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What is oral surgery?

June 16th, 2021

For most people, the word “surgery” immediately conjures a hospital setting where you’re put under for a procedure that involves a lengthy recovery. While some dental problems can be that complex, you might be surprised to learn what actually qualifies as “oral surgery.”

Oral surgeons receive additional training to learn about the diagnosis and treatment of a number of different dental problems that result from injury, disease, and defects. You may have heard the term “maxillofacial surgeon,” which simply refers to a specialist in the range of different tissues that may require repair during oral surgery.

The average surgical procedure is actually performed in your dentists’ office, not a hospital. Tooth extraction, for example, is so common you probably wouldn’t think of categorizing as surgery. However, the removal of impacted, rotted, or damaged teeth, and even assisting in the removal of stubborn baby teeth, all fall into the oral surgery category.

Other common procedures include:

  • Realignment of the jaw to form a proper bite
  • Repairing damage to facial bones following an accident
  • Removal of a cyst or growth in the mouth or jaw
  • Replacing permanent teeth with implants

Does your condition require a surgical procedure?

In the majority of cases, you will be referred to an oral surgeon after a problem has been discovered and determined to go beyond the scope of your dentist’s practice.

When discussing whether or not you will require oral surgery, a number of factors are likely to be considered. One of the most pressing is how your daily life is, or will be, affected should you choose to forgo the procedure. Many dental problems are accompanied by severe pain and can have a negative effect on your ability to eat and even speak properly. Non-cosmetic issues like these play a large role in determining the best course of action.

Before you flee in the opposite direction, take the time to speak with Doctors Bauer, Lawrenz, and Stark or any of us at Champlin Family Dental about the procedure. While you may need to make special arrangements to travel to and from the office, and take a day or two for recovery, the results make it all worth it. Avoiding a necessary oral surgery will likely cost you more money and pain in the long run.

Does chronic stress impact periodontal health?

June 9th, 2021

Many studies over the past several years have focused on this question. Since we will all face stressful situations during our life, it is a good question to ask. This question also delves into the mind-body connection—the psychological having an effect on the physical and vice versa.

Studies were performed as far back as the 1940s and continue today. Many of them have shown that stress "downregulates" or hinders cellular immune response. The most common periodontal diseases related to this stress-induced downregulation are gingivitis and periodontitis.

It is believed that stress and depression contribute to a state of chronic inflammation within the body. Stress also raises levels of cortisol in your body, which has been linked in studies to higher levels of tooth loss and deeper pockets between the gums and teeth.

Perhaps the biological side of this equation makes sense, but an important factor is that people who are stressed and/or depressed tend to neglect oral hygiene and other health-promoting activities. The studies seem to support both the behavioral and biological effects as risk factors for periodontal disease.

Here are some things you can do to help prevent stress-related periodontal problems:

  • Daily relaxation –You may consider meditation or yoga. Both have been proven effective at easing stress.
  • Practice good oral hygiene – Don't let your oral hygiene fall by the wayside. Doing so will obviously have a detrimental effect on your oral health. You should also aim to quit smoking if you do smoke.
  • Get regular dental checkups – Getting regular checkups will help you to spot anything that's amiss before it gets out of hand. You can speak with your dentist if you have any pain or concerns and have them take a look.

Stress is something that affects all of us but it can be managed. Each one of us may manage it in a different way. Find what works for you and always make sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. For more information about stress-related periodontal issues, schedule an appointment with Doctors Bauer, Lawrenz, and Stark at our Champlin, MN office.

Summer Break: An ideal time for wisdom teeth removal

June 2nd, 2021

After your son or daughter departs for college, the last thing you want to get is a call or text to learn he or she is in pain. Doctors Bauer, Lawrenz, and Stark and our team at Champlin Family Dental will tell you there aren’t many emergency situations that can be avoided when it comes to dental health, but one crisis that can easily be prevented before your teen heads hundreds of miles away for college is wisdom tooth extraction.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that erupt in the late teen years to early 20s. Spacing and crowding problems often cause impaction and infections, which is why many people elect to have their wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth can go from barely noticeable to extremely painful in a very short period of time.

When your teen’s wisdom teeth erupt, they may cause overcrowding of his or her teeth, which can have a negative effect on their alignment. Most people’s mouths do not have enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt fully and remain perfectly aligned. Thus, pain, swelling, infection, damage to adjacent teeth, and decay are often the most common problems associated with wisdom teeth. These problems can brew beneath the surface for weeks or months, offering no warning before painful symptoms hit.

If your child does elect to go through wisdom tooth extraction, we want to inform you that the first few days of recovery consist of careful measures to control bleeding and swelling, an adherence to a special soft diet, as well as a medication routine that must be followed as recommended by Doctors Bauer, Lawrenz, and Stark after surgery.

Doctors Bauer, Lawrenz, and Stark and our team are dedicated to providing exceptional service before, during, and after your wisdom tooth procedure, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your child’s oral health is in good hands. We will do everything we can to minimize discomfort and help your child heal safely and quickly.

Summer break is the perfect time to remove wisdom teeth so that your child can avoid the stressful scenario of experiencing this medical emergency far away from home. If you have any questions on wisdom teeth removal or to schedule an initial consultation with Doctors Bauer, Lawrenz, and Stark, give us a call today!

Memorial Day and Getting Ready for Summer

May 26th, 2021

Memorial Day didn't become an official holiday until 1971, but Americans started gathering annually in the spring to remember those who lost their lives in war during the 1860s, right after the Civil War. Celebrated on the last Monday in May, people still decorate the grave sites of war veterans and hold memorial services, but Memorial Day has also evolved into a day that signifies the beginning of summer.

During the summer months, many people take road trips to visit family members. Some head off to the airport to enjoy a long-awaited vacation far away, while others look forward to spending time with friends and family at home. However you spend Memorial Day and the subsequent summer months, there are a few things you can take care of to ensure your summertime is enjoyable.

Checklist for an Enjoyable Summer

  • Have the AC Checked. During the hottest days of summer, many families find themselves sweating it out due to a broken air conditioning system. Be proactive so you can avoid waiting for hours or days because the HVAC repair person is booked solid. Have your air conditioning system checked before or around Memorial Day each year.
  • Ensure Security While You're Away. When you leave for vacation, the last thing you should have to worry about is the security of your home. Install a home security system, if possible, and put a timer on your lights so they go on and off at normal hours. You can also alert your local police department that you'll be gone, and ask them to drive by your house once in a while to make sure everything is okay.
  • Visit Doctors Bauer, Lawrenz, and Stark Before Vacation. Many people put off exams until after summer vacation. Avoid the crowds and make sure your physical and oral health are in top shape prior to vacation time so there are no unpleasant surprises.

Our team at Champlin Family Dental wants you to look forward to Memorial Day and the days of summer by preparing to spend the time safely and comfortably. As you plan ahead, take care of your health and secure your home, you can place your focus on creating memories with family members and friends while enjoying your favorite Memorial Day traditions.

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Now offering Oral Surgery procedures with Dietrich R. Lawrenz, DDS, MD