the procedure, and will send you home with instructions as well. Most patients heal quickly and can maintain their surgery results through regular dental care.
Reconstructive surgery repairs injuries and corrects conditions that affect the oral and maxillofacial regions. In general, it involves rebuilding part of the mouth, jaw, or face to help patients gain a normal appearance. Trauma from falls and other accidents, and the surgical removal of cancer are typical reasons for this type of surgery. Our doctors use advanced techniques to help restore function as well as appearance.
Reconstructive Surgery Helps Patients Gain a Normal Appearance
Dr. Michael A. Pikos and our surgical team provide reconstructive surgery in Tampa, FL, (Tampa Bay Area Florida) for a number of injuries or conditions affecting the oral and maxillofacial region. Reconstructive surgery generally entails the doctor rebuilding part of the patient’s mouth, jaws, or face after trauma or surgical cancer removal. With skillful care and advanced techniques, we can help restore function and allow patients to gain or regain a normal appearance. Our team can rebuild facial bones when necessary, to improve the self-confidence, quality of life, and well-being of the patient.
To qualify for dental implant surgery, patients must have sufficient bone density in their jaws. The upper back portion of the jaw often lacks the amount of bone tissue necessary to prevent dental implants from disrupting the sinuses. A sinus lift is a type of bone grafting procedure that provides patients with a solution to this problem. The doctor adds bone to the floor of the sinus cavity, which will allow your implant or implants to be placed safely.
Improve Your Candidacy for Dental Implants with a Sinus Lift
To improve your candidacy for dental implants, our team of dental implant specialists provide sinus lift procedures at any of our office locations within the Greater Tampa Bay Area Florida. Typically the upper, back jaw does not have adequate bone to support dental implants due to the presence of the maxillary sinus. Because the sinuses sit right on top of the upper teeth, the patient is sometimes left with just a thin wall of bone between the sinus and mouth when the teeth are lost or removed. A sinus lift procedure provides enough bone to allow implants to be placed at the time of the graft procedure.
Preparing for the Surgery
Before your surgery, you will attend a consultation with one of the skilled doctors at our practice. They will examine your mouth and jaw, then take x-rays and digital images to study your jaw and sinus. This will allow them to determine the health of your sinus cavity and measurements of your existing bone. When they have all the information they need and determine you will make a good candidate for sinus lift surgery, your doctor will schedule a date for your procedure.
The Surgical Procedure
Crestal Sinus Lift: This is an innovative, minimally invasive and less costly surgical approach for sinus grafting that allows for simultaneous bone grafting and dental implant placing with no waiting. Our team implemented this protocol in 2014 due to the advent of new technology. It also results in less post-operative discomfort then the traditional approach. It can be used for most but not all sinus lift procedures.
Traditional Sinus Lift: This is an outpatient procedure, and you will receive appropriate sedation for your comfort. To begin the surgery, your doctor will make an incision in your gums at the back of your upper jaw, exposing the bone underneath. He will create a small, round opening in the bone, allowing him access to the sinus membrane. The doctor will gently lift the membrane, directing it away from the jaw. He will then pack the space with your bone graft. Depending on the thickness of the bone, the amount of graft material needed will vary, but the doctor will typically add several millimeters of bone to the floor of the sinus cavity. When he finishes, he will apply stitches to close the incisions. Dentists have found that the upper, back jaw presents the most trouble with having insufficient amounts of bone available.
Sinus Lift Aftercare
Most patients experience very little discomfort following the procedure. You will need to make sure not to sneeze or blow your nose too hard, because these actions can loosen your stitches or cause the bone graft to move out of place. You may experience some swelling in the area of the surgery, and may see blood come from your mouth or nose. The doctor can provide a prescription for pain, as well as antibiotics and an antimicrobial mouthwash to help prevent infection. Follow all post-op instructions and resume brushing and flossing as directed. Also, be sure to attend follow-up visits as scheduled. If you notice any abnormalities not mentioned in the post-op instructions, or you have questions about recovery, feel free to call our office.
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