IN JACKSONVILLE, FL
We’re committed to giving you one more reason to smile!
- DR. ANDREW ZERBINOPOULOS
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, TMJ for short, is often the source of facial headaches and pain. The Temporomandibular joint is located at the base of the skull in front of the ear which connects the upper and lower jaw. Just like every joint in your body, it can become swollen, sore, or broken. TMJ pain may be caused by grinding or clenching your teeth and a nightguard may be prescribed to protect the joint.
Subject to the preference of Dr. Andrew Zerbinopoulos and the limitations of the procedure itself, the frenum is reduced in size with a scalpel (blade) or a laser made specifically to cut soft tissue. In some instances, Dr. Zerbinopoulos may use a combination of the two instruments to shape and precisely cut the tissue to get an ideal result.
Labial Frenectomy | The labial frenum is the tissue that connects the gum to the upper lip. If it is abnormally long or wide, it may connect through to the gum tissue between the teeth and extend to the front portion of the roof of the mouth. When the upper frenum is too long or wide, it can create a space between the two front teeth,
Lingual Frenectomy | The lingual frenum is located between the floor of your mouth and the base of the tongue. It comes in all different sizes and if the frenum restricts the movement of the tongue (often called a "tongue-tie") the tissue is severed to allow normal tongue movement.
Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth deteriorates or is resorbed due to previous extractions, gum disease, or injuries. This often leaves a poor amount of bone structure left for the placement of dental implants. With today’s technology advances, we can grow new bone where needed through a process called bone grafting. This permits us to replace missing teeth with dental implants and gives us the opportunity to restore the aesthetic appearance of your facial structure.
A gum biopsy, or gingival biopsy, is a procedure in which Dr. Andrew Zerbinopoulos will remove a sample of gum tissue from your mouth and send it to a lab for analysis. Gum biopsy tests for suspicious or abnormal gum tissue and is then used to diagnose:
Lesions or sores on your gums that last longer than two weeks.
Red or white patches on your gums.
Gum Swelling that does not go away.
Ulcers on your gums.
Changes that may be causing you to have loose teeth or ill-fitting dentures.
Gum biopsies are often used along with X-Rays, CT scans, and MRI scans. When you receive a gum biopsy, Dr. Andrew Zerbinopoulo will sterilize the gum tissue and then spray or inject local anesthesia to numb the area. After your biopsy, like all dental procedures, the numbness in your gums will wear off and you can resume your normal activities. Your biopsy site may be sore for a few days, and we may ask that you avoid brushing around the site for a few days.
Dr. Andrew Zerbinopoulos will perform a biopsy to diagnose gum disease, oral cancer or other dental conditions. If you have questions or concerns about oral biopsies in Jacksonville, Florida, we invite you to contact Point Meadows Dentistry at (904)373-4777 for more information and make an appointment with our experienced dentist.
N2O | Nitrous oxide is an effective and safe sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax. Sometimes called “laughing gas,” is one option we can provide to help make you more comfortable during dental procedures. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions we may have. Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed.
Oral Medication | Oral sedation is one of the available methods of conscious sedation dentistry, generally given during a dental procedure to reduce a patient’s anxiety.
Anesthesia | Anesthesia is typically administered to help dull pain in all or part of the mouth during dental work, but does not cause a patient to go to sleep. It usually wears off two to three hours after the procedure and is most often used when a patient is getting a root canal or filling.
It is very important to replace missing teeth. The ill-effects of not doing so can be a shift in remaining teeth, an inability to bite and chew properly, as well as a sagging facial appearance, which makes one appear older than they are.
Anatomy of an Implant
While many patients have heard about dental implants, they don’t truly know what they are. If you are considering a dental implant, it is important to know all aspects of a dental implant.
Post: The post is a small piece of titanium, similar to a screw. Titanium is used for this part because it is naturally compatible with your body and the body is likely to accept the implant. The post is not visible after the completion of the implant.
Abutment: The abutment is attached to the post and can be visible before the placement of the implant or restoration. The abutment is used to attach the tooth restoration to the post and keep it securely in place.
Restoration: The tooth restoration is the piece of the implant that looks like your natural tooth. The composition of your restoration will depend largely on the position in your mouth and the type of tooth that it is replacing. Porcelain restorations are most often the material recommended because it offers a strong surface that also closely mimics natural teeth.
Benefits of Implants
We often recommend dental implants as the best replacement option for failed teeth as they provide the best benefits, including:
Enhance Appearance - they fill in gaps where teeth are missing for a new, complete and more attractive look.
Boost Self-Confidence - missing teeth can cause you to feel embarrassed and dental implants help restore your confidence.
Improved Speech - missing teeth can make it difficult to speak clearly; however, dental implants improve your ability to articulate clearly and communicate more easily.
Permanent Solution - dental implants can last a lifetime with proper maintenance.
Restored Chewing Function - teeth are essential for chewing, and it may be difficult or uncomfortable to eat certain foods when teeth are missing. Additionally, individuals who wear dentures must refrain from eating certain foods. Dental implants allowing you to enjoy all of the foods you love, again.
Natural-Looking Results - implant restorations are customized to fit your shape, color and style.
Improved Self-Perception - there is often a negative social stigma associated with missing teeth. Dental implants can undoubtedly change the way others perceive you.
Support - when a tooth is missing, the surrounding, natural teeth tend to shift, causing further problems with the functionality of your bite and smile.
Enhance Comfort - dental implants fuse with the jaw bone, simulating a natural tooth structure. You won't ever be aware of the implants. Plus, there is no shifting, moving or falling out as removable dentures tend to.
Types of Implants
A dental implant provides several advantages over other tooth replacement options. Not only do they look and function like a natural tooth, but a dental implant also replaces a single tooth without sacrificing the health of neighboring teeth. This is the best tooth-replacement option.
Hybrid Implant Denture
Hybrid Implant Dentures are very similar to Implant Retained Dentures with one significant difference, they are a permanent option. These dentures can only be removed by a dental professional. The process is also very similar, but will typically require more implants and possibly bone grafts, to ensure your jaw is strong enough to support the implant. If you’re looking for the best denture option, Hybrid Implant Dentures are just that.
Implant Retained Denture
Unlike conventional dentures, implant-retained dentures won’t move or slip, they are more comfortable and function just like natural teeth. There is no need for messy adhesive and you won’t experience any of the typical mouth irritations from traditional dentures, like mouth sores. The required maintenance on Implant Retained Dentures is easy, as you can remove them for quick cleaning.
This process is pretty straight forward, this includes the removal of any remaining teeth and placement of implants for the dentures to securely latch to.
When multiple teeth are missing, implant-supported dental bridges may be the best option. The difference between traditional removable bridges and implant-supported bridges is that they do not rely on surrounding natural teeth for support.
Am I a Candidate for Implants?
Although dental implants are successful for the majority of individuals. This doesn’t make it the best course of treatment for everyone. For implants to be successful, the bone must heal around the post (osseointegration). If you don’t have sufficient healthy bone in your jaw, osseointegration may not be successful, this means the implant post isn’t secure. If we do not feel you have the proper bone structure that is required for Implants we may suggest an alternative treatment plan.
Why are Implants Better than Dentures?
Dentures present difficulty eating, while they can restore a person’s ability to eat, hard or sticky food can still present a problem. Eating these foods could cause pain, may dislodge the dentures or can even risk breaking them.
Implants can create difficulty speaking. Patients may also find their dentures click or whistle.
Discomfort. Dentures can feel very strange and although patients may get used to them, the overall comfort and fit of this appliance can be an issue. This typically remains a problem as the gums and jawbone will continue to change shape over time, increasing the chance of your denture no longer fitting.
Are you considering one of our treatment options? Request an appointment with our Point Meadows Dental team today!
Give us a call today to schedule your consultation! (904)373-4777
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