Dr. Williams has specialized training and expertise in treating patients who require reconstructive dental treatment, including oral surgery, tooth extractions, dentures and dental implants. Dr. Williams serves as a Fellow with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, and, as an adjunct clinical instructor and student mentor at OHSU, he is able to work with and instruct dental students on a regular basis. His extensive experience treating patients with complex periodontal issues enables him to work with you on the best treatment plan for your situation.
Oral Surgery and Extractions
In some cases, a tooth cannot be restored due to extreme damage or decay. In these cases, a tooth may need to be removed surgically based on its location and condition.
After administering complete, local anesthesia, Dr. Williams will remove the tooth and bone as needed. The area will then be cleaned and sutured in place for complete healing.
Dentures are removable replacements for people who are missing a significant number of teeth. Missing teeth not only have an effect on your appearance, but they can lead to a variety of dental problems, including a change in the pressure of your bite and an increased risk of gum disease.
To preserve the natural bone in your jaw, Dr. Williams will try to save a few of your natural teeth during the process of fitting you for dentures. Your natural teeth can be used as stable supports for removable partial dentures or overdentures. Natural teeth also help people use their dentures more comfortably and effectively.
There are different types of dentures that can be utilized depending on your personal needs:
- Complete Dentures - These replace all of your teeth, upper and lower, and rest directly on your jaw. They require multiple appointments, allowing your dentist to take impressions of your mouth and fit the custom-made dentures for you comfortably. Together with your dentist, you’ll also choose the shape, color and size of the teeth used in your dentures.
- Immediate Dentures - Once teeth are extracted, it often takes months for your bone and tissue to stabilize for the placement of complete dentures. Immediate dentures are placed at the time of extractions and may require additional adjustments as the healing process continues.
- Partial Dentures - A removable partial completes your smile by filling out the space created by missing teeth, attaching to your natural teeth with clasps that hold them in place. Partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum colored plastic bases, which are connected by a metal framework. Newer all-plastic or flexi-partial dentures are now available.
- Overdentures - Generally these are placed over dental implants and “snap” onto the implants giving the denture more stability and better fit.
Dentures require an adjustment period in order to be used comfortably. Advancements in technology and materials help dentures to look more natural and provide for a better overall fit. Even though they may look natural, dentures aren’t used the same ways as natural teeth.
Speaking and eating with dentures will take practice over several weeks or months. If you have any problems like clicking, gum irritation, or slipping, Dr. Williams will work with you to correct any problems so that you can put your best smile forward.
Dental implants are an increasingly popular way to replace missing teeth. They not only support crowns, bridges, and dentures, but they also take the place of the roots themselves.
Dental implants are fixtures of titanium, which are surgically placed into your jawbone. The implant acts as an anchor for a crown or denture to fit over. When a crown is placed on an implant, most people can’t even tell it is an implant because it is so natural looking.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
People choose dental implants because they have missing teeth. It’s extremely important to replace these teeth for the following reasons:
- Increased self-confidence
- Retain the presence of jaw bone that dissolves once teeth are lost
- Movement of teeth that makes them difficult to clean, resulting in tooth decay and gum disease
- Bite problems, leading to TMJ
- Poor nutrition, stemming from the inability to chew food
- Whether you’re missing a few teeth or several teeth, replacing them is vital for good overall health
Advantages to Dental Implants
Implants are not only used to replace a single tooth but can also benefit people who may be missing several or all of their teeth. Implants are increasingly being used to replace bridges and removable partial dentures.
While dentures and removable partials are usually loose and unstable, implants provide you with dental replacements that are natural looking and very functional. Implants look and feel better than their removable counterparts and offer the same force for biting as bridges that are fixed. Best of all, they will last a lifetime if properly maintained.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Begin with a consultation with Dr. Williams to determine if dental implants are right for you. Dr. Williams will also perform a complete exam, possibly involving x-rays, to determine if any jawbone loss has occurred.
It is very important that you have enough bone in the area of the missing tooth or teeth for the attachment of the implants. If you don’t have enough bone, a bone graft may be necessary.
Dental Implant Procedure and Recovery
Dental implants are essentially made of a series of titanium screws placed in your jawbone, then topped with crowns. Once the dentist places the titanium screw, surrounding gum tissue is placed over the implant along with a protective cover to allow the jaw bone and implant to form a strong bond.
This part of the process can take up to six months, and is followed by abutments placed on top of the titanium screws. These abutments hold the crowns in place, and gum tissue grows around the temporary crowns naturally over time. Once permanent crowns replace the temporary ones, the process is complete.
Diligent daily oral hygiene is required for implants to stay clean and healthy. It’s also important to regularly visit Dr. Williams for routine follow-up appointments and cleanings to keep your new smile healthy and bright!