Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in
Leesburg, Virginia

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons are specialists with advanced training and expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of various head and neck conditions and injuries. After four years of dental school, an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon completes four to six years of additional formal training in treating the craniomaxillofacial complex. This specialty is one of 9 dental specialties recognized internationally and by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Leesburg, Virginia

An Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon can diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions. The following are just some of the many conditions, treatments and procedures oral and maxillofacial surgeon deal with on a daily basis:

  • TMJ, Facial Pain, & Facial Reconstruction
  • Dental Implants
  • Tooth Extractions & Impacted Teeth
  • Wisdom Teeth
  • Misaligned Jaws
  • Cleft Lip & Palate
  • Apicoectomy
  • Oral Cancers, Tumors, Cysts & Biopsies
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Facial Cosmetic Surgery

Whether your dentist refers you to our office, you have pain or symptoms causing you concern, or you simply have questions you would like answered, please contact our office today to schedule an appointment. We are here to answer your questions and provide the treatment you deserve!

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is often closely associated with dental restorations such as bridgework and dental implants. In the majority of cases, the success of a restoration procedure can hinge on the height, depth, and width of the jawbone at the implant site. When the jawbone has receded or sustained significant damage, the implant(s) cannot be supported on this unstable foundation, and bone grafting is usually recommended for the ensuing restoration.

There are several major factors that affect jaw bone volume:

  • Periodontal Disease:
    Periodontal disease can affect and permanently damage the jaw bone that supports the teeth. Affected areas progressively worsen until the teeth become unstable.
  • Tooth Extraction:
    Studies have shown that patients who have experienced a tooth extraction subsequently lose 40-60% of the bone surrounding the extraction site during the following three years. Loss of bone results in what is called a “bone defect."
  • Injuries and Infections:
    Dental injuries and other physical injuries resulting from a blow to the jaw can cause the bone to recede. Infections can also cause the jaw bone to recede in a similar way.

Reasons for bone grafts

Bone grafting is a highly successful procedure in most cases. It is also a preferable alternative to having missing teeth, diseased teeth, or tooth deformities. Bone grafting can increase the height or width of the jawbone and fill in voids and defects in the bone.

There are essentially two basic ways in which bone grafting can positively impact the health and stability of the teeth:

Jaw Stabilization:
Bone grafting stabilizes and helps restore the jaw foundation for restorative or implant surgery. Deformities can also be corrected, and the restructuring of the bone can provide added support.

Preservation:
Bone grafting can be used to limit or prevent bone recession following a tooth extraction, periodontal disease, or other invasive processes.

Oral Examination

Initially, the dentist will thoroughly examine the affected area in order to assess the general condition of the teeth and gums. If periodontal disease is present or the adjacent teeth are in poor condition, these factors will be fully addressed before the bone grafting procedure can begin. The dentist will also recommend panoramic x-rays in order to assess the precise depth and width of the existing bone. On occasion, a CAT scan may be recommended to determine the bone condition.

Depending on these results, the dentist may also anesthetize the area and explore into the gum in order to determine what kind and how much bone is required.

What Does Bone Grafting Involve?

There are several types of bone grafts. Your dentist will determine the best type for your particular condition.

  • Autogenous Bone Graft:
    Harvested from the patient’s own body (usually from the posterior part of the lower jaw or the chin). This method is usually preferred because it produces the most predictable results.
  • Allograft Bone Graft:
    Cadaver or synthetic bone is used in this type of graft.
  • Xenograft:
    Cow bone is used in this type of graft.

The bone grafting procedure can often take several months to complete. Bone is typically harvested from your own body (or on rare occasions obtained from a “bone bank”) and added to the affected site. This bone will fuse with the existing bone, and the migration of cells will cause firm adhesion and cell growth. Supplementing the jaw with bone will result in greater bone mass to help support and anchor the implant(s).

During the surgery, the dentist will numb the grafting and extraction sites using local anesthetic. A small incision will be made to prepare the site for the new bone, and it will be anchored into place. On occasion, a synthetic membrane may be used to cover the new bone. This membrane prevents soft tissue and bacterial invasions and encourages new bone growth. The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and you will be provided with comprehensive instructions for your post-operative care. The dentist will prescribe medications to help manage infection, discomfort and swelling.

Impacted Canines

Humans have two upper (maxillary) canines and two lower (mandibular) canines. Canine teeth are sometimes referred to as cuspids, fangs, or “eye teeth” because of their direct positioning beneath the eyes. Canine teeth have thicker and more conical roots than incisors and thus have an especially firm connection to the jaw. Canine teeth often have the longest root of all teeth in the human mouth and the last to fully erupt and fall into place; often around age 13.

An impacted tooth essentially means that it is blocked, stuck, or unable to fully erupt and function properly. Third molars (wisdom teeth) most commonly fall victim to impaction, but the upper canine is the second most common tooth to become impacted. Wisdom teeth serve no important function in the mouth and are frequently removed; however, impacted canines are critical to the bite and require treatment for the following reasons:

  • Closing Gaps:
    Canines are the last of the front teeth to fall into place and therefore close any unsightly gaps between the other upper teeth.
  • First Touch:
    Canines play a vital role in the “biting” mechanism of the teeth. They touch first when the jaw closes, and guide the other teeth into position.
  • Proper Alignment & Function:
    Canine teeth are essential to the correct alignment and function of the other teeth on the dental arch. Missing or impacted canines can greatly affect the function and aesthetic appearance of the smile.

What causes canine teeth to become impacted?

    There are several main causes for impacted canine teeth:
  • Extra Teeth:
    If extra teeth are present, the natural eruption of the canine teeth may be inhibited. The eruption progress of the canine may be directly blocked by an extra tooth or the subsequent overcrowding might leave no room on the dental arch for the canine.
  • Overcrowding:
    In some cases, poor alignment of the front teeth can lead to overcrowding. The existing teeth compete for space which means that the canines do not have sufficient room to become functional.
  • Unusual Growths:
    On rare occasions, unusual growths on the soft tissue of the gums can restrict the progress of canine teeth, which leads to later impaction.
  • Early and thorough examination of the teeth can pre-empt problems with impacted canines. It is important for the dentist to document the number of teeth present when the patient is around seven years of age in order to record the presence or absence of canine teeth. The older the patient becomes, the less likely it is that an impacted canine tooth will erupt naturally. If canine teeth are missing or very slow in fully erupting, the dentist can make recommendations for proper treatment.

Oral Examination

The dentist initially conducts a thorough visual examination of the teeth, accompanied by a Panorex x-ray and/or individual x-rays. Once the cause of the impaction has been determined, there will be several treatment options available depending upon the age of the patient. The objective is to aid the eruption of the impacted canines, and this can be skillfully done by the dentist, an oral surgeon, or an orthodontist.

What does the treatment of impacted canines involve?

If your mouth is overcrowded for any reason, the dentist may recommend extraction of teeth. The extraction will generally be performed under local anesthetic by an oral surgeon. The un-erupted canine will then be exposed by lifting the gum and guided into place using a special bracket.

In the case of younger patients, an orthodontic brace may be fitted to create a space on the dental arch for the impacted canine. Surgery for impacted canines usually does not require an overnight stay. Pain medication will be prescribed as necessary, and you’ll be given post treatment advice for your recovery.

See Real Patient Reviews
in Leesburg

Dwaine P.

5 Stars Review

Rachel E.

Very friendly staff! All throughout the routine cleaning, the staff explained what they were doing and why. I felt like they went above and beyond to make me comfortable and informed about my dental health.
Dwaine P.

5 Stars Review

Dwaine P.

The office is clean and pleasantly decorated. The staff was friendly and very professional. I like how organized and prompt everything was on my first visit to this dentist. So far, I'm impressed and plan to have more work done in the upcoming weeks.
Clay M.

5 Stars Review

Clay M.

The staff is friendly and have been gentle on my kids and I. The hygienists are clear when a service will cost extra with my insurance, so there are no surprises. Good folks.
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Haidy Messih
I am a strong believer in providing high-quality service to my patients by treating them as a family.

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