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Bone Grafting

Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and other oral health problems affect overall dental health, causing side-effects that range from irritation to tissue loss. One of the more serious issues associated with lasting dental problems is the recession of underlying bone. This tissue depletion weakens the foundation teeth rely on to remain strong and functional. Dr. O’Connor is equipped to treat bone resorption and reverse depletion through bone grafting.

Is Getting a Bone Graft a Serious Procedure?

Although it sounds complex, receiving a bone graft is an easy procedure for your dentist. Grafting tissue requires little to no downtime beyond taking prescribed medication as recommended and caring for your smile according to provided instructions. Bone grafting is a successful procedure that restores vital oral health and creates a strong base for restorations to be added as needed. If problematic teeth need to be extracted and replaced, a bone graft promotes successful implant procedures and helps the shape of your face retain a natural aesthetic.

How the Procedure Works

Using bone tissue from your own body, or other biocompatible alternatives, bone grafts are placed at the site of the missing tooth. Bone grafts strengthen bone density and can be placed right after extraction or if teeth have been missing a while. After the graft has been added, soft tissue is restored and sealed and you will be given medication to prevent infection. It’s that simple. After the procedure, you will need to avoid touching the treatment site and choose soft foods or liquids in the first few days immediately following treatment. Daily saltwater rinses keep the area clean and aid the healing process.

If available and necessary, your own bone can be used and is typically taken from the chin, shin, or hip bone. These areas provide extraneous tissue, taking a graft here won’t change how any of these parts of your body function. If you opt out of using your own bone, safe and effective alternatives are available. Choosing outside donor tissue does not decrease the chance of success, nor will it change the steps involved in the procedure, beyond limiting the number of treatment sites.

How Bone Grafting Improves Dental Restorations

Often used in conjunction with other procedures, bone grafting provides the proper foundation for full smile restoration. Dental implants sometimes require extra support if the jaw has been affected, providing plenty of tissue for successful placement and osseointegration. Grafting also restores facial appearances, as depleted bone volume can make patients look prematurely aged. Bone grafting helps Dr. O’Connor provide you with the best treatment possible.

Ask Us about Grafting Procedures

Call us today for a consultation. If you’re looking for restorative procedures but have been told you need a bone graft first, we can help.


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Do Same-Day Full Arch Implants Work?

Same-day dental implants are advertised as a convenient solution to tooth loss – one that doesn’t require the time investment of traditional implant procedures. This leaves many patients wondering if same-day full arch treatment is actually effective, and if they should pursue this method of care over others.

Teeth-in-a-day full arch implants are a great choice for patients in the following circumstances:

Adequate Bone Volume – Dental implants of any variety need a certain amount of tissue at the treatment site to properly integrate. Patients missing teeth for extended periods of time often exhibit diminished bone health – an issue that typically has to be corrected with grafting procedures before an implant can be placed. In these instances, a same-day implant wouldn’t be feasible or recommended.

Adequate Dental Technology – Same-day full arch implants require precision placement to ensure treatment will carry the same success rate as traditional implant protocols. Dr. O’Connor’s in-office technology makes same-day treatment possible for qualified patients through 3D guided implant placement.

Training and Expertise – With any specialized or advanced dental procedure the knowledge of the practitioner plays a key role in supporting treatment success. Same-day full arch dental implants require the approach of a seasoned professional. Dr. O’Connor has been focused on providing complex restorations and implant procedures for many years. He has proven success with this reliable and effective method of teeth replacement.

Keep in mind that prosthetics provided may be temporary coverings for the implants as they integrate into surrounding tissue, or a final prosthesis may be delivered at time of implant placement in select cases.  The same-day process refers to the extraction of compromised teeth and the immediate placement of implant posts in one appointment, as opposed to waiting several weeks or even months for the extraction site to heal or for bone grafts to be placed.

Same-day full arch dental implants are a viable treatment option for patients who are healthy enough to support this specialized treatment approach. If you have questions about the technology Dr. O’Connor utilizes to perform this treatment or whether you qualify for teeth in a day, contact our office for your consultation.  In the meantime, refer to the tab on Guided Implant Surgery on our website

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When Do I Need Dental Implants?

If you have teeth missing and are otherwise in good health, consider the advantages of a dental implant. A dental implant replaces not only the visible tooth, but the roots below as well, stimulating bone health and promoting improved oral health. In the following situations, a dental implant may be the more ideal solution:

Significant Periodontal Disease

Gum disease, especially in its more advanced form of periodontitis, can begin a process of detaching the tissue from your teeth and affecting bone health. Over time, this disease can destroy tissue and surrounding support, leading to tooth loss and bone resorption. A dental implant cannot be placed until the periodontitis has been treated, but it can be used part of a strategy to return pre-disease stability and health to your mouth.

Dental Trauma

Teeth can become fractured or completely lost due to falls, sports-related injuries, or other accidents. Implants are the most dependable solution to tooth loss and are recommended to replace missing teeth. Dental implants can also work to replace teeth that need to be extracted after severe loss of structural integrity. Extraction may be the only recourse for significantly damaged teeth and the placement of dental implants allow patients to regain full oral function.

Replacing Old, Failing Restorations

Other restoration options like bridges or crowns are typically recommended for patients whose teeth are healthy enough to remain in place, but require functional and aesthetic restoration. Over time, however, ideal conditions for the support of these prosthetics may no longer apply, requiring that the restoration be removed, teeth extracted, and missing teeth to be then replaced. The same can be said of severely damaged teeth that have been through several root canals; for many patients, as the years go on, problematic teeth can no longer be restored but must be replaced entirely.

While removable teeth replacements like dentures can slip from the gums, leading to potentially embarrassing situations, dental implants are designed to last well into the future. With proper care, many implant patients can enjoy treatment that last upwards of twenty years.  Due to the comprehensive nature of placement, dental implants offer great security and reliability.

If tooth loss has made you a candidate for dental implants, speak to our implant dentist, Dr. Thomas E. O’Connor about regaining your smile’s vitality. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation!

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FAQs about CBCT

CBCT imaging is a foreign topic for many dental patients, especially when it comes to how this technology is used in the complex implant dentistry process. However, there are benefits to be taken advantage of with this high-tech dental tool, which can help patients enjoy better outcomes from implant treatment. When discussing 3D computer guided implant surgery, patients typically ask Dr. O’Connor the following:

Is 3D Imaging Necessary for Implants?

There are many general dentists who place implants without the use of 3D dental scans—and these procedures are often without issue, as implants typically come with a success rate of over 90%. However, without 3D guided surgery, implant surgery can be a guessing game. Through traditional X-rays, dentists may not be able to see, with detail, all oral structures that are part of the implant process. Patients with compromised oral health may therefore not be best served with the traditional approach and will have to visit a specialist or a different dental office that is better able to meet their needs.

Why Should I Choose 3D Treatment Planning?

As mentioned in discussion of the treatment on our website, CBCT implant surgery is vital in reducing inaccuracies during standard implant surgery where this technology is not used. Computer imaging allows Dr. O’Connor to see where areas of bone are healthiest, so that implants can integrate with ease. Dr. O’Connor can treat patients with dental complications that would otherwise disqualify them for treatment, bone loss being chief among these issues. Computer guided implant dentistry promotes treatment that is precise and supports optimal results.

Are 3D Scans Safe?

Any time an X-ray or other medical images is taken, questions of safety and exposure are important to ask. There are plenty of times in life when X-rays are necessary, such as during accidents or injury, and routine dental appointments. However, it’s important to note that frequency of X-rays is a factor to consider for exposure, i.e. receiving unnecessary or superfluous X-rays may be ill-advised. X-rays with a clear benefit, intended for a specific purpose, are typically recommended for the ideal final results they can provide for patients.

3D scans for the purpose of implant treatment are kept to only a small treatment area – the specific procedure site – and are not applied extraneously, as to avoid unnecessary patient expose. When used in this conservative and precise manner, 3D scans are safe and provide essential benefits.

Ask us Your Questions about Guided Implant Surgery

If you’re curious about 3D computer guided implant surgery for replacing teeth in your smile, contact our office for your consultation.

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What is Piezo Surgery?

Our Piezo Surgery unit allows us to gently remove teeth without trauma to the bone and soft tissue adjacent to the involved tooth.   Why is that important???  We can now preserve the boney housing in the area of the tooth extraction so we can use this bone as a great site for your new implant supported tooth.  In the past oral surgical techniques usually wiped out the bone around an extraction with surgical drills, leaving little available bone left for a foundation for a replacement tooth.  Piezo Surgery–a technologically advanced tool using ultrasonic vibration for gentle removal of a tooth and preservation of bone for your new dental implant tooth.  Gentle technique–Happy patients!

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Help! My Face is Changing!

The bones of your face deteriorate when you lose your teeth.

Did you know that when you have a tooth pulled you also lose the bone around it? If you lose several teeth in a row you quickly lose large quantities of the bone that kept you jaw strong and your face looking young.  The more bone you lose, the more your face sags.  If you ask the dentist to put those teeth back, odds are you will get a bridge, partial, or a denture that may even speed up the loss of bone.

How do you stop losing bone after you have lost your teeth? 

A famous dental educator has stated that there are two ways to stop bone loss: eternal rest or dental implants.  You see, when a removable dental appliance or denture sits on your gums, it may look and feel good for a while, but the bone that it sits on always goes away, quickly at first, and then slowly, but with very dramatic results.  In fact, if you are wearing a denture that was made 10 years ago, it is likely that the denture does not fit your remaining jawbone or your face.  Why do you think so many older denture patients wear dental adhesive?  Their dentures just can’t hang on to what little bone is left.

How can you avoid losing the precious bone that makes your face look young and healthy? 

Keep your teeth and gums healthy.  If you lose a tooth, have it replaced with a dental implant before you lose the bone in your face.  Dental implants restore the stress and strain to the bone in a healthy way so that it doesn’t atrophy.  While it is unfortunate to lose one of your chewing tools, it is great news that it can be replaced with a long term dental implant.  Your new tooth can be made to look and chew just like the one you were born with!

“But my tooth has been gone for a while.  The dentist didn’t offer implants as an option.  There is already a dent in my jaw where I know the bone is missing.” 

A safe, inexpensive dental CT scan can precisely show the amount of bone lost so you can get the picture and make plans to stay healthy.  Some of these areas can be restored with bone from your own mouth–a bone graft. Ouch?  Not so bad.  Sort of the same discomfort you experienced losing a tooth should be expected when having a bone graft with current techniques and medicines.  After a few months healing, a dental implant and crown can be placed into the grafted bone to restore stability and beauty.

“What happens if I ignore these areas of bone deterioration?” 

If you wait too long you can plan on wearing removable dental appliances forever.  Frankly, dentures and dental adhesive were never something I wanted for me when I got old.  I’ll take every small step I can to hold on to my teeth and the bone around my teeth, so I can chew and smile like a kid, even when I’m eighty…or a hundred!

Talk to your dentist about dental implants, bone grafting, and about how you can keep the bone of your jaws healthy.  Don’t become a “dental cripple”.  Discuss this problem with someone with training, experience, and knowledge about maintenance of your jaw bone health.

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Welcome to our blog!

We’re excited to announce the official launch of our Smilesr4Sharing blog.

We’ll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we’re there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Smilesr4Sharing, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here’s to your best oral health ever!