Dental Specialties

What Is An Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon (OMS)?

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dentists specializing in surgery of the mouth, face, and jaws. After four years of dental school, surgeons receive four to seven years of hospital-based surgical and medical training, preparing them to do a wide range of procedures including all types of surgery of both the bones and soft tissues of the face, mouth, and neck.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that their teeth appear natural and that their facial contours will be preserved. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone integrates with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.

Dental implants are changing the way people live! With dental implants, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh, and enjoy life.

If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by Dr. Kopper or by a specialist (an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or periodontist) suggested by our practice. Your questions and concerns are important to us. Out team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.

Procedure

Dental implants are metal anchors that act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.

For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, our office designs the final bridgework or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.

After the implant has integrated with the jawbone, the second phase begins. The oral surgeon or periodontist will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. Then, Dr. Kopper will be able to begin making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Following this, posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The teeth replacements are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.

What Is A Periodontist?

Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. They have had extensive training with two additional years of study after dental school. As specialists they devote their time, energy, and skill to helping patients care for their gums. A periodontist is one of the eight dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association.

Why Is Your Dentist Referring You To A Periodontist?

Your dentist has determined that your gums require special attention. The periodontist and dentist work together as a team to provide you with the highest level of care. They will combine their experience to recommend the best treatment available to you while keeping each other informed on your progress. By referring you to the specialist, your dentist is showing a strong commitment to your dental health.

What Is An Endodontist?

The endodontist examines, diagnoses, and treats diseases and destructive processes, including injuries and abnormalities of dental pulps and periapical tissues of the teeth.

Endodontists examine patients and interpret radiographs and pulp tests to determine pulp vitality and periapical tissue condition. They evaluate their findings and prescribe a method of treatment to prevent loss of teeth.

What Is A Prosthodontist?

The prosthodontist examines and diagnoses disabilities caused by loss of teeth and supporting structures. They formulate and execute treatment plans for the construction of corrective prostheses to restore proper function and aesthetics of the mouth, face, and jaw.

What Is A Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist has at least two additional years of training beyond dental school. The additional training focuses on management and treatment of a child’s developing teeth, child behavior, physical growth and development, and the special needs of children’s dentistry. Although either a general dentist or pediatric dentist is capable of addressing your child’s oral health care needs, a pediatric dentist, his or her staff, and even the office décor are all geared to care for children and to put them at ease. If your child has special needs, care from a pediatric dentist should be considered.

What Is An Orthodontist?

An orthodontist prevents and treats mouth, teeth, and jaw problems. Using braces, retainers, and other devices, an orthodontist helps straighten a person's teeth and correct the way the jaws line up.

Orthodontists treat children for many problems, including crowded or overlapping teeth or problems with jaw growth and tooth development. These tooth and jaw problems may be caused by tooth decay, losing baby teeth too soon, accidents, or habits like thumb sucking. These problems also can be genetic or inherited.

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