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Texas Wisdom Blog

January 8, 2013

Dental Outreach in Nairobi- A Fulfilling Experience

Dr. Chilcoat @ 9:30 am

Personal Growth Through Service

A third year dental student at USC’s Ostrow School of Dentistry, my son, Joshua Weinstein is passionate about his career choice.  Josh is always excited and motivated to work and to help others.  I took it with a grain of salt the first time he mentioned that he would like for me to accompany him on a dental outreach mission in Nairobi.

Kenyan dental outreach mission

"This experience... to do good for people will change your life, Dad".

“This experience and opportunity to do good for people will change your life, Dad”, he said. He had spent time in Africa before, providing dental care and humanitarian aid to some of the poorest communities in the world.  As the idea began to take hold in my mind, I began to realize that the scale of this outreach project was much greater than the ones I had participated on previously in Mexico and other countries.  I also decided that having an opportunity to positively impact the lives and health of people who had never even seen a dentist or, in many cases, never used a toothbrush, was something I could not let go.  Having the opportunity to work on a project like this, side by side with my son, seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime chance.  I had to go.



Dental Supply Companies Help The Cause

In the weeks leading up to the mission trip, I was able to secure generous donations of supplies and instrumentation which

Dr. Weinstein, Josh Weinstein and Dr. Hyodo

Taking a break from the long day

would be needed to provide these patients with safe and comfortable oral surgery services.  Through the generosity of Colgate, Henry Schein and ACE Surgical, I was given many supplies that would be needed to take care of patients in the temporary clinic with the same high standard of care and safety that I provide in my own Dallas oral surgery practice.  What didn’t come in through donations I provided myself, and relied upon the supply donations which were made to the Outreach Project through corporate support and private donations.

In mid-November, I began to tell some of my patients here in Dallas about the mission trip.  I was getting really excited about going.  A patient of mine with familial ties in Nairobi told me that she knew about the dental clinic.  She knew people who were traveling from up to 100 miles away to get in line for the clinic.  Some of her coworkers at a local bank were also from Nairobi, and I began to receive regular updates about the excitement building over there in anticipation of our arrival.  Knowing that people were coming from so far away, a month in advance, to have the opportunity to receive professional dental services was very humbling.  I awaited our departure date with great anticipation.

The Road To Nairobi

The Doctor(s) Weinstein, providing care to a patient

The Doctor(s) Weinstein, providing care to a patient

Traveling to Nairobi is no small feat.  After almost 2 full days, two long  intercontinental  flights, we arrived tired, but excited.  The clinic was being housed in an open-air structure with one wall and three curtains.  Normally used as a church, the structure was literally transformed overnight into a modern and functional dental clinic.  The supplies and much of the equipment had not arrived, and were delayed 2 full days.  Somehow, we were able to scrounge up what we needed to take care of those who had been waiting with patient anticipation to receive dental care for the first time in their lives.  The participants of the USC Dental Humanitarian Outreach Project consist of students and faculty of the dental school.  A student run organization, the Kenya Project is their largest endeavor so far, and is also the largest dental outreach project in Kenya’s history.

I Am So Proud To Have Been A Part Of This

Dental Outreach in the second largest slum in Kenya

Touring the poverty stricken slums near the clinic

In all, 51 dental professionals and 37 support people spent one week in the second largest slum in Kenya, providing quality dental care, hygiene instruction, supplies and treatment to some of the most amazing people I have ever met.  I am so proud to have been one of them.

In the coming weeks, I plan to share the experiences and insights I gained during this week of service.  I hope you enjoy reading about it.  If you would like more information about future missions organized by USC Dental Humanitarian Outreach, or to make a gift, follow this link.

More Photos

December 13, 2012

The Death of a Dental Implant: Prevent Implant Failure

Dr. Chilcoat @ 10:46 am

If you have one or more dental implants, or are considering dental implants for tooth replacement, you might think that once you have your implants, you won’t need to worry about seeing your dentist again.  While it is true that dental implants can be a permanent solution for missing teeth, they are not without susceptibility to failure. 

Permanently successful up to 98% of the time, dental implants are by far the most predictable, reliable and permanent treatment option.  Like anything else in life, nothing can be guaranteed 100% of the time.  Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors that help dental implants to stay with you for the rest of your life.  What are dental implants?  Find out by clicking this link.

How To Be Part Of The 98%?

If you are investing in tooth replacement with dental implants, you want to do everything you can to make sure that your treatment is a success.  To help ensure that you are part of the 98% success rate, there are a few things you should know about dental implants.  Being well informed about the limitations, possible complications and best practices for implant success will help you keep a strong, healthy smile for a lifetime.   Click this link for information about the cost of dental implants.

Most Dental Implants Which Fail Will Do So Within The First 6 Months

The most critical period of time for a dental implant occurs between implant placement and complete osseointegration (the process of the implant becoming firmly set in bone).  If a dental implant fails, it will almost always do so during the initial healing period.  There are several clinical factors which can contribute to implant failure during the healing period after initial placement.  Some of these factors include poor dental hygiene, systemic diseases such as diabetes which can interfere with healing, infection, and failure of bone healing.  It is extremely important to follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding dental hygiene and clinical follow up in order to help ensure dental implant success.

Professional Cleaning Required

In addition to keeping your teeth, implants and gums healthy with good personal oral hygiene at home, it is important to maintain regular dental check- ups and professional cleanings with your general dentist.    Although dental implants cannot decay, the gum and bone tissue around them are still susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease.  The leading cause of dental implant failure beyond the initial placement is gum disease.  Keep your gums and implants healthy by maintaining your professional dental cleanings and check -ups.  Have your implants inspected every 4-6 months to detect excess wear and potential problems early.


Are Dental Implants Right For Me?

Watch Now!

Take Care of Problems Promptly

If you detect any problems with your dental implant, see your dentist or oral surgeon right away.  Problems with dental implants will not heal themselves, so if you experience anything unusual with your gums or implants, it is a good idea to have them examined right away.  You will help to ensure the highest success rate possible as well as a lifetime of healthy smiles when you maintain your dental implants and follow the instructions for care provided by your dental implantologist.



October 24, 2012

Dental Emergencies Always Seem to Happen At the Exact Wrong Time

Dr. Chilcoat @ 11:40 am

Tips For Coping With The Cost of Tooth Extraction

Emergency Tooth ExtractionAs a working mom, scout leader and a parent with kids in multiple activities, my day is pretty busy.  In fact, I rarely get the chance to slow down long enough to catch my breath these days.  If you’re like me, when life moves at a speed less than 100 miles per hour, it almost feels like something is wrong.

My life is definitely a far cry from “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”, in fact it plays out more like “Lifestyles of the Stressed and Over committed”.  If you can relate, then this post is for you.

As an oral surgery professional, I’ve learned a few things that are absolute truths when it comes to tooth extractions, dental emergencies and the unexpected.

Your Teeth Will Almost Always Choose the Most Inconvenient Time to Rebel Against You

If you have a big life event coming up soon, are traveling out of the country or getting married, you might want to schedule a dental check- up before the big day.  For some reason, painful or unsightly dental emergencies such as an abscessed tooth, fractured tooth or broken dental crown always seem to happen right before a big event.  Perhaps it’s the added stress surrounding the event which exacerbates an existing problem.  One thing is for certain when it comes to tooth extractions- they are almost never expected by the patients.  It also seems extremely predictable that problems such as toothaches, swelling and abscess begin late on Friday nights, causing their victims to cope with pain and discomfort all weekend long until their dentist office opens on Monday morning.  If this happens to you, my advice is to go ahead and call your dentist’s emergency phone number for help and instructions.  If you need to have the tooth extracted, and must be referred to an oral surgeon like Dr. Robert A. Weinstein ask your dentist to call on your behalf to schedule the appointment.  Your dentist can relate the urgency of your situation much more clearly to the oral surgeon’s office.  The chances of getting a same-day appointment for your tooth extraction increase significantly when your dentist makes the call.  Our Dallas Oral Surgery practice makes it our policy to schedule same day tooth extraction appointments whenever possible in any urgent situation.


An Emergency Tooth Extraction Will Happen When Your Wallet is Thinnest

If you have just returned from an expensive vacation, just paid for your daughter’s wedding or have just maxed out your benefits under your dental plan, watch out, because these are financial circumstances which seem to set you up for requiring emergency oral surgery or a tooth extraction.  Again, schedule an appointment with your dentist every 6 months to make sure everything is in tip-top shape.  Catching problems before they become emergencies is the best way to avoid unexpected costs with tooth extraction.  If an emergency does happen, and you find yourself at the oral surgeon’s office with a big toothache and a thin wallet, don’t panic.  Good communication with the business office team is the key to success in this situation.  You would be surprised at the financial resources available to dental patients.  Communicate honestly with the business office team about your limitations.  Ask for options available for deferred payment, interest-free financing and taking advantage of insurance benefits or health savings accounts.  At our North Dallas oral surgery practice, we never want to see a patient leave our office in pain… we’re here to help.  There are several options available to patients who find themselves short on cash and long on dental pain.  Some examples which may be available to you are:

  • Interest free financing through Care Credit
  • ACH checking account withdrawls (monthly payments)
  • Insurance Discounts (Get The Most Out of Your Dental Plan)
  • Cash payment discounts
  • Payment by HAS

schedule an appointment for oral surgeryIf you find yourself in an emergency dental situation, don’t delay and don’t try to treat yourself at home.  Another thing I’ve learned in oral surgery is that teeth don’t repair themselves and nothing takes care of pain as quickly as eliminating the source of it.

For emergency tooth extraction, oral surgery and dental implants information, contact Dr. Robert Weinstein and his helpful, compassionate team at Texas Wisdom Teeth and Dental Implants.

To apply for dental financing through Care Credit, click here.



October 4, 2012

Dental Implant vs. Bridge INFOGRAPHIC

Dr. Chilcoat @ 12:39 pm


Dental Implant vs. Bridge infographic

Dental Implant vs. Bridge

If you are facing the reality of a missing tooth, you are not alone.  The biggest question people face when deciding how to restore a missing tooth involves the decision about exactly HOW to do it.  We’ve put together some important information about the comparison of a dental implant vs bridge for replacing a missing tooth.

This Infographic is a good starting point when beginning your research into the options available to you.  It is not all-inclusive, and does not take into consideration every variable that would be used to determine an individual’s recommended course of action.

A dental implant will work best for patients in many situations, however there are dental situations in which a dental implant would not be the best treatment option.

When deciding for yourself whether to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant or a bridge, consider the pro’s and con’s of each option.  For information on the cost of dental implants, visit our website.

Whatever your final decision may be, make sure that you research your options, consider not only cost, but cost effectiveness over time, as well as the likely longevity of the solution you choose.  Consider dental aesthetics and cosmetic concerns along with functional concerns.

If you decide that dental implants are right for you, please consider visiting us for more information on how to get started on the road to restoring your missing tooth (or teeth).

If you found this post helpful, please consider sharing it with your friends or followers using the toolbar below.

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September 27, 2012

How To Know If You’ve Chosen The Right Oral Surgeon

Dr. Chilcoat @ 2:09 pm

Years ago, and I mean quite a few years ago, if you received a referral to an oral surgeon from your dentist, you just called the specialist up and scheduled an appointment.  You didn’t have much of a choice about where you went.  You only had to go see him once or twice and that was the end of it.

It’s Not The “Good Ol’ Days” Anymore

This transaction style Raise your expectations for healthcare providersmethodology created an environment where oral surgeons didn’t have to work very hard to create happy patients.  Expectations were low and people didn’t feel like they had a choice.  Let’s face it, everybody hates going to an oral surgeon anyway.  Most every oral surgeon with a license is competent and does a good job, clinically.  After all, oral surgeons, like any medical professionals are trained to be competent surgeons.  As is the fact with many referral driven specialty practices, oral surgeons did not instinctively recognize that providing a positive customer experience for their patients was critically important.   Before I create a controversy by writing that oral surgeons don’t care about or are not good at patient service, I would like to say that there are many who have always provided the highest level of patient service and have always created a friendly, comfortable environment for their patients.  Patient service is just not something that comes naturally to some people, and in a referral driven environment, the focus has not always been on maximizing the patient’s positive experience.

Our Oral Surgery TeamWait!  I’m Not Bashing Oral Surgeon’s Patient Service!

I’m not bashing specialty providers’ patient service skills in this article.  In fact, I want to point out that over the past decade or so, a gigantic shift has taken place in dental medicine, especially where specialists are concerned.  Surgeons and specialists have really gotten into the driver’s seat when it comes to patient service and experience.  How did they finally wake up, you ask?

Patients (consumers) like you have made that happen.


As competition in the marketplace has increased and information has become more readily available on the internet, patients themselves have created a shift in the level of patient service that they demand from any provider of care, even a specialist!

How Do YOU Pick a Specialist?

Customer Service Counts!

There are a number of things that motivate people to choose one specialist over another (yes, people now have options).  Many people are motivated to choose a particular doctor based on the way that they are treated by the staff when they call to make an inquiry. In other words, customer service counts!  Health care consumers have demanded to be treated well by their providers.  People want to go where they are most comfortable, listened to, understood and where the doctor and the staff take a personal interest in them both as a person and as a patient.

Google It!

Patients no longer blindly follow the referrals of their primary doctors.  The internet provides a great way to research their own condition, find alternative specialists and provide more options to choose a specialist that they feel will meet their needs.  Reasons a patient may choose one specialist over another include whether or not their insurance plan is accepted, how close the office is to their home or place of business, and whether or not they like the business office receptionist when they call.   The office environment, friendliness of the staff and whether or not the office seems organized and efficient are all contributing factors in the decision making process for patients looking for a specialist.

The availability of information on the internet is a huge driving factor for patients when choosing a specialist.  Most people now use the internet to find information they need about products or services.  Medical and dental services are shopped for online more than through any other source.  So what are people looking for when they ‘shop’ for an oral surgeon online?

  • Research on their condition
  • Researching their treatment options
  • Comparing prices
  • Assessing value
  • Judging patient service and atmosphere


Is Texas Wisdom Teeth and Dental Implants Right For You?

We understand that DFW is a big place, full of many oral surgeons.  There are over 100 of them right here in DFW.  You have choices, and we want you to make the one that is right for you.  We don’t think that our practice is right for everybody.  There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to choosing an oral surgeon.  Here is how we stand out from the crowd:

We take care of people. We work hard to understand just how to meet you where you are coming from, and will take cues from you when interacting with you.  Are you a very busy person?  You might not want to beat around the bush when it comes to planning your needed treatment… the fewer appointments the better.  Are you very conscientious?  Maybe you want to research your condition and treatment options very thoroughly, ask a lot of questions and get multiple specialist’s opinions before moving ahead.

Are you extremely cost-conscious?  We love it when people ask us about prices!  Aside from being confident in our clinical and surgical expertise, we are not full of ourselves when it comes to money.  The bottom line is that we believe in providing excellent surgical care in a warm and friendly environment and at a price that is reasonable and fair.We treat you the way you want to be treated

Our fees are carefully structured at the low end of the average for our area.  In fact, we make it a point to keep our fees on the low end of normal.  We think everybody should be able to afford exceptional patient care and surgical results.  We offer creative ways to fit surgery fees into your budget so you can afford the care you need.

Are you afraid of the dentist and need someone to provide extra emotional support for you?  Our team is trained to get to know you and to treat you the way YOU want to be treated.  They don’t treat you the way THEY would want to be treated.

We work with you primary care dentist to ensure that your treatment plans are well communicated, well thought out and we strive to keep everybody on the same page where your care is concerned.  We take a straightforward and down to Earth approach, making sure that we are striving toward YOUR goals and needs, not our own.  We won’t try to “sell” you something you don’t want or don’t need.

One Final Word of Advice

Don’t pick your oral surgeon just because he is in your network!  Pick a surgeon who understands you, wants to get to know you and who is ready and willing to meet your needs according to YOUR goals and desires, not the other way around.





September 17, 2012

We Just Got An I-Pad for Patient Education!

Dr. Chilcoat @ 1:47 pm

Everybody has an I-Pad.  I know we are behind the times in getting one for use in the office.  The I-Pad has significantly changed the way that we are able to educate our patients on topics such as impacted wisdom teeth or dental implants.  We can even use the I-Pad to simulate cosmetic surgery or treatment results on a patient’s own photographs. Possibly even better than that?  We  can watch our favorite shows at lunch time, too!

Why So Slow to Conform?

An I-Pad is a pretty sophisticated little piece of technology.  We’ve tossed around the idea of how to integrate the use of one in our Dallas dental implants practice.  A lot of negatives surfaced.  What it it breaks?  What if we lose it?  Who will be in charge of an I-Pad in the office? Will it really have anything valuable to offer our patients if we get one?  If we have something cool, like an I-Pad in our office, will re really ever get any work done?  Maybe, maybe not.

Our I-pad

Lindsey and Our Office I-Pad

The Big Leap

Well, we decided to take the leap.  You see, we are planning an open house event at the office.  There are plans and preparations taking place.  We were thinking about what we can do a little differently.  “Imagine how easy it will be to take before and after photos”, I said.  “We have a camera for that”, he said.  “There’s a really cool app we can get that demonstrates how dental implants work”.  No response.  “It’s free….”  Still nothing.  “You can take it home in the evenings if you want”.  Those were the magic words.

Now We Have This Cool Gadget

So , now we have this cool gadget which we can use to help us explain all kinds of things to our patients.  Why are impacted teeth a potential problem?  What happens if you leave a toothless space alone for too long?  How does a dental implant work, anyway?  These are all things we can walk through with our patients with the most incredible visual aid possible.  The point is, we have made the leap into the Apple-verse and now our patient education resources are limitless!  Yay! The next time you come in to see us, ask us and we’ll show you what this baby can do!

Until We See You For a Personal Demonstration of Our Cool Gadget…

We put together a little video which shows the dental implant transformation, step by step.  Enjoy!

3 Step Dental Implant: Your New Tooth a 30 second video 🙂

August 20, 2012

Tooth Replacement For Everyday People

Dr. Chilcoat @ 11:19 am

Why You Should Not Dismiss Implant Dentistry As Too Expensive

cartoon of man landed on moonUnless you’ve been living on the Moon, you’ve probably heard the hype about dental implants for tooth replacement.  The dental world has been proclaiming the glories and triumphs of multiple tooth replacement using implant dentistry for several years now.  Just because everybody is talking about it now, doesn’t mean that implant dentistry is a new science.  In fact, tooth replacement with dental implants has been a successful treatment option since the 1960’s.  Even our ancient ancestors have dabbled in tooth replacement using pieces of ivory and shells, as far back as the Ancient Egyptians. What has changed in the practice of implant dentistry recently is that it has become a much more successful and financially accessible option for patients who desire to replace missing teeth.

Teeth have a tendency to wear out, become decayed, infected and eventually lost.  Even those of us with excellent oral hygiene will most likely lose a tooth at some point.

Missing teeth are an important concern for a number of reasons:

1)      Missing teeth are unattractive

2)      Missing teeth perpetuate bone loss in the jaw

3)      Remaining teeth are stressed unnaturally in the absence of missing teeth, contributing to even more tooth loss

4)      Missing teeth interfere with speech and the ability to chew our food.

For these reasons, dentists and dental professionals strive to educate their patients about their options regarding tooth replacement.

Dental Implants Vs. Bridge

man with 3 stairways

Choosing the Best Option for You

A hot topic of debate among patients and dentists is centered on choosing the best option for tooth replacement. Dental implants have a long history of being a highly specialized, technologically engineered treatment option.  In the recent past, dental implants have been a very expensive tooth replacement option.  This is due to the fact that materials, hardware, planning and technique contribute to the cost of the procedure.  Patients and dentists must weigh the options between dental implants vs. bridge or denture.

Here are a few facts to consider when deciding on a dental implant vs. bridge:

1)      Dental Implants are the closest we have come to mimicking the anatomy and functionality of a natural tooth

2)      Dental implants are ideal for patients who are missing teeth which are surrounded by undamaged or unrestored teeth.  Replacing a tooth with a bridge requires that the adjacent teeth be ground down and crowned.  While a reliable treatment option, the adjacent teeth are compromised and more susceptible to future damage.

3)      Replacing a tooth with a dental implant is 97% successful over almost 50 years of research.  A dental bridge will last 5-15 years before requiring replacement or extension due to damage and potential loss of the adjacent teeth.

4)      Implant dentistry is one of the most reliable, predictable and effective options for tooth replacement, the gold standard in the dental profession.

What About The Cost of A Dental Implants Procedure?

Dental implant professionals have recognized that the high cost of dental implants can be a detractor for many patients.  In recent years, the cost of materials and hardware has become less prohibitive.  While dental implants do often cost more than a dental bridge, it is important to consider these facts when weighing your options:

1)      Dental implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth, while a dental bridge or removable partial denture provides temporary solutions which must be replaced every 5-15 years.

2)      Dental implants are now covered by a growing number of dental insurance companies

3)      Many implant dentists have been able to control their costs and streamline their treatments to support a reduction in overall fees, making a dental implant more comparable in cost to a dental bridge.

4)      Dental implants are more durable and stronger than other forms of prosthetics.

5)      Dental implants help maintain important jaw bone structure and prevent excess bone loss in areas of missing teeth.  Other forms of prosthetics cannot accomplish this.

Additionally, many implant providers are offering interest free financing and other financial options to help patients take advantage of the number one tooth replacement option available today.  Dr. Robert Weinstein of Texas Wisdom Teeth and Dental Implants has heard the call to action by patients.  Dr. Weinstein offers uncomplicated dental implants for a lower fee.  For more information on low cost dental implants, click on the link.

For more information on dental implants, select one of these entries:

Multiple Tooth Replacement

The History of Dental Implants

Replacing Missing Teeth

Affordable Dental Implants

Advancements in Implant Dentistry




August 16, 2012

All About Dental Bone Grafting- It’s Not As Scary As You Think

Dr. Chilcoat @ 1:49 pm

The term “bone graft” sounds really scary, I know this, and I feel for you.  I’m going to share a little information about bone grafting anyway.  I’m going to try to show you that dental bone grafting is a very good thing that helps make all kinds of other beautiful dental related things possible. Let’s focus on the positive when it comes to replacing bone for dental reasons.  Here we go!

Little, Medium and Big Dental Bone Grafts

In the instance of a missing tooth or many missing teeth, a few things can happen.  First of all, it’s important to understand that your jaw bone is what holds your teeth in place.  The roots of your teeth are surrounded by bone and attached by some other anatomical structures that we don’t really want to worry about today. If you are missing a tooth, you definitely want to replace it with something, usually a dental implant or a bridge. Once a tooth is removed, the bone doesn’t have anything to support anymore.  Over time, it begins to slowly erode until it creates a hollow or a basin shaped divot in the jaw bone.  If you try to place a bridge or a dental implant in a spot where the natural bone and gum tissue level is much lower than the surrounding areas, it’s going to look kind of funny.  A tooth in an area where the bone level is very low is going to make you look really “long in the tooth” (nobody wants that)! For Cutting Edge Grafting Techniques, Click Here

The Little Bone Graft

In the case of a lost tooth, there are a couple of ways to ensure that you will not lose excess bone dental implant with bone graft height and width.  Ideally, your dentist or oral surgeon will remove the damaged tooth and preserve the bone in the area using a simple bone grafting procedure.  In this procedure, demineralized, sterile human bone granules, (which look like coarse sand), are packed into the tooth socket immediately after tooth extraction.  The granules are covered with a protective collagen membrane and a couple stitches are used to close the tooth socket.  This procedure is simple and usually does not add to your recovery time.  Over the next several weeks, your own bone will fill the tooth socket and preserve the bone height long enough for you to have the area restored.  If you replace the missing tooth with a dental implant, the bone level will remain indefinitely.  If you replace the missing tooth with a bridge, you will lose some of the bone level over time.

Medium Bone Grafts

If the tooth, or teeth were removed years ago, there is likely some bone loss hindering the restoration of the area. A slightly more involved bone graft may be needed.  In this case, the area of the missing tooth is opened with a small incision, the bone surface is prepared and demineralized bone graft granules are used to build the area up.  Many surgeons prefer to use a little bit of the patient’s own bone in this procedure in order to ensure the best results possible.  If your own bone is used, your surgeon will take it from another area of the jaw bone, usually near the wisdom tooth area.  He will not remove a large piece of bone, rather he will shave off tiny granules and combine them with the demineralized bone.  Again, the graft is protected with a special membrane and sutures are used to close it up tight.  Over the next several months, the bone graft will heal and integrate with the surrounding bone tissue, successfully building up the width and height of the area so a nice restoration can be made. This type of graft can be used for one or multiple areas of missing teeth.

Big Bone Graft

Illustration of a sinus lift graft

Sinus Lift Graft

Patients who have been missing many teeth for a very long time have often experienced advanced bone loss which prevents adequate restoration of the teeth.  In denture wearers, the lower jaw bone often recedes so severely that their dentures no longer fit properly.  The jaw bone in cases of advanced bone loss can be as thin as a pencil in some patients.  These patients can no longer wear a denture successfully and do not have enough bone to place dental implants.  Extensive bone grafting is necessary in order to restore the missing teeth as well as restore quality of life.  In a procedure like this, a combination of demineralized, sterile human bone and the patient’s own bone is used to build up the jaw bone, creating enough width and height to accommodate dental implants.  The patient’s bone is supplied by another part of the jaw, hip or tibia in the form of a small block.  This block is anchored in place in the recipient site using specialized bone screws and sometimes plates.  Bone granules are used to enhance the graft.  The entire site is protected with a membrane, closed tightly with sutures and left to heal for a period of months before dental implants can be placed in the new bone. The upper jaw has challenges of it’s own.  Patients missing upper molar teeth often experience extensive bone loss which causes the maxillary sinuses to become involved.  The maxillary sinus is a hollow cavity which sits just above the molars in the upper jaw.  When these teeth have been lost, the maxillary sinus often begins to dip down lower and lower.  Combined with bone loss from the missing teeth, patient’s can end up with just an eggshell of bone between their gums and maxillary sinus.  You cannot place implants into a hollow cavity, so bone grafting is performed in order to raise the floor of the sinus and increase the depth and width of the bone in this area.  This procedure is often referred to as “sinus lift”. In the sinus lift, an incision is made in the gum tissue and a small window is created into the maxillary sinus cavity.  Very carefully, the sinus membrane lining the sinus wall is detached and lifted.  Demineralized, sterile human bone and the patient’s own bone is combined and packed into the new space between the sinus membrane and the bone of the sinus floor.  Once the desired thickness is achieved, a special collagen membrane is placed to protect the new bone and the window and gum tissue is closed with sutures.  The width of the bone can also be augmented at this time in order to create space for dental implants.  A graft like this will need at least 4 months to heal before dental implants can be placed in the new bone.

Dental Bone Grafting Makes New Teeth Possible

Although bone grafting is a surgical procedure which can sometimes be rather extensive, it plays a very important role in making new teeth possible.  In the not so distant past, patients without adequate bone height or width for tooth replacement with dental implants were simply told they couldn’t have implants.  These people didn’t want to wear dentures or go toothless forever.  The art and science of implant dentistry has brought us these highly specialized and successful techniques in order to restore what was lost and make it possible to have a beautiful smile.  Bone graft surgery is temporary, but being able to eat, laugh, talk and smile lasts a lifetime!

For more information about dental bone grafting, read on

We provide live chat to answer your bone grafting questions or to schedule a free consultation with your Dallas oral surgeon at Texas Wisdom Teeth, click here.

August 7, 2012

Oral Cancer Facts

Dr. Chilcoat @ 1:38 pm


oral cancer information

Oral Cancer Information


Oral Cancer is Deadly

Over 8,000 people die annually from oral and pharyngeal cancer.  As the deadliest form of head and neck cancer, it is important to know the facts and risk factors associated with this form of cancer.

Most people think that oral cancer only affects people who smoke or use chewing tobacco.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  In recent years, much of what we believed about risk factors for oral cancer has been shown to be only a part of the big picture.


One important factor to consider is that the same virus which has been shown to cause cervical cancer, the HPV-16 (human papilloma virus), also causes oral cancer.  In fact, oral cancer is showing up in patients who are younger and younger than the over 40 high risk age group previously defined.

While traditional lifestyle choices and risk factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and environmental risks are still considered high risk factors, younger patients with no known lifestyle risks are being diagnosed with this disease.

Early Detection Saves Lives

Oral cancer is so serious because it is often not detected until it has progressed to an advanced stage.  Late detection of oral cancer carries with it a 57% 5-year mortality rate.  When detected in the very early stages, the chances of survival increase dramatically.

In recent years, the early detection of oral cancer and precancerous lesions in the mouth, pharynx and oral tissues has been improved dramatically through the integration of specialized examination tools.  Your dentist will perform a visual and tactile oral cancer screening in addition to using one of these tools in order to ensure that you are protected.

Shining a Light on Oral Cancer

The Velscope light is one such tool which utilizes technology which is very similar to that which detects precancerous and cancerous cervical lesions.  A specialized light is used to illuminate oral tissue during examination.  Normal tissue appears green and possible abnormal tissue appears darkened.  This new method of early detection has made it possible to prevent abnormal tissue from developing into cancer.

The Best Way to Prevent Oral Cancer?

See your dentist regularly.  Have an oral cancer screening performed annually.  Do not ignore warning signs.

July 31, 2012

Olympic Athletes Need Dental Care Too!

Dr. Chilcoat @ 10:15 am

Olympic Village London 2012

The London Summer Olympics are on everybody’s mind right now, and we are all cheering on Team USA as they work to bring home the gold.  So much planning and preparation go into creating the Olympic Village and all the venues and amenities which we are accustomed to seeing when we watch the games on TV.  With the city of London Hosting over 18,000 Olympic Athletes and officials within Olympic Village this summer, keeping them all housed and fed is a huge undertaking.  One thing you might not have thought about is what happens to the athletes if they become ill, have a toothache or other health problem?

The healthcare of Olympic Athletes is not something I’ve thought of before.  I found out that the City of London built a state of the art multi-specialty clinic to take care of all the health, dental and eye care needs of the Olympians while they are staying at Olympic Village.  The £23 million facility will provide healthcare free of charge to the Olympic athletes and officials.  The center is open 24 hours a day and expects to take care of 200 people per day.

In addition to expected sports injuries and urgent care, the clinic is providing free dental care and vision care to athletes.  “We would complete and finish a root canal for someone who might not be able to get it in their own country,” said Wendy Turner, one of the dentists who works in the clinic. “There will be competitors who haven’t had much access to dental care. It is an opportunity for them to get it sorted out.”

With a small city of 18,000 athletes, coaches and officials housed in Olympic Village, it is easy to see how complex it can be to orchestrate accommodations, meals and even healthcare for these world-class athletes. It looks like London has it all figured out, having thought of every last detail to ensure comfort and hospitality for their guests from around the world.

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14856 Preston Rd., Suite 104, Dallas, TX 75254 USA
Charles Chilcoat, DDS Dallas TX Dentist (972) 960-1111 care@texaswisdom.com