Photo by Amir Seilsepour
3D Printed Dental Implants
Congratulations, you have just had a 3D printed dental implant placed! If you are wondering how to take care of your new tooth, you are in the right place!
3D printing technology allows for a titanium dental implant, which is like the root of a tooth, to be placed precisely at the right depth and position in the jaw bone by the oral surgeon. A custom milled abutment (which attaches to the implant and serves as a base for the tooth) with a 3D printed tooth can then be placed at the time of surgery. The ability to place an implant and tooth at the same time may not sound very difficult, but it is quite an achievement to have an implant with its tooth at the same time.
Evaluating Wisdom Teeth
As a surgeon, I am commonly asked by my patients and their families “Do I really need to have my wisdom teeth removed?” Everyone is hoping that my answer will be “No, of course not! Who gave you that crazy idea?!”
If only it were so simple.
How I decide whether you need to have your wisdom teeth removed is mainly dependent on several things including:
- the size of your jaws,
- whether you are experiencing pain with the teeth, and
- whether there is pathology associated with the teeth.
This post is meant to help you understand what I am looking for when I am evaluating wisdom teeth and why I may make a recommendation for their removal.
My new patient looked at me expectantly. “My best friend, who is a dentist, told me to come to you for my dental implant. My dentist said that she would pick you to place her implant, so here I am!”
For my new patient, deciding who to have place her dental implant out of all the choices available in Portland, OR, was an easy choice for her since she had “insider” information. But if you don’t have access to where a doctor would personally go for the same procedure that you need, how do you decide who to have place your dental implant so that it is a success?
Did you know that you have a special cell within your blood that has amazing regenerative ability? It’s called a platelet and it has the ability to promote bone and soft tissue healing in the body. Platelets have hundreds of growth factors that encourage the body to produce new tissue. In the mouth, the ability to grow bone and gum tissue is important, especially if reconstruction with dental implants is desired.
At GeislerOMS, platelets are concentrated from your whole blood by spinning a blood sample in a centrifuge. This process concentrates the platelets into something called Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP for short. PRP can then be applied in the mouth to areas where soft tissue and bone regeneration are needed.
Since 2007, I have been voted by Portland Monthly Magazine as a Top Dentist in the specialty of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. The magazine sends out a survey to my peer group each year asking, “If you or your family member needed oral and maxillofacial surgery, who would you go to?” Voting clinicians are asked to take into consideration years of experience, continuing education, manner with patients, use of new technologies, and physical results. Once survey results are finalized, the nominated oral and maxillofacial surgeons are then checked to ensure that they are in good standing with the Oregon Board of Dentistry.
I am incredibly flattered to have been selected for the past twelve years by dentists, hygienists and physicians in Oregon as a provider of excellent surgical care in my field. Each year I am given a beautiful plaque to place in my office. But even though the award has my name on it, the recognition and credit for excellent care doesn’t entirely belong to me.
Recent publications have shown how surgeons who are more experienced have better outcomes, and my previous blog post discussed how several studies have demonstrated that female surgeons have better outcomes as compared to male surgeons. But, a new set of studies published by Forbes magazine this week have shown that if that surgeon begins working with a new team, patient outcomes often drop.
Teamwork determines the best care for surgical patients according to new studies and therefore drives surgical outcomes.
If you asked me what my favorite thing to do is, I would have to answer: “Operate!”
Maybe that sounds weird to you, but I truly love what I do. I feel incredibly blessed to get to remove diseases that cause pain and suffering and put things right for my patients. It is deeply satisfying to help people heal.
I love taking something that is broken and making it beautiful with my hands.
This love of creating wholeness out of brokenness sustains me in my daily practice as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. It pushes me through the difficult times–especially when I encounter obstacles in my practice.
Much has been written about the obstacles that women face as surgeons.
It’s easy to imagine the discomfort of walking into a new healthcare provider’s office. You may have a referral. You may be walking in blindly, trusting you receive the proper care you think you need.
You’re afraid because you don’t know what to expect. You’re apprehensive because it’s an unfamiliar environment. Perhaps you have not been treated well at another office or have been caused physical or mental pain by past experiences. Maybe you are worried about the cost of your care.
These fears are compounded when you walk into an oral surgeon’s office.
All of this seems to be a logical product of human nature or past experiences, but it doesn’t have to be.
You can put aside your fears when entering Geisler OMS located in Lake Oswego and serving Lake Grove as well as Portland, Oregon. The guiding principle of the practice is caring for others like we’d like to be cared for: with compassion, surgical excellence and integrity. You can get the oral healthcare you need from a team that genuinely cares about you as an individual and wants to escort you to optimal health.
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July 7th began like any other day for me. I remember that there was a beautiful sunrise that morning. I had a compressed, busy schedule in my oral and maxillofacial surgery practice in Lake Oswego. “We have a trauma patient coming in, Doctor” my front staff informed me when I arrived at my office. We already had fifteen patients scheduled that morning for me to see, three of whom were surgery patients. How would I find the time to see this other patient?
My add on trauma patient turned out to be a wonderful woman named Sunny. From my first meeting with her, I could see why her friends had given her this affectionate nickname. Sunny has a type of effervescence that surrounds her. Joy bubbles out of her. You canʼt help feeling good just by being in her presence. At this first meeting, I was struck by her amazingly positive attitude. It was hard for her to speak clearly because part of her upper right jaw was missing. She kept holding up her hand to hide the right side of her face. Slowly she was able to tell me her story.
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Will Oral Surgery Be Painful?
“How bad is it going to hurt?” At only sixty pounds, and with big blue eyes, my little patient looked at me asking me a fundamental question that I have been asked many times before. Jack was only seven years old but he knew what he was most frightened of about his upcoming surgery and had the courage to ask me about it.
Patients’ fears about pain following an oral surgery are well-founded. Removal of teeth, with the often necessary cutting of jaw bone, is one of the most painful surgical procedures that can be done to a human being. I think that almost everyone has heard a horror story regarding wisdom tooth removal. And we have all heard the expression “It was harder than pulling teeth.” No wonder everyone is so scared.
Oral surgery doesn’t have to be a horrible experience. It can, in fact, be a very good experience with the right set of circumstances.
- You need a highly skilled surgeon.
- You need to know a few things about how to take care of yourself after your oral surgery procedure.
Before I was a surgeon, I was a firefighter. I learned many things from my first profession, including how to change the oil on a fire engine! But one of the most important lessons that I still carry with me today and use daily as a surgeon concerns the relationship between personal integrity and patient safety.
I became a firefighter for the California Department of Forestry at the age of eighteen. My first profession was something of a necessity for me. I was an academically gifted student and did well in high school earning several scholarships to attend college. Unfortunately, there still wasn’t enough money to cover the costs of my education. Working for the California Department of Forestry during the summers seemed like a good option: I could earn sufficient money to pay for my education at the University of California, Davis and could serve the state of California through my work during the summer.
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