An organization known as AAOMS plays a vital role in promoting the field of dentistry and dental surgery. Dental Specialty Associates, which serves the residents of Phoenix and Gilbert, Arizona and surrounding regions, invites fellow oral care professionals and our current and prospective customers to read the following brief blog discussing why those in the field should become part of this organization and why customers should frequent practices that are part of said group respectively.
Overview Of The AAOMS
AAOMS is an abbreviation for the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Currently, the organization possesses more than 5,000 card carrying members. The agency strives to establish strict mandates for those in the dental or oral surgeon fields to meet in terms of subjects like continuing education, meeting nationally-based practice standards and serving patient needs and safety.
AAOMS Benefits To Members
Membership in the organization provides many professional benefits including:
Optimal Practice Management Resources
Naturally, a successful dentist or oral surgeon will possess a superior educational background and optimal skills. However, numerous other factors play into maintaining a thriving practice such as understanding proper coding and billing methods, learning how to manage a competent staff and retaining the services of trained anesthesia-administering professionals. AAOMS produces numerous resources that provide members with current literature regarding how these issues should be handled.
Education And Research
Like many healthcare fields, the dental or oral surgery industries are continually advancing. Typically, the introduction of the most modern technology leads to the creation of new techniques that industry members need to learn quickly to stay ahead of their competitors. AAOMS organizers understand this fact and employ a significant number of educators and researchers who provide instruction, which is augmented with empirical research demonstrating the success rates of specific procedures.
In addition to providing instruction on new developments and techniques, the organization often sponsors continuing education programs offered online and inside brick and mortar institutions that enable members to sharpen their current knowledge and skills.
Meetings And Exhibitions
AAOMS also organizes numerous conferences and exhibitions where members meet in various locations and discuss various subjects. These events often serve as a meeting of the minds where a host of dental and oral surgery professionals swap stories, build their networks and strategize methods of improving their practices and advancing in their respective fields.
Becoming A Member
Merely holding the necessary education and certification proving a specific professional is a qualified dentist or oral surgeon does not entitle said individual to membership. AAOMS is a prestigious entity possessing stringent qualifications and a significant application process.
In addition to an initial application form, a prospective candidate must also supply AAOMS membership committee members with additional documentation demonstrating certification that said individual has completed the necessary training for oral and maxillofacial training, at least three evaluation forms submitted by current AAOMS members and verification clearly showing the applicant’s membership in a state or municipal oral and maxillofacial surgery organization. Once all of these materials are gathered and submitted, the prospective candidate’s application is closely reviewed.
AAOMS Practice Benefits To Patients
Prospective patients are encouraged to frequent practices belonging to AAOMS. Arguably, the most important issue for patients to consider is that the practice in question’s membership means much more than a fancy plaque to place on a wall. Dental establishments admitted to this organization are expected to meet all established guidelines. Moreover, said entities are subjected to periodic visits from AAOMS representatives who perform thorough evaluations. Ergo, patients of such practices can rest assured that the oral care professionals employed there are meeting all nationally-established mandates.
The proprietors of Dental Specialty Associates are members of AAOMS and perform a variety of oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures. For further information about the practice or the services and dental care treatments provided, please visit https://www.arizonadentalspecialists.com/.
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People have oral surgery for many different reasons. One common reason for the surgery is to remove impacted wisdom teeth or other impacted teeth. The surgery requires sedation, but such procedures are common and are not usually cause for major concern.
Before Oral Surgery
In general, you should not drink or eat anything for at least six hours before your scheduled surgery. For instance, if you have an early morning appointment, you should stop eating and drinking by midnight the night before. You should not take any medications or even water, unless your surgeon’s office instructs you to do so.
In some cases, your fasting instructions may be slightly different. Those who are going under general anesthesia are instructed to fast. However, those who will be sedated but conscious may be able to eat a light snack a few hours before the procedure. If you are allowed to eat, choose something simple like a piece of fruit or yogurt. Avoid spicy foods or those that might upset your stomach. Always follow the instructions of your dental office.
If you will be put under general anesthesia, then you should bring a driver with you to your appointment. The driver is there for moral support, but you will also need him or her there to drive you home afterward. You should not drive for at least 24 hours after your surgery.
Be sure to brush and floss your teeth before the surgery. A clean mouth may help reduce the risk of infection. It is recommended that you do not smoke or use any tobacco products for at least twelve hours before your surgery. You should also reschedule your appointment if you’re feeling sick.
After the Surgery
After your appointment, you should plan to take it easy for the remainder of the day. Do not drive or operate any heavy machinery. Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for several days after the surgery.
You are typically advised to have only liquids for the first 24 hours after your appointment. Do not use a drinking straw for your beverages. Doing so could damage the site of the surgery. After the first 24 hours, you may begin eating soft, bland foods. Foods like plain yogurt, eggs, mashed potatoes, soup and applesauce are generally recommended. Avoid crunchy or spicy food, and this is because they could irritate or damage the surgical site. You should also avoid foods that are chewy or hard, as they could also irritate your gums. Even acidic foods and beverages like tomato sauce and orange juice could irritate your surgical site.
If you begin eating particular foods or beverages that cause pain or irritation in your mouth, then stop eating them. Choose another food or drink instead. You should not drink alcohol for several days after your surgery. It is normal to have some soreness and pain for a couple of weeks after your surgery. This pain and discomfort can generally be controlled with over-the-counter meds, or your doctor may prescribe a stronger pain reliever.
Call the dental office if you notice bleeding or pain after eating. Slight swelling is normal for several weeks after dental surgery. It is also normal for your gums to bleed for a few hours after the surgery. However, if you notice severe swelling or excessive bleeding that interferes with eating or normal activities, call your dental office.
Twenty-four hours after your surgery, you can begin rinsing your mouth with a mixture of salt and warm water. Mix one cup of warm water with one teaspoon of salt. You can swish this around in your mouth 3-4 times each day for about two weeks. It is not recommended that you continue rinsing with this solution for longer than two weeks because eventually the salt would damage the enamel on your teeth.
In most cases, oral surgery patients heal with little to no complications. Fast before your surgery and do not eat for 24 hours afterward. Eat soft food for a few days during your recovery time. Remember to call the dental office if you experience persistent pain, excessive bleeding or any unusual symptoms.
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Oral surgery is becoming more and more prevalent as we face an increasing number of people that wish to improve the look and function of their smile. When we think about oral surgery, many of us may have reservations when it comes to scheduling procedures, for we don’t know what to expect before, during, and after surgery. This information is intended to give you an overview of the oral surgery process, as well as what you can expect to experience as you recover. Get ready for a healthier, more beautiful smile as you overcome your fears and schedule your appointment!
What is oral surgery?
Oral surgery refers to any type of procedure that involves your teeth, mouth, or jaw. They are most often performed by trained oral care specialists who are prepared to handle pre and post-surgical care, as well as the procedure itself. Types of oral surgeries include:
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Gum or bone grafts
- Tooth implants
- Maxillofacial surgeries
- Root canals
- Jaw and tooth repair after accidents
Preparing for oral surgery
When preparing for surgery, it is important to follow all care directions given to you by your dentist. In addition, you might want to consider preparing a space for yourself at home that is clean and comfortable; one that you can relax in. If necessary, arrange for transportation to and from your surgery, and take care to follow any pre-surgical and post-surgical directions that your dentist recommends. You might even want to modify your sleeping area as well, arranging things so that you can sleep at an incline. Doing what you can to reduce or eliminate obstacles to healing will be important as you return home and slowly resume your normal activities.
What can I expect after surgery?
People experience a variety of different symptoms after surgery—knowing what to expect is key to recovering with less stress. It is expected that your mouth and jaw will be a little sore in the days following surgery. Look for these signs and symptoms that your mouth is on the mend, and be on the lookout for any unusual pain, drainage, or swelling that is getting worse over time. Here is what you can expect after surgery:
The first 24 hours
Incisions from your surgical procedure will be at their most tender in the first 24 hours after surgery. Take care to avoid aggravating your surgical sites, and do what you can to refrain from sucking or spitting, which can tear open stitches that are holding tissues in place. Take pain medications as prescribed, and call your doctor if you experience adverse side effects, nausea, vomiting, or fever. These could be signs that infection has set in, and you’ll need to proactively manage it to continue healing properly.
The first week after surgery
In the days and weeks following surgery, you’ll likely resume a normal diet, but in the beginning of your healing process, it will be essential that you adhere to a diet of liquids, mild, and soft foods. Avoid anything spicy, overly acidic, and foods that have a heavy texture, as they can compromise your surgical sites. Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of fresh, clean water, and continue to take pain medications as prescribed. You may start resuming your normal oral care habits, although you may want to brush a bit more gingerly and refrain from flossing until you get a little farther into the healing process.
Commonly experienced symptoms while healing
Depending on the type of surgery you have undergone, it is common to experience pain, swelling and, at times, blood mixed with your saliva. Know that this is a normal part of the healing process, and that these symptoms will subside in time. Manage swelling with ice, and monitor any blood in your saliva for signs that it is decreasing in volume. If you notice that there is unusual drainage, a great deal of pain and discomfort, or a bad smell coming from your mouth, call your dentist/surgeon immediately to discuss treatment options.
A healthier mouth is in your future!
There is no need to put off oral surgery any longer; at Arizona Dental Specialists, our qualified and caring staff can help you restore the look and function of your smile. Make your appointment today; visit https://www.arizonadentalspecialists.com for more information.
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Though everyone hopes that they don’t have to use the services of an oral surgeon, oral surgery is simply necessary for some people some of the time. But under what circumstance should someone go to an oral surgeon? Here are some reasons:
1. Wisdom Tooth Extraction
This is the most common type of oral surgery. Since the human jaw doesn’t really have enough space for all of its teeth, wisdom teeth often need to be pulled. A wisdom tooth is a molar that tries to erupt even though there’s no space in the jaw for it. This causes the other teeth in the jaw to become misaligned, which can negatively affect the patient’s bite. A crowded jaw is also more at risk for periodontal disease.
A wisdom tooth gets its “wisdom” moniker because it tends to cause trouble when the patient is past the age when other permanent teeth emerge.
Other reasons for a dentist or orthodontist to refer a patient to an oral surgeon are:
2. Impacted Teeth
These are teeth that haven’t erupted, usually because they are blocked by another tooth. Sometimes they don’t cause symptoms, but when they do cause pain an oral surgeon can remove them. In some cases, the oral surgeon needs to cut through bone then cut the tooth into pieces to remove it.
Some impacted teeth erupt only partially. This makes them hard to clean, which in turn makes them more at risk of decay. The gum around an impacted tooth is also more susceptible to gum disease.
3. Oral Cancer and Infections
Other reasons or oral surgery are oral cancer or deep-seated infections in the oral cavity. An oral surgeon can remove a tumor that’s suspected of being malignant or has been shown to be malignant. They may also need to operate to remove a dangerous infection.
4. Corrective or Cosmetic Surgery
A person may be born with some deformities of the jaw that need to be corrected surgically. The jaw may be too prominent or asymmetrical, and the patient can have a receding chin. Surgeons also correct deformities that have come about through injury.
5. Dental Implant
Dental implants are prosthetic teeth that replace teeth that are lost or irreparably damaged. The oral surgeon needs to implant a post in the jawbone before the anchor and crown of the implant can be placed. The surgeon also needs to implant posts if the patient is going to have a dental bridge.
6. Removing Root Fragments
The doctor will need to remove fragments of a tooth that’s broken off at the gum line.
7. Temporomandibular Joint Disease
Temporomandibular Joint Disease, or TMJ can cause severe pain in the jaw and make it hard for a patient to eat or speak correctly. Oral surgery can repair this through procedures such as:
• Arthrocentesis – This is when the surgeon injects fluid into the joint of the jaw to flush out debris caused by inflammation. This improves the range of motion of the jaw. Arthrocentesis is an outpatient procedure.
• Arthroscopy -In this operation, the oral surgeon drills a hole or holes into the area above the temporomandibular joint. Then, they reshape the joint or remove scar tissue with the aid of an arthroscope and miniaturized surgical instruments.
• Open Joint Surgery – In this surgery, the oral surgeon makes an incision above the joint and removes bone spurs or unwanted tissue.
8. Sleep Apnea
Oral surgery can correct structural problems that cause sleep apnea. This is where the patient, unknown to them, wakes up many times during the night because they stop breathing in their sleep. Though most dentists and doctors recommend conservative treatments for sleep apnea such as CPAP, there are times when the best option is surgery. Surgeries for obstructive sleep apnea include:
• Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP – This is when the oral surgeon trims tissue in the soft palate and the uvula to make it easier to breathe. The surgeon may also remove the tonsils.
• Radiofrequency Volumetric Tissue Reduction, or RFVTR – This is when the surgeon cauterizes the muscles and other tissues in the throat, the tonsils, the tongue or the soft palate.
• Genioglossus Advancement – This surgery moves the tongue forward by moving the bone the tongue is attached to forward. This allows more space for breathing.
• Palatal Implants – These are fiber rods the surgeon inserts into the soft palate to keep the airway clear.
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There are many different dental procedures designed to restore the teeth and gums for better health and better physical aesthetics. Mouth reconstruction dental services are typically a combination of cosmetic procedures and oral health procedures. Full-mouth reconstruction can help you address all of your oral issues at one time.
Candidates For Mouth Reconstruction: Why Consider Dental Reconstruction
There are different reasons why someone might be a candidate for mouth reconstruction, but the most common reasons are that a patient has significant oral damage to the teeth, gums or bones within the mouth. The damage may have to do with physical trauma or ongoing damage from failing to brush teeth and gums daily. Sometimes the damage occurs as a side effect from another medical disease or other ailment. Mouth reconstruction is a series of procedures that can fix dental problems such as: tooth decay, fractures, cracks, gum disease, deep infections and even missing teeth. Mouth reconstruction also takes into consideration the way your mouth is currently structured such as your bite and jaw placement.
Dental Bonding or Crowns and Fillings
Dental bonding is a procedure that involves placing a composite resin over your tooth to fix existing damage. Dental bonding tends to be cheaper than both crowns and fillings. Tooth bonding is best for patients who do not have severe cracks and can be performed immediately at the office. However, in cases where there is significant damage to the tooth, a crown or filling will be performed.
Fillings are designed to treat the decay in your tooth rather than simply focus on the aesthetic chip or crack that dental bonding fixes. A filling protects your tooth from additional decay. A crown might also be placed on a tooth or teeth to help prevent cracked teeth from continuing to crack as well as protect weaker teeth (decayed teeth) at risk of cracking. Crowns can also be useful for teeth that are worn down into a small size and need to be replaced.
Dental Implants and Porcelain Veneers
Dental implants help to stimulate bone growth and can help patients that are experiencing deterioration in their jaw. Dental implants will help to prevent further bone loss. To do this, dentists will place a permanent “tooth” in the open space in a patient’s mouth. If you have to have a tooth extraction, a dental implant is an important part of the restoration process. Many patients are interested in a dental implant for cosmetic reasons, but dental implants are also important for ongoing bone health after the loss of a tooth.
Porcelain veneers are another common mouth reconstruction procedure. Porcelain veneers can create a more cosmetically pleasing mouth and smile with perfectly shaped teeth. If you have discolored teeth, chipped teeth, broken teeth or worn down teeth then veneers may be a perfect fit for you. Veneers will give you a set of clean white teeth that are sized for your mouth and hide the imperfections of your natural teeth. Veneers are designed to create a more beautiful smile.
Root Canal Therapy
If the pulp inside of a patient’s tooth becomes infected or inflamed due to prominent decay, then root canal therapy is necessary. This involves removing the infection and the inflammation through a root canal. The tooth will be sealed after the procedure to prevent against further infection. Root canal therapy can help save a tooth and help patients avoid tooth extractions. Cosmetic procedures are often included with the root canal therapy for an aesthetically pleasing finish.
For more information on our mouth reconstruction procedures, contact us. At Dental Specialty Associates, we care about your oral health and your cosmetic appearance. We want you to be healthy and feel comfortable and confident with your smile. Contact us to learn more and schedule a consultation today.
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Have you been told you need to see an oral surgeon? There so many specialties in dentistry that it can be hard to keep them all straight. To help you understand what kind of professional you’re going to see, we’ve put together everything you need to know about oral surgeons.
What Do Oral Surgeons Do?
If you had your wisdom teeth removed, it was most likely done by an oral surgeon. For many people, this type of procedure is usually the first interaction they have with us.
We go by another name sometimes. You might hear us called “maxillofacial surgeons.” “Maxillofacial” is a word that means “having to do with the jaw or face.” We specialize in the treatment of people with jaw, facial and oral injuries, illnesses and malformations.
You might see oral surgeons for:
- Tooth removal
- Dental implants
- Soft tissue removal
- Removal of tumors and cysts
- Fractured teeth and jawbone repair
- Cosmetic surgery
- Problems with TMJ and facial pain
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Reconstructive surgery after a facial injury
- Head and neck cancers
- Birth defects such as cleft lip and cleft palate
Many of us are also able to administer anesthesia and have had extensive training on giving it to patients.
What Makes Us Different From Dentists?
You don’t usually walk into a clinic and get an appointment right away with an oral surgeon. You would visit a dentist first. Dentists perform general services such as exams, fillings, crowns, gum care and more. If your dentist believes the dental work you need is outside their normal area of practice, they will refer you to an oral surgeon.
How Much Schooling and Experience is Required?
The process of becoming an oral surgeon is a long and arduous one.
Undergraduate Education. While the prerequisites to enter dental school vary depending on the program, many oral surgeons obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree before entering.
Dental School. Dental school lasts another four years. Dental school graduates earn a DMD or DDS degree. These two degrees are the same; the type of degree awarded depends on the school.
Residency Training. Following dental school, an oral surgeon completes a four to six-year residency training program. This phase lasts six years if the surgeon decides to get a medical degree and four without.
Certification. To be certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, surgeons will take a specialty examination.
Professional Development. To remain certified and do our best work, we must stay up to date with current medical practices.
That all adds up to 12 to 14 years of schooling alone!
In addition to these steps, an oral surgeon can specialize in areas such as craniofacial surgery, trauma injuries, pediatric maxillofacial surgery, cosmetic facial surgery, and head and neck cancer treatment.
What Salary Can an Oral Surgeon Earn?
The average salary of an oral surgeon is around $220,000. Many surgeons make more than this, and salary projections continue to grow.
What is it Like Working as an Oral Surgeon?
Many of us work in offices, hospitals and outpatient care centers. Some of us choose to start our own clinics and become self-employed. We work full time, sometimes with extended hours if necessary. Some surgeons need to be on call, especially if they work in a hospital setting.
We spend a lot of our work hours on our feet as we treat patients and perform surgeries. It is important that we learn to stay calm and handle stress because the nature of our jobs can be fast-paced and stressful at times.
A good oral surgeon possesses leadership skills and is detail oriented. Oral surgery is complex. To do the best job possible, we need to make sure we’ve considered every aspect of possible diagnoses and plan the treatment accordingly. Emergencies happen, so we need to be flexible and cool under pressure.
What Makes Oral Surgery a Great Career?
The greatest aspect of working as an oral surgeon is having the ability to improve the quality of life for our patients. A patient who has incurred a facial injury from an accident can have their appearance restored through reconstructive surgery. Patients who experience pain can have their pain alleviated and return to a normal life. We give people the opportunity to eat and talk where these basic human functions may have been difficult or impossible for them before.
Improving the lives of people is what makes this career rewarding. It takes a lot of time and dedication to get here, but we look forward to helping people smile — literally.
At Dental Specialty Associates, we offer a variety of specialty services. Our offices are comfortable, our staff is friendly, and we listen to what you have to say. If you have concerns about your oral health, contact us today to schedule an appointment.