Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Dental Implants: Your Questions Answered

oral surgeonNo one wants to feel insecure about their smile or worry about being unable to use their teeth as intended. Unfortunately, that is very much a reality for many people. Thanks to new advancements in the field of dentistry, however, both aesthetics and function can be restored with dental implants. Your oral surgeon can undoubtedly provide you with detailed information about this type of procedure and help to determine whether it’s right for you. But in today’s post, we’re answering some of the most common questions that dental clinicians receive about this treatment option.


What exactly are dental implants?

Essentially, dental implants are prosthetics that are permanently embedded into the jawbone by an oral surgeon. On top of that small titanium post, a crown, bridge, or denture can then be attached a few months later after healing has occurred. It’s a long-term, highly functional solution for people who require tooth replacement.


What are the reasons someone might obtain dental implants?

Someone who has a single missing tooth or several missing teeth might consider dental implants as a welcome alternative to conventional dentures or other options. Whether you’ve had missing teeth your whole life or had to remove certain teeth due to surgery or decay, dental implants may be an option for you.  Dental implants are especially helpful for those individuals who have used conventional dentures that do not fit well enough for them to enjoy eating or smile in public like they used to.


Can anyone with a need for implants have them placed?

Although an estimated 3 million people now have dental implants, not everyone is a viable candidate for this procedure. If you do not have enough bone in your jaw, you may be required to undergo other types of procedures before you can have an implant placed. Those who have advanced periodontal disease may not be able to obtain dental implants due to the progressive nature of that condition. In addition, those who have certain chronic diseases or take certain medications may not be able to undergo this procedure due to a compromised healing process. While most adults are typically good candidates for implants, it’s important to talk to your oral surgeon, whom you can trust to evaluate your concerns and to assess whether you are personally able to have this procedure performed.


Will getting dental implants be painful?

Typically, this procedure will be performed under local anesthesia, meaning that patients will experience little to no pain during the treatment itself. We at East MS Oral & Facial Surgery, however, are well qualified to also provide IV conscious sedation or general anesthesia should you have any dental anxiety issues or concerns.  While the healing process may be slightly uncomfortable, most patients do not experience a great deal of pain. In the majority of cases, any inflammation experienced post-treatment can be addressed with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice packs. Whatever small amount of discomfort you may feel will certainly be offset by your restored function and confidence.


Are implants as strong as natural teeth?

Actually, your oral surgeon will probably tell you that your implants are likely to be stronger than your natural teeth could ever be! Because implants are not prone to dental diseases, these new teeth can last a lifetime with proper care. They also provide much greater functionality than patients would be able to obtain with temporary or removable alternatives. You should be able to enjoy all foods and smile to the fullest knowing that your teeth will literally be made to last.


If you have further questions about dental implants or want to know whether they could be an option for you, we’re here to help. To make an appointment, please contact our offices today.

4 Types of Tooth Pain, Explained

dental clinicTooth pain can range from uncomfortable to downright dreadful. While some very minor pain is nothing to worry about, most types of mouth pain warrant a trip to the dentist.

Some severe types of pain might even need to be treated at an emergency dental clinic. Use this guide to identify which type of pain you have, and what the cause might be. With more information, you’ll be better able to determine the best course of action to protect your oral health.

1. Constant, Dull Pain

This type of tooth pain is the most common. If your pain is minor, constant, and accompanied by mild gum swelling, the pain might not be cause for concern– you could simply have something lodged between your tooth and gum. However, if the pain doesn’t subside after a few good flosses, it might actually be caused by tooth grinding at night, especially if the discomfort extends to your jaw. If pain persists or worsens, contact an oral surgeon to discuss possible causes and solutions.

2. Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitivity doesn’t always cause pain; some patients describe the sensation as tingly. This mild sensitivity can be managed with special kinds of toothpaste. However, for others, sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweets causes short bursts of fairly intense pain. Intense sensitivity or sensitivity that lasts more than 30 seconds could signal tooth decay, which impacts more than 1 in 4 (27%) U.S. adults.

3. Inconsistent, Sharp Pain

Occasional sharp bursts of pain are unpleasant surprises that definitely should be checked out by a dentist. Don’t put off your visit just because the pain isn’t always present. Inconsistent pain that occurs when you bite down, yawn, or touch the affected tooth most often signals physical tooth damage. You may have a tooth fracture or cracked enamel. Act fast and schedule an appointment to prevent that occasional pain from becoming constant.

4. Severe Pain

If your tooth pain is severe, throbbing, and rarely subsides, head to an emergency dentist or oral surgeon. Often, this kind of pain comes with facial or gum swelling which may indicate a dangerous infection. Whatever the cause, if your pain is severe enough to distract you from daily life, let a dentist help you solve the problem. You might need oral surgery or a tooth extraction to finally find relief.

No matter the type, tooth pain can be frustrating and scary. Use this guide to determine what might be causing your discomfort. Recognize when to see an oral surgeon or when to call an emergency dentist, so that your pain doesn’t worsen. For more great tips about protecting your smile, contact East Mississippi Oral and Facial Surgery today!

Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed? Here’s What You Need To Know

tooth extractionsEvery year, 5 million U.S. teenagers and young adults have their wisdom teeth removed. Although tooth extractions like these are common oral procedures, wisdom teeth extraction is still major oral surgery.

That said, it’s important that you get the recommended amount of rest after your surgery and that you follow the instructions of your oral surgeon to a T.

To help put you at ease for your surgery and to make sure you’re properly informed, here are a few things you need to know about getting your wisdom teeth removed.

You’ll need to bring someone with you

Whether you have your license or not, you’ll need to bring someone with you to your oral surgeon’s office on the day of your surgery. This is because you’ll be medicated during your surgery and it’ll take a little while for the effects to wear off.  Minors under the age of 18 are required to have a parent or guardian on the day of surgery.

You will receive general anesthetic via an IV catheter and be placed into a safe and relaxing sleep.  You’ll also receive a local anesthetic first to numb the area of the extractions.

Everyone reacts differently to anesthesia, so it’s recommended to have someone come with you to drive you home. The effects of the medication will wear off within a few hours after the procedure.

You’ll need to keep your head raised.

Rest is important after your wisdom teeth removal, but it’s also important to keep your head raised. This will help to reduce the swelling in your face because it keeps your fluids from going to your head.

After approximately 72 hours, the swelling will begin to subside. It also helps to apply a cold compress to the swollen area during the first 24 hours.

Resist the urge to brush your teeth

You’ll want to avoid brushing your teeth for the first day after your surgery. That includes rinsing and spitting, too. The pressure from your toothbrush can cause problems with your stitches.

If the feeling of your unbrushed teeth really bothers you, you can use a damp cloth and gently wipe your tongue and carefully around the inside of your mouth. You can also use gauze to absorb any blood from your surgery.

Do you need wisdom teeth removal or other tooth extractions?

Tooth extractions are a common practice, especially wisdom teeth removal. An estimated 10 million wisdom teeth are extracted every year, according to the American Public Health Association

If you need your wisdom teeth extracted and you’re looking for a consultation, East Mississippi Oral and Facial Surgery has the professional oral surgeons you need. To learn more about how we treat tooth pain, our wisdom teeth removal procedures, or our TMJ treatments, contact East Mississippi Oral and Facial Surgery today.

TMJ Treatment To Help Relieve Pain

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. When the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles do not work together correctly, symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound occur.

Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and TMJ treatment are important.

If you have trouble opening your mouth wide, suffer from jaw pain, hear a clicking or grating noise when you open your mouth, use the following list to help relieve some of the pain:

1. Apply Heat To The Area Of The Joint

Applying heat to the area of the joint can reduce pain and relax the muscles. For heat, apply to the area for 15-20 minutes.

2. Take Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers

If your pain is too excruciating, taking Advil, Motrin, Aleve or other over the counter anti-inflammatory medications drugs can help. Short-term use of over these medicines can reduce joint and muscle pain.

3. Massage The Jaw and Neck Muscles

Use your fingers and provide a constant, circular motion against the joints and muscles that are most affected by the TMJ pain. Doing this improves blood flow and removes the irritating materials resulting in some pain relief.

4. Eat Soft Foods and Avoid Chewing Gum

Avoid chewing gum, jelly candies or any hard food such as ice or hard candies when big bites are necessary. Chewing gum and hard foods put a strain on the temporomandibular joints, and the muscles surrounding these joints and wear them down.

5. Relax The Jaw

A splint (or nightguard) fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing pain. A nightguard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night.


If you are one of the million people who suffer pain from TMJ, avoid chewing gum, relax the jaw, massage the jaw, apply ice or heat, or take over the counter pain relievers to help with TMJ treatment. If the pain is extreme, contact the oral surgeons at East Mississippi Oral & Facial Surgery, LLC at 601-485-2494 today.