After dental implant surgery, many patients have questions about how to care for their new implant. Dental implants are very similar to natural teeth in construction and durability. While for the most part you can treat your new implant just like your other teeth, there are some things to consider when taking care of your new tooth.
Dr. Hudson recommends patients take the self-care steps below to maintain their implant and stay healthy.
Researchers in Germany recently announced the development of a specialized chewing gum designed to detect peri-implantitis, an infection that weakens the structures that surround and support dental implants. This specialized gum turns bitter in the presence of inflammation, giving people with dental implants an indication that something serious may be developing beneath their gum line.
Although peri-implantitis develops in less than 2 percent of dental implant patients, people with dental implants should be aware of the signs of the disease, and if they experience symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hudson for further examination.
Most people associate wisdom teeth eruption with pain in their mouth, but what about pain in your neck? Dr. Hudson regularly sees patients who have signs and symptoms that their wisdom teeth are erupting but may not have made the connection to their condition because these symptoms seem unrelated. If you’re experiencing these symptoms and think your wisdom teeth may be involved, it’s time to give Dr. Hudson a call.
Wisdom teeth are located in the very back of the mouth, near the ear. The pain of eruption or impaction frequently radiates to the nearby ear. The pain can be similar to an ear infection, causing patients to seek treatment from their doctor, instead of their dentist, for their pain. If the teeth have not erupted, the patient may not realize that their wisdom teeth are causing their ear pain, leaving them frustrated and without answers.
Every year, thousands of people have their wisdom teeth extracted. Even though this surgery is routine with minimal complications, it is important to follow the post-op care instruction given to you by your oral surgeon. Following these instructions is critical for a smooth recovery and will help you minimize infection and pain.
Wisdom teeth must be removed for many different reasons, but one of the main reasons they are removed is because they are impacted. Dr. Hudson sees many cases of impacted wisdom teeth and recommends that patients with impacted wisdom teeth schedule a consultation to discuss extraction.
What Does Impacted Mean?
When a wisdom tooth is said to be impacted, that means it is blocked from fully erupting through the gums. It is very common- with 85 percent of wisdom teeth being impacted. The wisdom teeth are not the only type of teeth that may become impacted, but it occurs less frequently with other types of teeth.
The level of impaction varies from patient to patient. Some patients have a soft-tissue impaction, in which the tooth has made it through the bone, but is still under the gum. Another type of impaction is when part of the tooth has erupted, but part of it still stuck in the jawbone. This is known as partial bony impaction. Finally, if the tooth has not erupted out of the jaw at all, it is known as a complete or total bony impaction.
Why are Impacted Wisdom Teeth a Problem?
Impacted wisdom teeth become a problem when they can pain or affect other teeth. When the tooth cannot erupt upwards as they are supposed to, they can push on nearby teeth. This puts pressure on those teeth and causes pain. This pressure can make the other teeth to shift to make room for the wisdom teeth that are trying to break through. This can impact your smile’s symmetry and make your teeth crooked.
Impacted wisdom teeth are also harder to clean than teeth that are fully erupted, which like the rest of your teeth, leads to decay. The wisdom teeth are so hard to keep clean because they are in a far back and often hard to reach position in the mouth. Decay is extremely difficult to treat in the wisdom teeth, and most dentists don’t recommend it. If decay is not treated, the patient runs the risk of developing infections. Infections of the wisdom teeth are serious- and can be hard to treat.
Is Surgery Recommended for Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Dr. Hudson recommends that impacted wisdom teeth are removed to limit the complications that they can cause- pain, impacts to the smile, infection, and decay.
If you suspect that your wisdom teeth may be impacted, call Dr. Hudson today at 888-724-7986.
The wisdom behind our third set of molars is sarcastic even in name. They begin to appear between the ages of 17-25 which prompted the name "Wisdom Teeth" in the seventeenth century. Teens and young adults lived a very different life back then. Everyone who has ever been 17 (this century) knows it is, in fact, the time in our lives where we lack wisdom the most. From 17-25, most young adults struggle with finding their place and understanding their purpose in life, just as we struggle to understand the purpose of these extra molars.
This explanation makes much more sense for the term "wisdom teeth." Around 90% of the American population has their wisdom teeth removed or will need them removed. Dr. Hudson recommends removing them early in their development, as they often cause problems later in life and are harder to remove. The main reason they are usually extracted is due to the lack of room in the mouth. Usually, the jaw is too small to accommodate them and sometimes the teeth themselves are just too big to fit comfortably. Once crowding begins they can become trapped in the bone and are then labelled "impacted."
There is no definitive evidence on the purpose of wisdom teeth. What we do know is that our ancestors had a very different diet than we do. Most of their food consisted of uncooked nuts, leaves, roots and meats. These required not only stronger teeth but more of them to chew and tear the food. Skulls discovered from these civilizations show larger jaws with more room for this third row of molars that clearly was essential to their ability to consume the foods they needed to survive.
Today, we have sharp knives and fire. Our teeth have a much more luxurious life than those of our ancestors. Our jaws are also smaller and often just don’t have the capacity to hold these many teeth safely and comfortably. Time will tell if human biology decides to eliminate these seemingly unnecessary teeth.
In the meantime, Dr. Hudson is happy to take a look and help you determine whether your wisdom teeth are helping you are hurting you. Give the office a call at 888-724-7986 so we can answer any questions you have and schedule a consultation for you today!
If you’re a parent, you may have kept your children’s teeth as a memento of their childhood. Now researchers are saying that you may want to keep them for other reasons- the dental stem cells found in teeth may be the key to treating diseases and injuries. Dental stem cell banks are popping up across the nation in order to take in the stem cells of baby teeth and wisdom teeth and preserved for use in the future if the patient becomes ill or injured. After you read this blog, may want to hold on to your wisdom teeth after Dr. Hudson removes them!
Dental stem cells are mesenchymal stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells are the stem cells that make up the bones, circulatory system, the skin, and our connective tissues like muscles, tendons, and cartilage. These cells have the ability to grow quickly- with one cell generating into billions of cells.
Each day, one hundred and thirty-two people are diagnosed with oral cancer, totaling over 48,000 people per year. Many of these patients chose not to have an oral cancer screening as part of their regular dental checkup, and as a result, most patients do now they have oral cancer until it becomes visible. Unfortunately, when oral cancer is visible is when the disease is in the third or fourth stage and is harder to treat. As a result of their late diagnosis, many patients face losing teeth, bone and gum tissue, and parts of the tongue, and in some cases, even their lives. Dr. Hudson recommends that all patients choose to have an oral cancer screening performed each year, and helps patients who have lost their teeth to oral cancer by replacing them with dental implants.
As with any surgical procedure, thereis a chance patients who undergo dental implant surgery may develop an infection or access. These situations occur as a result of the bacteria in the mouth infiltrating the surgical wound. Ways to minimize this risk include following post-procedure instructions, maintaining good oral hygiene, and avoiding the use of nicotine and tobacco products. But what if the dental implant itself fought against infection? Dr. Hudson discusses a new, cutting-edge research study that puts antibacterial agents in a special reservoir built inside the implant to help protect patient health.
We get a lot of questions about wisdom teeth here at Dr. Hudson’s office. One of the most popular patient questions we hear is, "Does everyone have wisdom teeth?" Read on to find out the answer to this question and other frequently asked question we field about wisdom teeth.
1. What are wisdom teeth? Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars. They are the last teeth that we get, and come in (usually) at the very back of the mouth, furthest away from the front.
2. What is the function of wisdom teeth? Many scientists believe that wisdom teeth developed in our ancestors as a result of diet. Ancient populations ate hard foods like shelled nuts or tough foods like raw meat. As our diets became softer, the need for these teeth decreased.
3. Do all people have wisdom teeth? While most people have their wisdom teeth, some patients may not have any at all. Other patients may have only one or two. Most patients have all four. Wisdom teeth typically erupt between the ages of eighteen to twenty-five. Lack of wisdom teeth has nothing to do with lacking wisdom, either!
4. Why do some people get them and some people don’t? One of the theories behind missing wisdom teeth is a genetic mutation called MYH16. Another theory is that bigger brain development occurred during human evolution. As a result of bigger brains, there was less room for the third set of molars. Additionally, some patients actually do have wisdom teeth, but they never erupt.
5. Do I have to have my wisdom teeth out? Not everyone has to have their wisdom teeth out. Wisdom teeth have to be extracted if they are impacted, or are blocked by other teeth from erupting. Impacted teeth can result in infection, tooth decay, and even cavities. Wisdom teeth may also have to be extracted if they are causing other teeth to be crowded and shift out of place. You may have some that erupt and others that are impacted. Wisdom teeth that erupt may fit perfectly in your mouth along with your other teeth. Every patient is different, and each wisdom tooth situation is different.
If you have additional questions about wisdom teeth or wisdom tooth extraction, give Dr. Hudson a call today at 1.888.724.7986. He would love to hear from you!
Dental implants have a high rate of success – nearly 99%, according to the American Academy of Endodontists. Success translates to placing implants without any complication or incident and present no problem for the patient. Occasionally an implant fails or has complications. Dr. Hudson discusses why implants can fail, how patients can help to prevent failure and an exciting new breakthrough in dental implant technology.
Infection is the number one reason why dental implants fail. Infections occur when bacteria are present in the gums when the surgery is performed, or after the procedure is completed, during healing. The mouth has a large amount of bacteria – both good and bad. Bad, or illness causing, bacteria can flourish in the mouth as a result of poor dental hygiene practices.
Some patients that come to Dr. Hudson for wisdom tooth extraction have had their wisdom teeth come in with enough room and no complications. While that situation seems ideal, the patient may still need to have their wisdom teeth extracted. This is because wisdom teeth are just like any other teeth in the sense that they are susceptible to developing cavities, but some differences make wisdom teeth different - and more difficult to treat for cavities. Dr. Hudson advises that patients have their wisdom teeth removed to avoid developing cavities in them, and reduce the risk of developing infections.
Wisdom teeth develop cavities for a few reasons. The first reason is that their location simply makes them harder to clean. They are located in the very back of the mouth, so they are hard to reach. The area is also obstructed in part by the back ridge of the lower jaw. This ridge partially covers the wisdom teeth when the mouth is closed, trapping food that can cause decay and bacterial growth. If the tooth is filled as part of a dental restoration, this decay could compromise the filling, and the patient may face needing to have the tooth extracted after all. There are very few dentists willing to fill wisdom teeth, and even less that would be willing to do a root canal to save one. Patients can practice excellent dental hygiene yet still develop cavities in their wisdom teeth because of the difficulty in keeping them clean.
Wisdom teeth have a little bit different of a design than other teeth. Wisdom teeth have more grooves and ridges than other teeth. These grooves and ridges were intended to help tear through or crack foods like raw meat or hard-shelled nut when wisdom teeth developed in our prehistoric ancestors. These grooves and ridges can trap food and accumulate bacteria. This bacteria can turn into plaque, which in turn can lead to periodontal disease.
Many dentists will also not fill wisdom teeth cavities because the teeth are hard to access and difficult to keep dry during the restoration process. Keeping the area dry is crucial to placing the filling. Wisdom teeth may also come in with plenty of room, but may be at odd angles. As a result, many dentists advise against filling cavities in the wisdom teeth and refer patients to Dr. Hudson for extraction. If you have questions about wisdom teeth and cavities or need to schedule your extraction consultation, call Dr. Hudson today at 888.724.7986.
Dr. Hudson and his team at Oklahoma Wisdom Teeth Center understand the anxiety surrounding wisdom teeth extraction and meet many patients who initially prefer to forgo the procedure. "They aren’t bothering me," many patients say to Dr. Hudson, "so I think I’m just going to leave them alone." No harm, no foul, right? Well, not quite. While wisdom teeth may not cause problems in the short term, they can negatively impact your dental health long term.
As more adults are opting out of wisdom teeth extraction, dentists are seeing an increased incidence of periodontal disease in older patients. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection around the teeth and gums which cause inflammation.
On average, adults 52 years and older with wisdom teeth are roughly 1.5 times more prone to suffer from periodontal disease. In a study sponsored by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation, researchers found a link between wisdom teeth and periodontal disease. For patients who opted to keep their wisdom teeth, 60 percent exhibited early gum disease.
Because wisdom teeth are located in the back of the mouth, their position makes them more difficult to clean. As a result, bacteria can infect the gums. This can happen with almost any wisdom teeth situation. However, it becomes more prominent with wisdom teeth that are partially impacted. When the tooth partially protrudes from the gum, it creates what some dentists refer to as "food pockets," a small space where food can become trapped and difficult to remove. Bacteria can then form causing tooth damage and eventually requiring tooth extraction.
Wisdom teeth extraction can be an intimidating procedure, and many patients have likely heard a horror story or two from a friend or family member. Dr. Hudson and his team go to great lengths to ease their patients’ concerns and provide a comfortable and secure experience from start to finish. Contact our office today at 888-724-7986 to schedule an appointment and see if wisdom teeth extraction is right for you.
Wisdom teeth are considered by anthropologists to be vestigial organs, which are parts of the body, like the appendix, which serve no purpose. So why do we develop them when we don’t need them?
Millions of years ago the human jaw was larger. Eons back at the beginning of the evolutionary scale as humans began evolving into a separate species from apes. At that time, hominids were not yet walking upright on their hind legs. Therefore the arms were still occupied by use for mobility. Many scientists theorize that the third set of molars we commonly refer to as wisdom teeth were necessary to function with other teeth in self-defense as well as for capturing and eating prey. A diet of roots and raw meat required much more chewing power than the food humans eat today.
Over time, we evolved to Homo erectus and the arms became the primary tool for obtaining food, and this paved the way for the jaw to shrink and the brain to grow. As the brain developed, early humans began fashioning tools and discovered fire. With the introduction of cutting instruments and capacity to cook food, the human diet became much softer and required far less chewing power, and thus, the need for a third set of molars declined.
At present day, most people begin developing wisdom teeth at ten years of age, reaching full development between the ages of 17-23. With the decrease in the size of the human jaw, for most people, there is no longer room to accommodate this third set of molars, and so allowing them to grow can cause them to become impacted and a whole host of other oral problems.
Dr. Hudson offers wisdom teeth extraction surgery to prevent wisdom teeth from causing pain and other problems. For a consultation, contact out office at 888-724-7986.
Dentures are one of the most common and greatest needs of literally millions of dental patients today. For a variety of reasons, many patients are simply better off without their diseased natural teeth. Although this can be an emotional decision to make, we have found that replacing diseased, dysfunctional teeth with beautiful, more functional and healthy dentures changes lives for the better. Our patient’s lives are often significantly improved due to the presence of healthy, beautiful, and functional mouths. They simply look better, feel better, and eat better.
The removal of multiple diseased teeth is almost always accompanied by a better state of general health for the patient. Our body’s immune system spends a great deal of energy on “walling off” sources of chronic infection such as decayed and diseased teeth. Therefore upon removal of these sources of chronic infection, the body now has more energy and resources to perform other needed tasks, such as controlling blood pressure and blood sugar. We often see an improvement in energy with less daily fatigue. Most of the other organ systems in the body get a boost after the removal of multiple decayed and diseased teeth.
Please understand that the removal of teeth and replacement with dentures should not always be considered “the last resort” for all patients. The removal of teeth in preparation for dentures for one patient may be the treatment of choice; whereas for another patient alternative dental procedures, such as dental implants may be the right thing to do. Although this is a personal decision, it is recommended that it be made with the proper information. An informed decision is always best. Dr. Hudson is available for consult to answer questions and address concerns you may have regarding the removal of teeth in preparation for dentures.
If you need dentures, our office can guide you through the process. Our team will take the time to address your concerns and explain each step of the procedure. Simply give us a call at 888-724-7986 to schedule an appointment, and our office staff will help you get started.
Gums are often overlooked when people think about dental care. As an oral surgeon, Dr. Hudson understands the significance of keeping the gums healthy. It’s impossible to have healthy teeth without healthy gums. He continually stresses the importance of practicing good oral hygiene to his patients, and that includes more than just brushing those pearly whites. The condition and health of your gums is equally important. Without proper care, patients are at risk for periodontal disease, a bacterial infection around the teeth and gums. If a patient comes to Dr. Hudson with a gum infection or periodontal disease any surgery or procedure may be delayed while the infection is treated and cleared up. Here are five ways you can keep your gums healthy:
1. Floss! This is no-brainer, but it’s often a step many people skip. While some patients may find it inconvenient and time-consuming, it’s necessary in preserving gum health. Regular flossing removes plaque that accumulates between the teeth which can develop into tartar, turning into a breeding ground for bacteria.
2. Use Mouthwash Mouthwash is more than just a breath-freshening elixir. It helps protect your teeth and gums from harmful bacteria. Look for an antibacterial mouthwash which can reduce oral bacteria by as much as 75 percent.
3. Munch on gum-healthy foods Yes, onions get a bad rap for their bad-breath inducing tendencies, but they also have some great benefits. Onions have an antimicrobial ingredient that kills certain kinds of bacteria that are often linked to gum disease. Raisins are another gum-healthy food. Research shows that the antioxidants in raisins prevent bacteria growth that can lead to gum disease.
4. Brushing Techniques The way you brush your teeth is just as important as how often you brush them. Use a soft or extra-soft toothbrush, and apply light to medium pressure. Brushing at a 45-degree angle helps properly position the bristles against the gums to remove food and debris.
5. Routine Dental Exams Regular dental exams are vital to maintaining good oral health. This allows your dentist to identify and address any potentially problematic oral issues early on. Schedule routine exams every six months.
Our mouths can quickly turn into a hotbed for bacteria if we aren’t diligent about our oral health. Taking preventative measures to protect your gums helps reduce your risk of developing gum disease. For any questions regarding oral surgery and what you can do to begin the process contact our office today at 888-724-7986.
Missing teeth can greatly affect your quality of life, diminishing your self-confidence and even impacting your diet. For many people, dental implants are the right solution. They’re more hygienic than traditional dentures, won’t decay, and if cared for properly, can last a lifetime. That’s why Dr. Hudson recommends this option to many of his patients. But in addition to these well-known advantages, dental implants can actually help you live a longer, healthier life.
Life Long and Eat Well
It may sound like a stretch, but dental implants may add years onto your life. In fact, people with a full set of teeth can live eight to ten years longer than those with missing teeth. Missing teeth make it difficult to eat certain kinds of foods, like apples, raw vegetables or nuts, all of which are healthy components to a balanced diet. The absence of foods like these can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Additionally, people with missing teeth are at an increased risk for periodontal disease which has been linked to heart disease.
Jaws of Steel
Tooth extraction causes the jawbone to lose density, which can lead to shortening in the jaw, loosening of surrounding teeth or infections. But dental implants can actually strengthen and protect your jaw bone. They can even prevent bone loss and preserve the integrity of surrounding teeth.
Dental implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth and are often a great alternative to dentures and bridges. If you think you might be a candidate for dental implants, contact our office today at 888-724-7986 to schedule a consultation with our team.
As summer break winds down, parents are furiously checking things off their to-lists in anticipation of the upcoming school year. But one thing that rarely makes that list is wisdom teeth extraction for teenaged-children. Dr. Hudson recommends adding this to your family’s summer to-do list to avoid having to squeeze it in during the school year if your teen’s wisdom teeth become a problem.
Wisdom teeth extraction can be an intimidating procedure, but having the opportunity to schedule it before they cause any real pain or discomfort helps you and your child stay ahead of the curve. But because wisdom teeth may not present an immediate problem upon their eruption, many parents assume it’s safe to postpone the procedure. However, those who choose to go this route may find that delaying extraction can end up being more stressful in the long run. This is especially true for teens who are preparing to leave for college. The last thing a parent wants is a frantic call or text from their child who is away from home at school and in pain. The task of trying to coordinate finding an out-of-town dentist or oral surgeon for your child can be stressful for many parents, and relying on Google reviews does little to put their mind at ease. Scheduling wisdom teeth extractions during summer break means that your child will be seen by your preferred oral health care professional, someone you and your family know and trust. It also guarantees that your child can recuperate from the procedure in the comfort of their own home instead of a noisy dorm hall.
With the end of summer quickly approaching, scheduling wisdom teeth removal for your age-appropriate children should certainly be on your do-to list. If you haven’t crossed it off the list, give us a call at 888-724-7986 to schedule an appointment.
No more homework, late-night study sessions or 10-page papers. Summer break is finally upon us! Chances are your teen is ready for lazy days of sleeping in and vegging out on the couch to recuperate from the exhausting school year. But before they’re in that leisurely state of mind, this might be the best time to consider wisdom teeth extraction. Dr. Hudson performs many wisdom teeth extractions on his teenaged-patients throughout the school year and has learned that summertime is prime time for this type of procedure.
What are wisdom teeth and why do they need to be removed?
Wisdom teeth are the third and last set of molars. They typically erupt in the late teen years to early twenties. Because most people’s mouths don’t have the room to accommodate this last set of teeth, they often encounter spacing and crowding issues that can lead to impaction and infections. For these reasons, many people choose to have their wisdom teeth extracted.
Why is summertime the best time for wisdom teeth removal?
With the hustle and bustle of the school year behind you, summertime is the ideal time for your teen to have their wisdom teeth removed. Doing so during summer break negates the need for your teen to miss multiple days of school and will allow them adequate time to rest and recover from surgery. Your teen will likely start to feel better in just a few of days. However, much like any other surgery, there’s always the risk for complications. Scheduling the procedure over summer break means that you’ll have extra time to handle any potential complications that may arise without it impacting your teen's school schedule. You’ll also have extra time to accommodate follow-up appointments if they are necessary.
While it may not be the smashing start to their summer break your teen is hoping for, scheduling their wisdom teeth extraction early on means your teen will get to enjoy the best of their break pain-free. And you’ll still be able to squeeze in that family vacation with time to spare. If your teen is ready to have their wisdom teeth removed, call our office today at 888-724-7986 to schedule the procedure.
Many people think about breast implants when they hear the word “augmentation,” but the term actually refers to many medical procedures in which a part of the body is made larger. Sinus augmentation, also known as a “Sinus Lift,” is a bone grafting procedure in which bone is added to the upper jawline to enable dental implants to be placed. Dr. Lloyd Hudson offers sinus lifts as one of the services available at Oklahoma Wisdom Teeth Center.
For a large number of people, the back two molars at either side of the upper jaw actually have their roots grow up through the jaw bone and into the sinus cavity. When one of these molars is extracted, there is not enough bone present for the titanium screw of a dental implant to take hold.
The bone used for a sinus lift procedure can come from a cadaver, a cow, or another part of the patient’s body. Dr. Hudson cuts into the soft gum tissue where the molar was extracted to expose the bone, and an oval shaped window is opened in the bone to reveal the sinus membrane that separates the sinuses from the jaw. He then gently pushes back the sinus membrane up and away from the jaw by about 2-3 millimeters and packs the newly opened space with the bone graft material.
Once the bone is in place, it is sealed in with stitches, and the graft will take up to 9 months to be ready for your implants to be placed. If you have been turned down by other dentists for dental implant surgery, contact our office for a consultation to see if sinus augmentation is right for you.