Monthly Archives: November 2018

take care dental implants

How Do You Take Care of Dental Implants?

Every year, millions of dental implants are placed, and the vast majority — more than 95 percent — are successful. And when an experienced oral surgeon performs the procedure versus a general dentist, the chance of success rises to 98 percent.

If you want your implanted teeth to last a lifetime, however, sticking to a solid oral hygiene routine is essential. Fortunately, taking care of dental implants isn’t all that different from taking care of your natural teeth.

take care dental implants


Brush Your Teeth

Twice a day, for at least two minutes — that’s how often dental experts recommend brushing natural teeth, and the advice for implanted teeth is the same. Patients who have difficulty cleaning the areas around the implants can try an interdental brush with smaller bristles.

Floss Every Day

Flossing at least once per day is an important oral hygiene habit for dental implant patients. The gums surrounding implanted teeth have a greater risk of developing periodontal disease, and daily flossing helps prevent the condition. Hand-held flossers or using a water flosser can make the task easier.

Use a Mouth Rinse

A mouth rinse cleans hard-to-reach areas, including the gumline and between the teeth, which helps combat plaque and germs. Daily use of a therapeutic mouthwash reduces the risk of oral health problems that may compromise the integrity of implanted teeth. A nonabrasive, antimicrobial mouth rinse is generally a safe bet, but an oral surgeon can provide specific recommendations.

Consider a Bite Guard

Bruxism, or tooth grinding, can lead to dental implant failure. For patients who grind or clench their teeth during sleep, oral surgeons advise wearing a bite guard or custom-made dental splint at night. Doing so helps mitigate the effects of tooth grinding and gives implanted teeth a greater chance of lasting a lifetime.

Get Routine Cleanings

Routine professional cleanings, performed by a dental hygienist, are beneficial for dental implant patients — even those who maintain sound oral hygiene habits. Hygienists use special equipment that thoroughly removes plaque, tartar and bacteria within the spaces between natural and implanted teeth, which helps prevent implant failure.

Schedule Regular Examinations

After dental implant surgery, frequent professional examinations by an experienced oral surgeon are a must — experts recommend that patients schedule checkups every three to six months.


Regular attention helps catch problems with implanted teeth early, when they’re treatable. Some oral conditions, including peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis, don’t always cause symptoms. Without regular examinations, issues can go undetected, and patients can suffer bone or tissue loss — or even implant failure.

Are you thinking about getting dental implants? Or is it time to schedule a professional oral surgeon examination of your implanted teeth? Either way, if you live in the greater east central Indiana area, the professionals at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can provide expert care.

As specialists in tooth replacement and implanted teeth, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Alderman have extensive experience helping patients keep their smiles healthy. For more information on how to take care of dental implants or to schedule a professional consultation, contact Richmond Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today.

oral surgeon doctor dental surgery

Should You See an Oral Surgeon or Doctor of Dental Surgery?

Is an oral surgeon the right specialist to see for mouth issues that may require surgical treatment? Or should you visit a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) instead?

Many patients aren’t sure which professional has the skill and training to provide the care they need. To make an informed choice between an oral surgeon and a Doctor of Dental Surgery, however, you need to understand the differences between the two.

oral surgeon doctor dental surgery

What Is a Doctor of Dental Surgery or DDS?

Simply put, a Doctor of Dental Surgery is a general dentist. That’s the degree many universities award upon completion of dental school. At other institutions, graduation comes with a DMD degree, which stands for Doctor of Medicine in dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine.

General dentists with DDS and DMD degrees have the same basic education, with at least four years of full-time study and hands-on training in dentistry. Dental practices provide a range of procedures, including:

  • Diagnostic exams and X-rays
  • Routine cleanings
  • Filling, crown and bridge placement
  • Simple tooth extractions
  • Root canals
  • Periodontal treatment
  • Teeth whitening and bonding

What Is an Oral Surgeon?

After graduating from dental school, an oral surgeon attends a hospital-based surgical residency program for an additional four to six years of specialized training. Upon completion, a degree in oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) is awarded.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the best choice for complicated dental cases and surgical procedures. Treatments offered at an OMFS practice include:

  • Wisdom tooth extraction
  • Complex tooth extractions
  • Impacted canine correction
  • Dental implants
  • Jaw realignment
  • Bone grafting
  • Oral cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Congenital defect correction
  • Sleep apnea surgery
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) surgery
  • Pre-prosthetic surgery

Which Dental Professional Can Provide the Care You Need?

If you are certain you need surgical treatment or specialized care, visiting an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a wise choice.

However, if you don’t know if surgery is in your future, you may want to see your general dentist first. Using first-hand knowledge of your clinical history, your dentist can assess the situation and determine an effective treatment plan. If that involves surgical intervention, you can expect a referral to a qualified oral surgeon.

Dentists in the greater east central Indiana area frequently refer patients to the professional team at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.


Dr. Partridge and Dr. Alderman have extensive expertise in performing surgical procedures to treat problems related to the mouth, teeth, jaws and face. Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery offers a full range of treatment services and our team takes great care to give every patient a comfortable, positive experience.

At Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we look forward to providing the care you need to preserve your oral health. For more information, or to schedule an oral surgeon consultation, contact us today.