Debunking 3 Misleading Myths About Dental Implants

It’s estimated that 69% of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 have at least one missing tooth, and one in four over the age of 74 have lost all their natural teeth. Many people say that dental implants are the tooth replacement option that most closely resembles the look and feel of natural teeth. But before you determine whether dental implants are the right tooth replacement option for you, it’s important to understand the truth behind the many myths of the surgery. Here are just a few common misconceptions you may hear about dental implant procedures.

Dental Implants Are High-Maintenance

This myth may have arisen from the fact that many other options for tooth replacement do have some maintenance involved. But dental implants are different — they don’t require any more maintenance or care than your normal teeth. This is true whether you have partial dental implants or single-tooth implants. You can still eat and drink all the foods you used to prior to the dental implant surgery. If you’re still uncertain, just ask your dental implant surgeon.

Dental Implant Patients Have A Long Recovery Time

This is a subjective statement, but it’s just not true. The healing period is different for all dental implant patients, but it typically lasts anywhere between four and six months. However, it’s important to keep in mind that unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants are the most durable and have an incredibly long lifespan. The only reason the extended healing time is needed for some patients is that the dental implant root needs enough time to correctly bond to the bone and provide a solid adhesion. For most patients, it’s completely worth the wait.

Dental Implants Are Painful/Uncomfortable

This is a complete myth. When placed and maintained properly, you should feel no pain at all. Some patients do report slight discomfort during and after the procedure, but it’s to a much lesser degree than other replacement options.

Ultimately, understanding the truth behind these misleading misconceptions is the key to determining whether dental implants are right for you. For more information about oral surgery procedures, contact Implant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of Washington.

What to Know About Drinking After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth removal is an outpatient procedure done on 5 million Americans every year. In fact, you probably know a great number of people who have undergone the surgery themselves. Ultimately, every patient’s experience is different, but there are a few things every person should and shouldn’t do before and after. One of those things relates to drinking alcohol after you have your teeth removed. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to indulging in alcohol after tooth extraction.

Alcohol After Tooth Extraction: What to Do

Imagine it’s summer and you have several graduation, birthday, and other parties lined up. But you just had your wisdom teeth removed. It can be kind of hard to decide whether you can partake in any alcohol-related activities following your procedure, even if the procedure was done a few weeks back. Before hopping on the beer or wine train, ask yourself if you are still taking (or are supposed to be taking) medication. If you are still taking any type of medication for potential pain following the procedure, you are going to need to read the label on the bottle. If the prescription label tells you to stay away from alcohol, you need to do that.

Alcohol After Tooth Extraction: What Not to Do (And the Risks)

If you are still on pain medication for your wisdom teeth, the pill bottle will probably instruct you not to drink. Mixing alcohol and pain medication can cause some serious issues both in your mouth and the rest of your body. You can cause some serious damage to your liver, could fall asleep at the wheel if you choose to drive after drinking while on medication, and can be more susceptible to falling or becoming injured. Ultimately, if you’re still taking any type of medication, whether the prescription label or does you to avoid it or not, just say no to drinks for a few weeks.

When it comes to wisdom tooth removal or wisdom tooth extraction, there is much more to think about other than your teeth themselves. If you are in the situation where you’re given the opportunity to have a drink following your procedure, look above at what you shouldn’t do and what you should do.

Do Wisdom Teeth Affect Braces?

For those people who have wisdom teeth, they usually erupt in early adulthood. Wisdom teeth may cause dental issues like overcrowding, especially if they’re impacted. However, many people have plenty of room for their wisdom teeth and they have no problems with them. During this age frame, many people also get braces or just have them removed. People are often concerned that the eruption of their wisdom teeth will affect the progress they’ve made with braces.


Like previously stated, many people have their wisdom teeth come in with no problems. The teeth grow in straight and don’t affect the person’s bite. So overall, no, wisdom teeth do not cause significant overcrowding in the front of the mouth or severely disrupt any progress that was made with dental work like braces. However, if they do not come in correctly or if a person’s jaw simply doesn’t have room for the new teeth, they can cause overcrowding among the back teeth.

It’s important to note that wisdom teeth are not the sole reason a person’s teeth begin to move. It’s been confirmed that people’s teeth move over time with or without the help of wisdom teeth. Additionally, when people have their braces removed, they may neglect to wear their retainers. Without the use of the retainer, a person’s teeth may begin to shift again.

While wisdom teeth may not necessarily cause a major issue with the dental progress that has been made with braces, there may still be reasons to have a wisdom tooth extraction. There are many wisdom tooth concerns that may call for tooth removal surgery, including:

Crowding of back teeth

Infected gums

Bone defects

Root resorption

Dental diseases

If a wisdom tooth becomes impacted or doesn’t erupt straight up, this can cause significant problems for the person. While some people may experience absolutely no problems with their wisdom teeth or get lucky enough to not have any of these extra molars at all, others may experience problems with them. Fortunately, impacted tooth removal is a common procedure and can provide relief from any pain and discomfort caused by these teeth. In fact, wisdom teeth removal is more common than dental implant procedures, which about three million people have every year.

It’s important to remember that it’s perfectly normal for your teeth to move as you age. If your wisdom teeth are beginning to come in and are causing you pain and discomfort, your dentist may refer you to an experienced oral surgeon to discuss having them removed.

Understanding Dental Implant Procedures

Dental and jaw issues can range from irritating to downright horrible. One of the worst issues pertaining to dental problems, however, is that they don’t discriminate. Obviously, the elderly and individuals who don’t take care of their teeth are more susceptible to serious tooth problems, but they can strike anyone at any time.

When dental issues become too severe, teeth removal might be the only option. Sadly, a large percentage of American adults have lost either one or multiple teeth over the years — and some have lost more than just a few teeth. In fact, according to prosthodontists, more than 35 million Americans are currently missing all their teeth in either one or both jaws.

Luckily, there are quality dental implants that you can have placed inside your mouth that look good as new and feel stronger than ever. Dental implant surgery, though it sounds intimidating, isn’t nearly as scary as you might think. Your best bet to calming your nerves before, during, or even after an invasive dental procedure is to speak with an experienced oral surgeon.

These skilled surgeons have years of experience with all kinds of dental problems, so no matter how poor quality your teeth are or how severe your dental problems can get, they have seen worse and will know exactly how to help you.

Though talking to a dental professional before an invasive procedure is important when you’re feeling worried, another reason you should meet with an experienced oral surgeon is so that you can be fully prepared for your dental implant surgery. Your dental professional will inform you of everything you need to do before your dental procedure.

If you want to learn more about dental implant procedures (or additional oral surgery procedures), or simply speak with an experienced oral surgeon to help quell your fears, contact Implant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of Washington right away.


Can Wisdom Tooth Pain Cause Ear Pain or Sore Throats?

In early adulthood, many people experience their wisdom teeth erupting from their gums. Wisdom teeth are molars that grow in the back of the mouth. It is believed that wisdom teeth were helpful to distant ancestors who had diets that consisted of rougher, tougher foods and needed them to help them chew those foods. But what can we expect from wisdom teeth today? This article is going to go over some basics regarding wisdom teeth, including pain and other symptoms.

Problems may arise with wisdom teeth when there isn’t enough room for the teeth to fully come in. This is believed to happen because our distant ancestors had larger jaws to accommodate the extra teeth while most of us today don’t. This can lead to needed a wisdom tooth removal. Fortunately for those who do have enough room, wisdom teeth will come through normally and feel like any other tooth. There may be some occasional pain while the teeth are coming through but once the tooth comes in, the pain will stop. So, when is there serious pain and symptoms?

Unfortunately for most people, their jaws are not large enough to accommodate the new teeth coming in. This can lead to impacted wisdom teeth or even infected wisdom teeth.

An impacted wisdom tooth occurs when it is blocked from fully erupting through the gums. This leads the tooth to be at an angle instead or upright. If this happens, it can lead to a variety of additional problems when impacted tooth removal is not done quickly. While it is possible that some impacted teeth cause no pain or problems, some common symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth may include:

Pain and swelling of the gums

Bad breath

Aches in the jaw area

Difficulty opening the mouth

Tenderness around the swollen gum area


If a wisdom tooth is impacted or fails to erupt correctly, this can also lead to infection. Because of the angle of the tooth, brushing and flossing can prove to be difficult. If food and bacteria get caught between the teeth, tooth decay and infection may occur. Like impacted wisdom teeth, an infection can come with a few common symptoms:

Inflamed, tender gum

Pain around infection

Pus coming from the gum

Swollen lymph glands

A sore throat

Difficulty swallowing


Other medical or jaw conditions like TMJ disorder, which 35 million Americans have been diagnosed with, can increase the pain and symptoms associated with problematic wisdom teeth. Luckily, impacted tooth surgery is extremely common and takes care of any painful symptoms caused by wisdom teeth.

Wisdom tooth removal should be scheduled when wisdom teeth become problematic. You may luck out and have plenty of room for your wisdom teeth or even have none at all. But for those who do have them, it’s important to ask your dentist and oral surgeon about wisdom tooth removal. An experienced oral surgeon will be able to address your situation and figure out the best option for alleviating your pain and discomfort.

Common Signs You Might Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Wisdom teeth removal is an extremely common procedure. Millions of people undergo the process every year. In fact, each year it is performed on 5 million Americans. Fortunately, there are many common signs that signify you might need this tooth removal surgery. Let’s look at a few of them.


Irritation and Pain

An extremely common sign that you need to remove a tooth is oral pain and irritation. If you notice any pain in your mouth or any jaw problems, contact your dentist immediately. They will be able to get you into the office to determine whether it’s your wisdom teeth that need to be removed. While it’s common that is a wisdom tooth problem, the pain could be related to something else completely. Regardless, it’s best to check with your dentist if you find any pain whatsoever.

Hard Time Eating

If you suddenly find yourself having a hard time chewing food you normally enjoy, you might need to get your wisdom teeth removed. Food might be getting stuck in between your gums and your teeth, which could be causing a lot of pain and tenderness. Much like if you’re experiencing a lot of pain, reach out to your dentist if you cannot handle eating foods you typically enjoy. They will do an examination of your mouth, potentially X-rays, and get to the bottom of why it’s hard to chew. There might be a non-surgical way to fix the problem, but almost always, your dentist will suggest wisdom tooth extraction if the evidence is there.

Consistent Sinus Problems

You might think that this is a weird sign that you have to have your teeth removed, but it actually is the case for some people. When the wisdom teeth grow in your upper jaw and need to come out, this could cause you to experience a sinus problem. When teeth grow and move, it puts pressure on your sinuses.

Gum Inflammation

A telling sign that you need your teeth removed is if you experience gum inflammation. Sometimes, you might find that a “flap” develops above your wisdom teeth in the back of your mouth. This flap opens and allows food and other bacteria to enter into the gums. Be wary of this one, as it can cause serious issues. Consult your dentist or oral surgeon if you’re noticing something like this.

Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common oral procedures in the United States. If you’re experiencing any of the problems listed above, chances are it’s time to call the dentist.

What’s Causing My Jaw Pain? Common Conditions That Could Be Responsible

Of all the oral issues you might experience, it’s safe to say that jaw pain might be one of the nastiest. Not only does this pain seem to radiate throughout your mouth, it affects you constantly as you use your mouth to speak and chew throughout the day.
In fact, the only thing worse than the pain itself is being unable to pinpoint the cause. Fortunately, we’re here to help you with that. Let’s take a look at a few common jaw conditions that might be causing your discomfort.

Teeth Grinding
This is probably the most common cause of jaw pain, and you might not even know you’re doing it! While it’s true that many people grind their teeth when they’re stressed out, the majority of teeth grinding actually happens when people are sleeping. If you’ve ever woken up with a sore jaw and aching teeth, sleep-teeth grinding could be the cause! <br>

Wisdom Teeth
As far as jaw pain goes, wisdom teeth are a pretty common culprit. When these teeth come in, they can cause jaw pain, shifting teeth, inflamed gums, and a whole host of other unpleasant symptoms. While they may not require extensive lower jaw surgery, wisdom tooth removal surgery is the best way to relieve this pain. Wisdom teeth extraction benefits include relief from jaw pain and more space in the mouth.

Temporomandibular Disorder
Better known as TMJ Disorder, this condition affects almost 35 million individuals in the United States. It’s also one of the most common answers to the question, “What’s causing my jaw pain?”

Not only can it cause intense and chronic jaw pain, it can also cause a clicking sound when the jaw opens and closes. In severe instances, the disorder may result in an individual’s mouth getting stuck in an open or closed position. If you suspect TMJ is the root of your jaw problems, you should speak to a dentist or experienced oral surgeon right away.

Have you experienced jaw pain in the past? If it’s still bothering you, one of these common jaw conditions could be the cause. Contact an experienced oral surgeon at Implant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of Washington to diagnose and relieve your jaw pain today.

How Did Wisdom Teeth Get Their Name?

Every year, people all around the world have wisdom tooth surgery. Although it’s a common procedure, not many people know a lot about their wisdom teeth. If you have an upcoming wisdom tooth removal or are simply curious, learn how wisdom teeth got their name and why we have them.

The name “wisdom tooth” is said to come from a variety of backgrounds. It may be from the Dutch who call a wisdom tooth “verstandskiezen”, which translates to far standing tooth. “Verstand” can be translated to mean mind or wisdom as well. Others attribute the name to writings in Latin which call the tooth “dens sapientiae”, which translates directly to the wisdom tooth. Or the name simply may have come about when human ancestors noticed the teeth grew in around the same time kids matured and gained wisdom.

Wisdom teeth are the third molars back from the front of your face. But why do they take so long to erupt? Tooth development takes place in a specific order over a course of years. The first molar erupts around the age of six, the second molar around the age of 12, and wisdom teeth usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25.

Unfortunately, because human jaws have become smaller over time, most people don’t have room for their wisdom teeth. So, if most people don’t have room for these molars, you may ask why do we have them? One theory on why we have wisdom teeth is that these teeth come from an ancestor to modern humans who had larger jaws, thus being able to accommodate an extra tooth. On the other hand, another theory says that humans would require this tooth to erupt in the past to replace a lost tooth. Either way, it is assumed wisdom teeth had some use in the past. However, more and more people are born without their wisdom teeth.

If people don’t have room in their mouth for their wisdom teeth, they often need to undergo wisdom tooth extraction or impacted tooth surgery. Due to the lack of space, wisdom molars can become impacted or blocked by the other teeth surrounding them because they don’t have enough room to emerge or develop like the others around.

So, while humans don’t necessarily need wisdom teeth, many people still see them develop in their early adult years. If your wisdom teeth begin to erupt, it’s important to contact an experienced oral surgeon to ensure your wisdom teeth don’t disturb the teeth around them.

Looking for an Oral Surgeon? Make Sure to Ask These 4 Questions

If you’ve been told you need oral surgery, then you need to find the right oral surgeon for your procedure. While checking oral surgeon reviews is a great place to start, you should meet with prospective surgeons in person. This will allow you to ask questions, express concerns, and decide if you’re comfortable with the surgeon or not. With that in mind, let’s look at a few important questions you should ask all prospective surgeons.

What kind of experience does the oral surgeon have?

When choosing an oral surgeon, ensuring they have the proper training and experience to successfully complete your procedure is crucial. After checking oral surgeon reviews, you should ensure that the surgeon graduated from an accredited dental school and completed additional surgical training. Furthermore, your surgeon should regularly complete continuing education courses to stay up-to-date with the latest technology, procedures, and techniques. Additionally, the surgeon you choose should have sufficient experience with your type of procedure. Because of this, it’s important to ask how many similar surgeries they have performed and how successful the outcomes were.

Does the oral surgeon’s office accept your insurance?

While cost should not be the deciding factor, it is important to consider. If the oral surgeon’s office does not accept your insurance or if your insurance will not cover the procedure, it’s important to know the costs you will have to pay. By asking for this information early on, you’ll be able to financially prepare for the procedure. Additionally, you may consider asking about any payment plans the office offers.

What are the details of your procedure?

When it comes time to talk about the actual procedure, you should be informed of exactly what is going to happen. The oral surgeon should be able to walk you through the process and discuss what the desired outcome will be. When you’re asking questions, the oral surgeon should be patient and answer all your questions to make you feel comfortable.

What is the recovery time after the procedure?

While it varies for the different types of oral surgery procedures, knowing your expected recovery time will be beneficial so you can plan and schedule your surgery accordingly. If you need to take time off work or reschedule events, this is important to know ahead of time. Furthermore, you should find out when you can get back to your normal routine. Oral surgery may require a change in diet, medications, or more. Because of this, it’s important you know when you can resume your usual physical activities after the procedure.

By checking oral surgeon reviews, getting recommendations from friends and family, and meeting with prospective surgeon’s one-on-one, you can ensure you’re going to have the best oral surgeon for your procedure. Dental surgery is not something to be nervous about. Most procedures are very common with low associated risks. In fact, approximately three million people currently have dental implants and about 500,000 more people get implants every year. By ensuring you understand the details of your procedure and picking a surgeon you feel comfortable with, you have nothing to worry ab

Be Wise After Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction: Know These Basic Aftercare Tips

If your dentist says the words “wisdom tooth extraction,” your first instinct is to probably go into panic mode. But fear not, it won’t be as bad as you think. In fact, you’ll probably feel better after they’re out since they’re most likely crowding your other teeth and affecting your oral health. The most important part of the tooth extraction for you is that you follow all aftercare instructions to ensure your incision sites heal properly.

The Importance of Aftercare

Wisdom teeth surgery is an outpatient procedure that is performed on 5 million Americans annually. Fortunately, this means your oral surgeon is going to be experienced enough that you will most likely recover quickly with only minor discomfort. Nonetheless, you should not take aftercare instructions lightly. Infections and dry sockets are a possibility, and you should do your best to prevent them from happening.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Healing Tips

Aftercare for a wisdom tooth removal is not overly complicated. You will experience some minor temporary discomfort, so we’ll discuss some post-extraction healing instructions on how to handle these issues.

Swelling: To reduce swelling and bruising, you can apply ice packs to the outside of your mouth intermittently. But depending on your situation before the extraction, your dentist may recommend using a warm compress rather than something cold.

Bleeding: After your surgery, you should expect some bleeding. Your dentist will tell you how long to keep a gauze pad over the extraction site for, depending on how heavy the bleeding is. After the initial bleeding stops, you shouldn’t experience any more bleeding.

Food and Drink: You should try to limit your eating and drinking for the first few hours following surgery. But it is important to drink a good amount of fluids to keep hydrated after the bleeding has stopped. When you’re feeling ready to eat, you should try to stick to soft foods like pudding, jello, and mashed potatoes. This will reduce the risk of aggravating the extraction site or leaving food particles in the sockets.

Mouth Care: To avoid dislodging the blood clots at the extraction sites, you should not rinse vigorously or use a straw. Additionally, you should avoid drinking alcohol or smoking after tooth extraction. You should brush your teeth the night of the surgery, but be very gentle and avoid the surgical area.

Along with this basic wisdom tooth extraction aftercare, it’s important to take prescribed medication like pain medicine or antibiotics as directed by your oral surgeon.

After your wisdom tooth extraction, your pain and discomfort should lessen every day. If you’re experiencing more pain, swelling, bleeding, or develop a fever, it’s important to contact your dentist right away.

Surgery can be scary, but just know that by following any directions your experienced oral surgeon gives you, you should recover quickly and remain just as wise as you were with your wisdom teeth intact.