Dental Implants

Implants are titanium posts that are placed into your upper or lower jaws where there are missing teeth.  The implants bond with your natural bone to form a permanent foundation for the replacement teeth.  The prosthetic teeth, which are fabricated by your dentist, are connected to the implants.  Implants not only feel, look and function like real teeth but also help stimulate the natural bone to maintain it and preserve your natural face structure.

The surgery to place the dental implants is usually completed in one visit with just local anesthesia.  However, the implant which is placed into the jawbone is required to heal for 3 to 4 months.  During this time the bone is bonding to the titanium surface of the implant.  After the healing phase is completed, your dentist attaches the prosthetic tooth to the implant.  During the healing phase you are able to eat and maintain a regular daily routine.

Implants help maintain your facial structure and allow for excellent esthetics.  They are the closest replacement possible for your natural teeth.  They can also eliminate the need for poorly fitting partial or complete dentures.  The doctors will be happy to evaluate you to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants.

For more information on implants, please refer to the links section of this website and click on "Straumann Implants" or "3I Implants".

Wisdom Teeth

Most adults have 32 teeth.  The wisdom teeth or third molars are the last teeth to develop in the back of the mouth at age 18.  There are usually four wisdom teeth, however sometimes people are missing one or more of these teeth and sometimes people even have extra ones. 

Problems arises when these third molars attempt to erupt into a mouth that is not large enough to accommodate these extra teeth.  All teeth form in the jawbone and slowly push their way to the surface as the roots of the teeth mature.  When there is not enough room for these teeth to come into the mouth, the teeth become trapped in the gums and/or bone.  These teeth are then called impacted wisdom teeth.  In an attempt for these teeth to find a path to erupt into the mouth, the teeth may become extremely angled or turned.

These poorly positioned teeth can become infected and can cause pain, swelling or even severe illness.  Also impacted wisdom teeth can develop cysts or tumors around them if not removed.  Erupting wisdom teeth may disrupt the alignment of your natural teeth as they attempt to come through the gums.  It is usually recommended to remove the third molars early to avoid having these problems.  Many studies have shown that a timely evaluation (mid to late teens) and treatment can result in a better surgical outcome.  Dr. Jeffrey and Gerald Rothman will evaluate your x-rays and perform an oral exam in order to determine if your wisdom teeth pose a potential problem and require removal.

Bone Grafting

After loosing a tooth, the body reabsorbs the jawbone that was associated with the missing tooth.    This lack of bone makes the placement of a dental implant very difficult.  Recent technology now allows us to grow new bone where it is needed.  With the proper amount of bone, we are then able to place the appropriate size implant to restore your form and function.  These procedures make implants possible for patients who previously were unable to have them.   The bone grafting can be done either at the time of implant placement or several months prior to it, depending on the individual’s specific needs.  The need for bone grafting will be determined at the initial implant consultation.

Maxillofacial Trauma

As Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Drs Gerald and Jeffrey Rothman are superiorly trained to handle trauma to the facial area and the upper and lower jaws.  The doctors can repair lacerations (cuts) to the face or mouth, knocked out teeth or broken facial bones (cheeks, upper or lower jaws).  Drs. Jeffrey and Gerald Rothman are on staff at INOVA Alexandria Hospital and provide coverage for emergency room care.  Depending on the specific nature of the injury, the treatment may take place either in the office or in the hospital setting.

TMJ Disorders

There are many causes for problems and pain associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The joint is located just in front of the ears.  Problems can arise in the joint from clenching or grinding your teeth, trauma, injury to the joint or from misaligned teeth.  Joint pain may even be the result of other disease processes in the body. Therefore there are many treatment modalities depending on the cause of the TMJ disorder.  The first step in treating a TMJ disorder is to make the correct diagnosis with a thorough physical exam and x-rays if needed.    The correct treatment of the TMJ disorder usually involves a team of health care professionals including your general dentist.

Laser treatments

Lasers in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery office have many applications.   They can be used to remove unwanted lesions in the mouth and on the lips and face.  Also, lasers can be used to take samples of tissue to be sent for pathologic examination.  Contouring of gum tissue and bone around natural teeth and implants can be done with lasers.  The main advantage of laser surgery is the shortened recovery period for the patient.  Patients who have had their treatment performed with the laser experience less pain, swelling and bleeding. 

Dentoalveolar Surgery

The term dentoalveolar surgery refers to all other surgery related to the tooth structures and related gums and bone.  These procedures include surgical removal of teeth, management of dental and maxillofacial infections, apicoectomies, exposure of impacted teeth for orthodontics and preparation of the mouth to receive dentures.  In working with your general dentist, the doctors will help determine which procedures are appropriate for you.