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5/16/2017 12:00:00 PM

Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and other oral health problems affect overall dental health, causing side-effects that range from irritation to tissue loss. One of the more serious issues associated with lasting dental problems is the recession of underlying bone. This tissue depletion weakens the foundation teeth rely on to remain strong and functional. Dr. O’Connor is equipped to treat bone resorption and reverse depletion through bone grafting.

Is Getting a Bone Graft a Serious Procedure?

Although it sounds complex, receiving a bone graft is an easy procedure for your dentist. Grafting tissue requires little to no downtime beyond taking prescribed medication as recommended and caring for your smile according to provided instructions. Bone grafting is a successful procedure that restores vital oral health and creates a strong base for restorations to be added as needed. If problematic teeth need to be extracted and replaced, a bone graft promotes successful implant procedures and helps the shape of your face retain a natural aesthetic.

How the Procedure Works

Using bone tissue from your own body, or other biocompatible alternatives, bone grafts are placed at the site of the missing tooth. Bone grafts strengthen bone density and can be placed right after extraction or if teeth have been missing a while. After the graft has been added, soft tissue is restored and sealed and you will be given medication to prevent infection. It’s that simple. After the procedure, you will need to avoid touching the treatment site and choose soft foods or liquids in the first few days immediately following treatment. Daily saltwater rinses keep the area clean and aid the healing process.

If available and necessary, your own bone can be used and is typically taken from the chin, shin, or hip bone. These areas provide extraneous tissue, taking a graft here won’t change how any of these parts of your body function. If you opt out of using your own bone, safe and effective alternatives are available. Choosing outside donor tissue does not decrease the chance of success, nor will it change the steps involved in the procedure, beyond limiting the number of treatment sites.

How Bone Grafting Improves Dental Restorations

Often used in conjunction with other procedures, bone grafting provides the proper foundation for full smile restoration. Dental implants sometimes require extra support if the jaw has been affected, providing plenty of tissue for successful placement and osseointegration. Grafting also restores facial appearances, as depleted bone volume can make patients look prematurely aged. Bone grafting helps Dr. O’Connor provide you with the best treatment possible.

Ask Us about Grafting Procedures

Call us today for a consultation. If you’re looking for restorative procedures but have been told you need a bone graft first, we can help.

5/2/2017 12:00:00 PM

When visiting our dental office, you are treated to the utmost in gentle dentistry. We offer sedation dentistry options to enhance your dental experience and promote worry-free treatment. If you’re interested in learning more about sedation and which method would work best for you, please read on.

Sedation Dental Options: Picking What Works

Sedation is the perfect solution to the fears that keep many patients from visiting the dentist, helping to relieve phobia brought on by sights and sounds involved in procedures. In general, sedation options most commonly found at the dental office are nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation, which is pill-form medication.

Laughing Gas – This inhalant is a sedative that helps many patients with mild to moderate dental phobia feel relaxed and peaceful while in the dental office. Nitrous is inhaled through a small hood placed over the nose and is fast acting; you’ll begin to feel calm and relaxed in a matter of minutes. Nitrous can also be reversed promptly by inhaling pure oxygen.

Oral Conscious Sedation – This form of sedation dentistry creates a deeper feeling of relaxation that has a longer half-life – the time in which the relaxation effect lingers. Safely administered to patients who are in overall good health and effective for longer appointments, this method enhances the pleasant, amnesiac effect of sedation. Your appointment will seem to have only taken a few minutes, during which you experience no discomfort.

Our dentist and team cater to fearful patients by providing effective sedation dentistry that is customized to your needs. If you’re curious about which option is ideal for you, it’s important to consider your level of anxiety and the length of scheduled procedures. Patients who are in for a routine filling or teeth cleaning can benefit from laughing gas, while patients who are booked for complex restorations may consider the oral conscious method.

How Sedation Promotes Better Dental Health

Sedation indirectly contributes to healthier smiles in patients who have avoided dental care due to high anxiety. By avoiding the dentist, patients are prone to dental caries, gum disease, and other common problems that compromise oral health in and contribute to tooth loss and serious damage.

With relaxing and comfortable dentistry provided through the use of sedative medication, patients can confidently seek the treatment they need to restore teeth and/or prevent the development of serious issues. When more complex problems are present, sedation services make completion of advanced restorations much easier to handle.

Ask Dr. O’Connor about Dental Sedation

We’re happy to provide sedation dentistry in conjunction with complex implant placement and restoration for patients who are anxious about their upcoming procedures. We encourage patients of all needs to contact our office to learn more about how they can benefit from sedation dental care.

4/18/2017 9:09:00 PM

Same-day dental implants are advertised as a convenient solution to tooth loss – one that doesn’t require the time investment of traditional implant procedures. This leaves many patients wondering if same-day full arch treatment is actually effective, and if they should pursue this method of care over others.

Teeth-in-a-day full arch implants are a great choice for patients in the following circumstances:

Adequate Bone Volume – Dental implants of any variety need a certain amount of tissue at the treatment site to properly integrate. Patients missing teeth for extended periods of time often exhibit diminished bone health – an issue that typically has to be corrected with grafting procedures before an implant can be placed. In these instances, a same-day implant wouldn’t be feasible or recommended.

Adequate Dental Technology – Same-day full arch implants require precision placement to ensure treatment will carry the same success rate as traditional implant protocols. Dr. O’Connor’s in-office technology makes same-day treatment possible for qualified patients through 3D guided implant placement.

Training and Expertise – With any specialized or advanced dental procedure the knowledge of the practitioner plays a key role in supporting treatment success. Same-day full arch dental implants require the approach of a seasoned professional. Dr. O’Connor has been focused on providing complex restorations and implant procedures for many years. He has proven success with this reliable and effective method of teeth replacement.

Keep in mind that prosthetics provided may be temporary coverings for the implants as they integrate into surrounding tissue, or a final prosthesis may be delivered at time of implant placement in select cases.  The same-day process refers to the extraction of compromised teeth and the immediate placement of implant posts in one appointment, as opposed to waiting several weeks or even months for the extraction site to heal or for bone grafts to be placed.

Same-day full arch dental implants are a viable treatment option for patients who are healthy enough to support this specialized treatment approach. If you have questions about the technology Dr. O’Connor utilizes to perform this treatment or whether you qualify for teeth in a day, contact our office for your consultation.  In the meantime, refer to the tab on Guided Implant Surgery on our website

4/4/2017 12:00:00 PM

Removable dentures are traditionally problematic for many patients. Lack of suction, daily re-application with adhesives, and changes in fit as soft tissue shrinks all contribute to loose and problematic prosthesis. For patients who have struggled with dentures for years, qualifying for traditional dental implants may be cost prohibitive and not feasible, due to overall oral health problems.

Mini dental implants, however, as designed to work with your dentures and provide the boost in stability that you’ve been missing all these years. Placement of mini implants can address the following:

Loose and Uncomfortable Prosthesis

With customization, your brand-new dentures likely fit well and feel great. However, this effect can diminish over time. As dentures sit on top of gums, rubbing on tissue and not providing stimulation for bone, soft tissue and jaw density deplete. This causes an ill-fit in dentures and requires periodic realignment. Over years of use, this issue can make dentures more of a hassle than a convenience for many patients.

By adding mini dental implants to a jaw arch, patients benefit from improved stability. Dentures will be attached to supports that are rooted in bone, ensuring they feel more natural and stand up to biting and chewing pressure.

Lack of Bone Quality

Your natural tooth roots play an important part of your overall oral health – they stimulate bone to ensure it remains healthy, dense, and supports overall facial structure. When missing all of your natural teeth, lack of stimulation creates bone resorption and alteration of facial aesthetic. Mini dental implants can combat this issue through osseointegration and are still a viable treatment for patients who have already experienced bone depletion. If you’re missing all of your teeth and are struggling with dentures, you can still be a candidate for MDIs.

Lower Dentures Issues

Full dentures on lower jaw arches are notorious for being problematic. While upper dentures include a piece of acrylic that covers the palate, thereby better securing dentures through suction, lower prosthetics do not have the same advantage. Lower dentures are infamous for coming loose and making it hard for patients to eat, speak, and chew. The addition of a few mini implants, though, can create a more positive denture-wearing experience for patients with lower arch prosthetics.

Ask us about mini dental implants! If you have uncomfortable and problematic dentures, mini dental implants offer a viable solution for stability and security. Contact our implant dentist today for more information on how we can help.

3/21/2017 12:00:00 PM

If you have teeth missing and are otherwise in good health, consider the advantages of a dental implant. A dental implant replaces not only the visible tooth, but the roots below as well, stimulating bone health and promoting improved oral health. In the following situations, a dental implant may be the more ideal solution:

Significant Periodontal Disease

Gum disease, especially in its more advanced form of periodontitis, can begin a process of detaching the tissue from your teeth and affecting bone health. Over time, this disease can destroy tissue and surrounding support, leading to tooth loss and bone resorption. A dental implant cannot be placed until the periodontitis has been treated, but it can be used part of a strategy to return pre-disease stability and health to your mouth.

Dental Trauma

Teeth can become fractured or completely lost due to falls, sports-related injuries, or other accidents. Implants are the most dependable solution to tooth loss and are recommended to replace missing teeth. Dental implants can also work to replace teeth that need to be extracted after severe loss of structural integrity. Extraction may be the only recourse for significantly damaged teeth and the placement of dental implants allow patients to regain full oral function.

Replacing Old, Failing Restorations

Other restoration options like bridges or crowns are typically recommended for patients whose teeth are healthy enough to remain in place, but require functional and aesthetic restoration. Over time, however, ideal conditions for the support of these prosthetics may no longer apply, requiring that the restoration be removed, teeth extracted, and missing teeth to be then replaced. The same can be said of severely damaged teeth that have been through several root canals; for many patients, as the years go on, problematic teeth can no longer be restored but must be replaced entirely.

While removable teeth replacements like dentures can slip from the gums, leading to potentially embarrassing situations, dental implants are designed to last well into the future. With proper care, many implant patients can enjoy treatment that last upwards of twenty years.  Due to the comprehensive nature of placement, dental implants offer great security and reliability.

If tooth loss has made you a candidate for dental implants, speak to our implant dentist, Dr. Thomas E. O’Connor about regaining your smile’s vitality. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation!

3/7/2017 8:59:33 PM

CBCT imaging is a foreign topic for many dental patients, especially when it comes to how this technology is used in the complex implant dentistry process. However, there are benefits to be taken advantage of with this high-tech dental tool, which can help patients enjoy better outcomes from implant treatment. When discussing 3D computer guided implant surgery, patients typically ask Dr. O’Connor the following:

Is 3D Imaging Necessary for Implants?

There are many general dentists who place implants without the use of 3D dental scans—and these procedures are often without issue, as implants typically come with a success rate of over 90%. However, without 3D guided surgery, implant surgery can be a guessing game. Through traditional X-rays, dentists may not be able to see, with detail, all oral structures that are part of the implant process. Patients with compromised oral health may therefore not be best served with the traditional approach and will have to visit a specialist or a different dental office that is better able to meet their needs.

Why Should I Choose 3D Treatment Planning?

As mentioned in discussion of the treatment on our website, CBCT implant surgery is vital in reducing inaccuracies during standard implant surgery where this technology is not used. Computer imaging allows Dr. O’Connor to see where areas of bone are healthiest, so that implants can integrate with ease. Dr. O’Connor can treat patients with dental complications that would otherwise disqualify them for treatment, bone loss being chief among these issues. Computer guided implant dentistry promotes treatment that is precise and supports optimal results.

Are 3D Scans Safe?

Any time an X-ray or other medical images is taken, questions of safety and exposure are important to ask. There are plenty of times in life when X-rays are necessary, such as during accidents or injury, and routine dental appointments. However, it’s important to note that frequency of X-rays is a factor to consider for exposure, i.e. receiving unnecessary or superfluous X-rays may be ill-advised. X-rays with a clear benefit, intended for a specific purpose, are typically recommended for the ideal final results they can provide for patients.

3D scans for the purpose of implant treatment are kept to only a small treatment area – the specific procedure site – and are not applied extraneously, as to avoid unnecessary patient expose. When used in this conservative and precise manner, 3D scans are safe and provide essential benefits.

Ask us Your Questions about Guided Implant Surgery

If you’re curious about 3D computer guided implant surgery for replacing teeth in your smile, contact our office for your consultation.

4/7/2014 10:54:46 PM

Your initial dental exam is the most important process in finding your path to getting what you want from Dentistry.   The first part of your exam should be a discussion with you about your oral health as it relates to you as a person.  Are you happy with your smile?  Can you chew comfortably the foods that you want to enjoy?  Does the clean, healthy appearance of your smile enhance your position socially and/or in business?  How does the health of your mouth relate to your overall health–your heart and circulatory health?  Will you enjoy eating well as a senior citizen or will you have suffered loss of teeth, bone, facial beauty and proportion?  Can we think about what you want to be experiencing…in the future?

The rest of the exam is based upon the answers to the above questions, a comparison of the present state of your mouth to a model of health, and a decision of what you want for you.  With state of the art painless technology we can evaluate the health of your teeth.  Laser decay diagnosis and digital and 3-D radiology will give us a great look at the health of your mouth.

A healthy chewing system is composed of healthy teeth, bones, jaw joints and strong muscles of mastication.  The function of these systems is evaluated with the most current technology.  Doppler, MRI, CT and functionally generated bite records can all be used to evaluate the health of your mouth.  While all of these tests are seldom used for one patient, we can use all of this modern technology to evaluate your mouth if this is in the scope of your needs.

Education, discovery, and participation are the most critical elements of maintaining a healthy mouth.  The support systems of your mouth, the bone and gum tissue that hold in your teeth should be evaluated.  It is our responsibility to teach you to keep your mouth at the highest level of health that you choose.  Our dental hygienist, Kathy, is devoted to keeping you in touch with your personal level of effectiveness.  If a superior level of gum health is your goal, we will do everything in our power to help you develop the skills to maintain the highest level of personal dental hygiene.  Your active participation in the management of your own health can help you enjoy a lifetime of comfort with a great looking smile.

4/4/2014 8:40:30 PM

Our Piezo Surgery unit allows us to gently remove teeth without trauma to the bone and soft tissue adjacent to the involved tooth.   Why is that important???  We can now preserve the boney housing in the area of the tooth extraction so we can use this bone as a great site for your new implant supported tooth.  In the past oral surgical techniques usually wiped out the bone around an extraction with surgical drills, leaving little available bone left for a foundation for a replacement tooth.  Piezo Surgery–a technologically advanced tool using ultrasonic vibration for gentle removal of a tooth and preservation of bone for your new dental implant tooth.  Gentle technique–Happy patients!

4/3/2014 11:30:53 PM



New Dental Technology changes continued their march through our practice.  Digital x-rays, the Dexis Platinum system, are in place for low dosage, no wait, instant imaging.  Important when we need to see an x-ray image “now” or when x-rays need to be enhanced for even more thorough diagnostics.  The amazing 3-D digital cone beam CT scan, the Carestream 9300 has been installed for an in depth look at jaw bone anatomy prior to the safe placement of dental implants.  This tool will be invaluable for routine diagnosis as well as for patients with complex needs.  Regular and Mini implants and new techniques for bone augmentation and grafting have been developed and are also available here.  Our website,, is a great place to view some of these technology updates, check in with what’s happening here, and view photos of our happy family of patients.

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4/3/2014 11:52:56 AM


New Dental Technology changes continued their march through our practice.  Digital x-rays, the Dexis Platinum system, are in place for low dosage, no wait, instant imaging.  Important when we need to see an x-ray image “now” or when x-rays need to be enhanced for even more thorough diagnostics.  The amazing 3-D digital cone beam CT scan, the Carestream 9300 has been installed for an in depth look at jaw bone anatomy prior to the safe placement of dental implants.  This tool will be invaluable for routine diagnosis as well as for patients with complex needs.  Regular and Mini implants and new techniques for bone augmentation and grafting have been developed and are also available here.  Our website,, is a great place to view some of these technology updates, check in with what’s happening here, and view photos of our happy family of patients.

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