Dr. Ian Gibbs is an expert oral surgeon who treats his patients with great compassion, and is sensitive to their needs and concerns.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
Fear or anxiety over dental treatment is common for most people, especially when facing surgical procedures. Oral Surgeons are trained to become experts in all aspects of pain and anxiety control, including general anesthesia/deep sedation, and conscious sedation. You’ll receive drugs via an IV line, go to sleep and have no memory of the procedure. During the surgery, your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing will be carefully monitored. When the procedure is complete, the anesthesia will be flushed from your body and you’ll wake up.
Wisdom teeth usually begin to come in between the ages of 17 and 21. Dentists call these teeth third molars. Wisdom teeth that are healthy and properly positioned can be an asset. In most cases, though, wisdom teeth remain impacted, trapped beneath the gum and bone and against the teeth in front of them. They may erupt only partially, often because other teeth crowd the jaw. Partially erupted teeth may tilt sideways and cause damage to adjacent teeth.
An impacted tooth simply means that it is “stuck” and cannot erupt into function. Patients frequently develop problems with impacted third molar (wisdom) teeth. An impacted tooth can lead to an infection called pericoronitis. If untreated, this infection can spread to the throat or into the neck. Severe infections require a hospital stay and surgery. Impacted teeth also can get cavities. An impacted tooth can push on the neighboring molar. This can lead to tooth movement, decay or gum disease. It also can change the way your teeth come together.
Dental implants are titanium metal cylinders that replace tooth roots. They are surgically placed into the jaw bone where the bone grows into them and locks them in place. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them. Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth. Dentures and bridges mounted to implants won’t slip or shift in your mouth – an especially important benefit when eating and speaking. This secure fit helps the dentures and bridges as well as individual crowns placed over implants feel more natural than conventional bridges or dentures.
Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. Today we have the ability to grow bone where needed. An oral surgeon may talk to you about undergoing a bone graft for dental implants if he believes that your jaw bone is too thin or soft to keep the implant in place in its current state.
A sinus lift is surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw in the area of your molars and premolars. It’s sometimes called a sinus augmentation. Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum and protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration. This is called guided bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration.
Oral Surgeons diagnose and manage patients with diseases of the oral and maxillofacial region, including cysts, benign and malignant tumors, soft tissue, and severe infections of the oral cavity and salivary glands. The reconstruction of the mouth and face following the removal of tumors represents the ability of the oral and maxillofacial surgeon to return patients to optimum levels of appearance and function.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, experience tightening of your jaw muscles and stress to your TM joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the “cushion” of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking or a grating noise when you open your mouth or trouble opening your mouth wide.