Frequently Asked Questions
If you think you may be in need of oral surgery, you likely have many questions. We can help you better understand what’s involved in this type of surgery, what types of anesthesia and sedation are available to you, what to expect in terms of recovery, and more. Drs. Libunao and Kim will listen to any and all of your concerns and do everything possible to make you comfortable with your surgery.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is the specialty of a dental practice that deals with the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries and defects of the mouth, jaws, face and related structures. This includes the removal of impacted and decayed teeth, placement of dental implants, biopsy and removal of cysts and tumors of the mouth and jaws, treatment of facial trauma and reconstructive jaw surgery.
Maxillofacial refers to the face and jaws, which along with the mouth comprise the areas of expertise of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Drs. Libunao and Kim are Board Certified Oral Surgeons. This means that they have graduated from an accredited dental school and has completed an oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program approved by the American Dental Association Commission in Dental Accreditation. This required thirteen years of post-high school education and training. The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is recognized by the American Dental Association as the specialty board for oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Our office staff is committed to making your visit as comfortable and stress-free as possible. All questions are encouraged at any phase of your treatment. We are proud of our commitment to excellence and we welcome you to our practice! We use up-to-date surgical equipment and techniques which have always been the standard in our office. Our caring and empathetic staff understand the anxiety that can accompany an oral surgery visit and treat you in a personable, dignified and confidential fashion. Insurance issues are researched for you so that you have a good understanding of your insurance benefits prior to your procedure whenever possible, and we work as your advocate with the insurance company so that you are given the proper benefits that your premiums are paying for.
Yes. New patients should simply call our office directly (630-972-1599). No referral from a dentist or physician is necessary. Every effort is made to see emergencies immediately. We pride ourselves in seeing you at your appointed time.
We are happy to provide you with a pre-surgical estimate of fees. Payment is expected on the day of service unless other arrangements have been made in advance. We accept cash, all major credit cards, Care Credit, and personal checks.
We accept most insurance plans, but please confirm your coverage with us. Most insurance plans pay a portion of your bill. The uncovered copayment and deductible amount is expected on the day of your procedure. We file claims promptly and we serve as your advocate.
Yes. A panoramic radiograph that shows your full jaw is usually necessary for oral surgery. If your dentist has taken x-rays in the past six to twelve months they may be adequate, but we often need additional films to properly evaluate you and provide care. We can stores these images electronically and can be copied or sent by e-mail to an insurance company or to your dentist or another specialist for a second opinion.
The last teeth to develop and erupt into the jaws are called the third molars. Third molars usually erupt in the late teen years, which coincides with passage into adulthood and is referred to by some as the age of wisdom; hence “wisdom teeth”. Unfortunately, the wisdom teeth are now usually trying to erupt into a jaw that is too small. Wisdom teeth used to serve a useful purpose, but are now considered vestigial organs. A vestige is a degenerative or imperfectly formed organ or structure having little or no utility, but in the earlier stage of development of a species performed a useful function. The reasons that wisdom teeth are now “outdated” are many. Until quite recently, our diet included mostly very coarse food, as well as impurities such as dirt and sand. This coarseness would abrade teeth so significantly that they would take up less space in the jaw. Permanent teeth were also frequently lost at an early age, which would create more space in the jaw. Because the diet was so coarse and hard to chew, the jaw itself would develop into a larger bone because of this constant workout. All of these factors would create more space for the wisdom teeth when they came in. The heavily processed diet of today does not produce the tooth abrasion or jaw development that we used to see. Modern dentistry has pretty much eliminated significant loss of permanent teeth at an early age. This leaves us with too many teeth and not enough jaw. The wisdom teeth still develop as they always have, but they have no where to go. When this happens, the teeth are considered “impacted,” meaning that they are not in normal position and function.
A third molar is considered to be impacted when it fails to erupt or only partially erupts through the gum tissue. Impacted third molars are very common and often cause no pain or problems. It’s important to remember that whether they are erupted or impacted, it is possible for wisdom teeth to cause problems if they are not properly cared for by brushing, flossing, and having regular visits to your dentist.
You should discuss your options with your dentist before making any decisions regarding your third molars. Depending on the current state of your third molars (such as whether or not they are impacted, the position in which they are erupting, and how they may be affecting the teeth adjacent to your third molars), your dentist will recommend the best course of action for you. Your dentist may also refer you to an oral surgeon, a dentist who specializes in removal of third molars, for further evaluation.
If you want to be asleep for your procedure, you must have nothing to eat or drink (not even water) for at least eight hours beforehand. A responsible adult must be with you to drive you home. Please wear short sleeves so that a blood pressure can be taken, and bring a case if you wear contacts. No loose jewelry and no dark nail polish. Prescription medications should be taken with a sip of water. A parent or guardian must accompany children under 18 even if local anesthesia is planned.
There are different schools of thought surrounding the removal (extraction) of third molars. According to the American Dental Association, the “extraction of wisdom teeth is generally recommended when: Wisdom teeth only partially erupt. This leaves an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection. Pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness can result. There is a chance that poorly aligned wisdom teeth will damage adjacent teeth. A cyst (fluid-filled sac) forms, destroying surrounding structures such as bone or tooth roots.”
A dental implant is a titanium fixture that is implanted in the jaw. It can replace a single tooth or it can be a support for a bridge or a denture. Replacing missing teeth has always been a challenge for dentists, but fortunately we have added another way to replace teeth that offers many advantages over conventional methods. Dental implants allow a missing tooth to be replaced without altering or trimming down neighboring teeth that would serve as anchors for a bridge, or without relying on neighboring teeth that are not strong enough to support a bridge. Partial dentures and full dentures can be supported or retained by implants so that the function of the denture is greatly improved.
Anyone in reasonable health who wants to replace missing teeth. You must have enough bone in the area of the missing teeth to provide adequate anchorage for the implants. Most people today are potential candidates for dental implants to replace a single missing tooth, small bridges or removable partial and full dentures.
This depends on where the implants are placed and their function, as well as how well they are cleaned at home after they are completed. Most studies show success rates of at least 90%.
Implants offer tooth replacements that attach to the jaw and can have many advantages over conventional methods. They are both functional and esthetic. If you want to replace missing teeth, discuss dental implants with our doctor(s) or your dentist.
Most people experience minimal discomfort following dental implant placement. Most describe the implant as less painful afterward than having a tooth extracted. The procedure can be done either under local anesthetic or intravenous sedation.
In most instances, temporary teeth can be worn during the healing period. On occasion, it will be recommended that a patient go without any temporary teeth for a short period of time.