Inland Institute Oral and Maxillo-Facial Surgery

How Does BOTOX® Work?

How Does BotoxYou’ve heard that BOTOX® helps with wrinkles, but how does it work? First we have to ask the question:

Why do I have wrinkles?
In addition to the natural breakdown of cells from exposure to sun and general aging, wrinkles also happen as a result of muscle contractions (expressions). As you move your muscles back and forth all day and night, your skin moves with them. This causes the skin to become loose over time and settle into unwanted patterns (worry lines, crows feet) that make patients feel like they look older.

Enter BOTOX®
BOTOX® comes from a chemical called Clostridium botulinum, which interrupts the signals that allow targeted muscles to receive signals to move. This means that the little muscles that push and pull your skin can be temporarily stopped, and your skin will remain in the state it is now, at least temporarily.

What is the process?
With a quick, painless appointment right here in our office, we can give you a BOTOX® treatment that will reduce the look of lines and wrinkles around the eyes and forehead for 3-4 months.

There’s a reason that BOTOX® is so popular!

Have more questions? Give us a call! We’ll let you know if a BOTOX® treatment is right for you.

Dental Implants: FAQ

Dental implants are becoming more and more popular these days, and we can see why. The ability to replace a missing tooth with a brand new one is an attractive concept.

Dental Implant FAQWe know that people often have questions about implants, so we have put together this page to answer those common questions:

What is a dental implant?
Implants are artificial teeth that function exactly like your natural teeth. We take a titanium screw, attach it to your jaw, allow the jaw to grow around the screw, and then fit the new tooth in right where the old one used to be. It will feel exactly like your old tooth used to when you had it.

How quick is the procedure?
It depends on just how strong and healthy your jaw is. Your jaw may very well be ready to receive the new tooth quickly, but it may also take time to grow around the screw. If your jaw is weak, we can also transplant bone from other parts of your body first, via another procedure called “bone grafting”, to grow a fresh, strong base where the screw can be inserted. If that is the case, the whole process takes more time, but again, it depends on your case.

Does it hurt?
No. Medications and anesthesia are available to reduce or eliminate pain. You shouldn’t feel a thing.

Since it’s an artificial tooth, do I need to care for it as if it were alive?
You should clean and maintain your implant exactly like you do with your living teeth. Though the implant isn’t going to die, it can still allow bacteria to build up, like your other teeth do. Clean all of your teeth with care, and they should all stay healthy.

How long do they last?
If your implant is taken good care of, it should last a long, long time. Perhaps 40 years and sometimes even a lifetime!

What should I eat after the procedure?
Eat soft food. We will help you decide on a diet that works for you depending on the specifics of your case and treatment.

Have more questions? Call us! We would be glad to set up an evaluation.

The Miracle of Bone Grafting

The Miracle of Bone GraftingBone grafting is something of a miracle. Although you only get one set of bones, it’s actually possible to convince your body to repair itself with new bone material where you need it most. We aren’t talking about growing a whole femur. We’re talking about growing just enough bone material to strengthen weak spots in your jaw.

Why would I ever need this?
Let’s say you need a dental implant. You’re sick of that hole in your mouth where one of your teeth used to be, and you’re ready for a shiny new tooth to fill the gap. The problem is, your bone just isn’t strong enough to support the implant. Maybe you have periodontal disease, and the jaw bone is just too weak. Bone grafting may be necessary.

How does it work?
Simply put, bone grafting is the process of taking a little bone material from another site in your body and placing it where it is most needed. The healthy bone then fuses with the weak bone and encourages your body to grow more bone in the site, rebuilding the area to the point where it can support an implant.

There are a few ways to do this.
Sophisticated sounding terms to impress your friends:

  • Autogenous bone graft: Bone is removed from another site in your body and transplanted to where you need it. If you need just a little bone, it can be taken from another site in your mouth. But if there is not enough good material in your mouth, or you need a sizable amount, it can be taken from your hip, or your shin.
  • Allograft: Synthetic bone can be grown in a lab, or taken from a cadaver bone. This is a perfectly safe, proven procedure, though your best bet is always your own bone material. Your body knows there’s just no place like home.
  • Xenograft: Cow bone. Yes. Your body will accept cow bone. In this scenario, no secondary donor site is needed, so it may be a great option if you are uncomfortable with having bone taken from another site in your body. This is a perfectly safe procedure. Your jaw can be beefed up with bovine bone.

No online article will let you know for sure whether or not you need bone grafting, but it is good to know something about it. Give us a call and come on down for a consultation, and we’ll let you know exactly what we think the best option is for you.

What is Orthognathic Surgery?

What is Orthognatic SurgeryOrthognathic surgery is a procedure, or set of procedures, that make corrections to the jaw. The jaw serves many functions. It isn’t just for chewing. A healthy jaw also plays an important role in your speech, ability to sleep well, as well as maintain a proper bite, airflow, and facial symmetry.

Your jaw can be misaligned for a number of reasons. Perhaps you suffered an injury that wasn’t corrected properly. Maybe things just grew that way. It may very well be that a slight misalignment is no issue, but it’s worth giving us a call to find out just how severe your misalignment is, and what it means for your health.

Reasons to ask about jaw surgery:

Unexplained Pain
Sometimes, unexplained pain elsewhere in the body is caused by the activities of your jaws. Your headaches and even neck pain may be the result of excessive pressure in your jaw due to grinding or bite issues.

Air Flow
The position of your jaw can also restrict air flow while you sleep. Misaligned jaws are a common cause of sleep apnea. It could very well be that your fatigue and stamina issues stem from a misaligned jaw.

Mechanical Problems
If you have trouble chewing, meeting your lips together or can see a visible imbalance in your appearance, it may be that you have jaw misalignment issues that can be corrected with surgery. It is also worth noting that a great deal of jaw issues cannot be detected by looking in the mirror, but we think it’s a good place to start.

A Common Treatment Plan:

Your treatment plan will depend on your needs, but for a major jaw correction we often start with braces to move teeth into a better position, and then surgically correct the position of your jaw. This happens after a consensus is made between your family dentist, a maxillofacial surgeon an orthodontist and yourself.

Surgery is done under anesthesia, so you won’t feel a thing while the procedure occurs.

Afterward, you’ll be given a schedule to modify your diet, activity, and be given medication so as to heal as soon as possible

Contact us for a consultation to see if corrective jaw surgery is for you!

10 Winter Skin Tips That Last a Lifetime

10-Winter-Skin-TipsLet’s face it: dull, dry winter skin makes you look older. Just think back to summer when your skin was tan (fake, hopefully), taut, and glowing. Even in milder climates, winter skin is simply not the same as its moist, vibrant summer counterpart!

If you wake up in the winter feeling parched, you are not imagining it. Winter air is cooler, and cannot hold as much water as warm summer air. That combined with the use of a furnace create dry conditions that are not only uncomfortable for skin, but that also contribute to fine lines and a dull, scaly look.

All of these tips give skin instant relief and, at the same time, provide for healthier, younger looking skin down the road. Many of the signs of aging are due to a lack of care early on in life. Take care of your skin, and it will take care of you.

  1. Humidifiers: Increase the humidity in your room while you sleep with a warm or cool mist humidifier. Just be sure to follow the instructions for cleaning and sanitizing your humidifier exactly to avoid mold and bacteria problems.
  2. Hydrating Scrubs: A mixture of honey and sugar makes an easy DIY body scrub that is designed to hydrate, reduce inflammation and increase circulation.
  3. Lactic Acid Products: A powerful exfoliant, great for scaly winter skin and an excellent moisturizer at the same time, look for lactic acid washes, lotions and bath additives to bring back your glow.
  4. Oil and Lotion: Use an oil cleanser all over your body in the shower, and then slather on moisturizer after rinsing and gently towel drying.   The lotion will help keep the oil residue close to your skin.
  5. Shower Quickly: One of the worst things you can do for dry skin is to take a long, hot shower. This habit strips your skin of much needed moisture.
  6. Be Gentle: Use fine particle exfoliators and sensitive skin formulas in the winter.
  7. Sleep in Moisture: Slather lotion on very thickly (so that it is still visible) and then sleep in gloves and socks.
  8. Overnight Masks: There are a variety of overnight masks that can help with increasing moisture in the skin while you sleep!
  9. Body Care: It’s not just your face that is suffering from dry air, your neck, the backs of your hands and even your knees and elbows are common sites of obvious aging, so take extra care with them too.
  10. Sunblock: Yes, you must wear sunblock year-round, including during winter months.

If you are looking to take the next step toward a younger look, ask us about our cosmetic services!

6 Reasons to Consider Dental Implants

6 Reasons-for-Considering-Dental-ImplantsLoss of permanent teeth is more common than you’d think. The average adult age 20-34 is missing 1 permanent tooth, the average adult age 35-49 is missing 3 permanent teeth, and the average adult over the age of 50 is missing 6 permanent teeth! There are a variety of different tooth replacement options, but we believe that dental implants offer the most success, with the best aesthetics and functionality. Take a look at just a few of the many benefits of dental implants!

  1. Long-lasting. Dental implants are designed to be the permanent solution for missing teeth. Dental bridges last 5-10 years and crowns last 10-15 years, but dental implants can last 20 years, even a lifetime with proper dental care, making them a cost-efficient alternative to other modes of tooth replacement.
  2. No cavities. Because they are made of titanium, dental implants are not subject to decay. They also don’t put stress on other teeth, which helps avoid tooth erosion.
  3. Like natural teeth. Dental implants are natural-looking and fully functional. Unlike dentures, which are bulky and removable, cause sores and require the application of adhesive, dental implants are comfortable, permanent fixtures that don’t interfere with eating or speaking. And, because pressure is applied to the jaw bone when you bite down on dental implants, chewing with dental implants doesn’t feel any different from chewing with your natural teeth.
  4. Preserve jaw bone. Without a tooth to support, the jaw bone begins to atrophy, and this bone degradation makes the replacement of missing teeth nearly impossible without the help of jaw regenerative procedures such as bone grafting.
  5. Appearance. Your teeth play an important role in supporting your facial structure. Missing teeth can cause your features to sag and your face to lose shape, which tends to have an aging effect. Replacing missing teeth works wonders for improving your appearance and helping you look younger.
  6. Tooth stability. When you’re missing a tooth, your surrounding teeth are no longer stabilized and they start to shift out of position. Dental implants secure teeth in place and, as a result, prevent severe problems such as periodontal disease and further tooth loss.

Schedule a consultation with us if you’re ready to transform your smile!

Understanding Bone Grafting

Understanding-Bone-GraftingTooth loss as a result of periodontal (gum) disease, facial trauma or tooth extractions can cause the jaw bone to atrophy, as it no longer has something to support. As if bone deterioration isn’t bad enough, tooth replacement requires a solid foundation, meaning that patients with jawbone degeneration aren’t candidates for dental implants. Fortunately, our state-of-the-art restorative techniques allow us to augment areas with inadequate bone structure so we can restore your smile! We have the answers to all your bone grafting questions below, so keep reading!

What is bone grafting?
During a bone grafting procedure, the jawbone is restored so it can support a dental implant. An incision is made in the gum and the bone graft material is transplanted into the jawbone. There are four types of bone grafts:

  1. Autogenous: bone grafts are harvested from other parts of your body, such as the chin or hip. They are the most effective because using your own living cells promotes natural bone growth.
  2. Allogenic: bone grafts are donor grafts collected from tissue banks.
  3. Xenogenic: bone grafts are harvested from other species, typically bovine donors.
  4. Synthetic: bone grafts are artificial bone material composed of calcium phosphates

When is bone grafting necessary?
Bone grafting procedures are routinely performed in preparation for dental implants. This is due to the fact that the implants are unable to anchor themselves into a stable foundation unless the jawbone is adequate.

How long after bone grafting can I get dental implants?
Minor bone grafting can be done the same day as dental implants, but major bone grafting requires downtime between procedures. Dental implants will be placed 4-9 months after your bone grafting procedure once the major bone grafts have had time to fuse with your natural jawbone. We will decide the best time to place your dental implants based on your recovery.

Give us a call if you think bone grafting can get you on track to replace missing teeth for natural, lasting, functional results!

Wisdom Teeth FAQs

Wisdom-Tooth-FAQOur patients often wonder why we recommend wisdom tooth extractions, or what the purpose of wisdom teeth even is. We are eager to help you better understand the benefits of removal and the extraction process! Read on for the answers to some frequently asked questions about those tricky third molars.

Why do we have wisdom teeth?
Human ancestors used their wisdom teeth to grind up food that was hard to digest. They had large jaws and powerful teeth with plenty of room for a third set of molars.

Modern humans, however, eat cooked foods and have a more effective digestive system, so we have evolved smaller jaws and teeth. This means less room in our mouths for wisdom teeth.

Why do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed? 
There are several reasons why you may benefit from having your wisdom teeth extracted, as wisdom teeth can cause a variety of short-term and long-term complications.

  • Impaction: If there is not enough room for your wisdom teeth to erupt, they can become impacted, causing them to grow in at an angle. You may experience pain or discomfort while eating due to impaction.
  • Damage to other teeth: Impacted wisdom teeth can push against your second molars, potentially damaging them and making them more susceptible to tooth decay.
  • Disease: Narrowed spaces between molars due to impaction also allows for bacteria to form more easily, putting you at risk of inflammation, cysts, and periodontal (gum) disease.

When should I get my wisdom teeth out? 
Wisdom teeth usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25, which means that many people get their wisdom teeth extracted before they graduate high school. The longer you wait, the more complications may arise. The roots of your wisdom teeth continue growing as you get older and may eventually come in contact with a nerve. At this point, nerve damage is a possible outcome of wisdom tooth extraction.

When are wisdom teeth okay to keep?
Sometimes, wisdom teeth have room to erupt healthily and do not need to be extracted. If this is the case, your dentist may recommend you keep your third molars.

Make sure you are coming in for regular check ups so our team can keep an eye on your wisdom teeth. Consult with our practice about the right course of action for your wisdom teeth, because everyone’s teeth are different.

BOTOX®: The Lunch Hour Wrinkle Remedy

Botox-LunchHave you ever heard of “Lunch Hour Plastic Surgery”? The term is fun, but a bit misleading, as most cosmetic surgery procedures (and surgery in general, for that matter), obviously require more than just an hour to recover.

However, there is a cosmetic procedure that can be done on a patient’s lunch hour. BOTOX® is a great lunch time “fix” for fine lines and wrinkles on the face! You may be surprised to know that many of our patients come to us during their lunch break for BOTOX® injections. Because the procedure typically takes less than five minutes, we can usually have you in and out and back to your office in about an hour.

BOTOX® works by relaxing the muscles that cause the wrinkles. The results are temporary, so most patients come back to us every three months or so for retreatment.

Here are some things to know about BOTOX®:

Location: BOTOX® injections are most effective on fine lines and wrinkles of the forehead and around the eyes such as worry lines between the eyes, crow’s feet and horizontal lines on the forehead.

Results: Results take about 5 days to fully develop and last about 3-4 months.

Pain Rating: There is very little discomfort associated with BOTOX® injections.

Benefits: BOTOX® is a temporary fix for wrinkles, but it also helps to prevent new wrinkles from forming.

So if you have an hour and would like to take care of those fine lines that are bothering you, give us a call! We’ll set you up with a lunch hour BOTOX® appointment!

Preventing Oral Cancer

While we cannot all necessarily prevent cancer from happening, with most cancers, including oral, hePreventing-Oral-Cancerad and neck cancers, there are things that you can do (or not do!) to reduce your risk.

  • Quit Smoking: After five years of quitting smoking, your risk of oral cancer is cut down to just half of that of a smoker.
  • Limit Alcohol: Excessive alcohol use is the second largest risk factor for oral cancer. Limit drinks to one per day for women and two per day for men.
  • HPV Vaccine: HPV is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer (the back of the mouth and throat). HPV is also responsible for a small number of oral cavity cancers (the mouth).
  • Self-Exams: Be an advocate for your own health by regularly examining your mouth with a mirror and flashlight. Don’t forget to look under the tongue! Watch for unusual bumps, patches, different coloring, and report any to us that don’t heal within 14 days. Feel your lips, cheeks, throat and neck for unusual bumps and masses. There are a number of online guides for performing a thorough at home oral cancer self-exam.
  • Have Regular Checkups: Oral health professionals such as dentists and oral surgeons are the second line of defense (after you) in terms of screening for oral cancers. Be sure to ask us any questions that come up during your exam.
  • Eat Well: A healthy diet includes plentiful vegetables and fruits, is low in sugar and saturated fats, and includes lean sources of protein and whole grains. Incorporate new foods into your diet slowly for long lasting results.
  • Exercise: Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day or more!
  • Get Adequate Sleep and Minimize Stress: A lack of sleep and stress both contribute to inflammation which has long been recognized as a player in the cancer game.