Wagner Oral Surgeon & Dental Implant Specialists

Dental Implants: The Recovery

recovery signThe recovery time following dental implant surgery tends to vary, but is usually based on the amount of teeth being implanted, whether or not a bone graft was needed and the individual and how well they manage their recovery. Luckily, the science and technology behind dental implants has improved drastically over the last few years, improving post-surgery pain and comfort for patients.

The patient requiring the least amount of recovery time would be one who had a standard, single dental implant placed with no bone grafting. With a simple procedure like this one, there is very little discomfort or pain after the surgery. Mild bruising and soreness can occur, but is typically manageable with over the counter pain relievers. In more severe implant cases, such as those where multiple teeth are implanted or severe bone grafting needed in order to accomplish the implant, the recovery time tends to be longer and the discomfort can be more intense.

In any cases, it is important to keep your mouth clean after surgery, which can be done by rinsing your mouth gently with salt water beginning the day after surgery. You may begin brushing your teeth the night after the surgery, but make sure to keep it light around the surgery area as to not disrupt the healing in that area. It is also important to remember that in the week following your surgery, there should be no smoking and no sucking through a straw, as this can seriously inhibit your healing process. It is important to stick to a diet primarily consisting of soft foods for the first 7-10 days following your surgery before beginning to return to your normal diet.

As you can see, the recovery process after receiving a dental implant is fairly predictable and comfortable. It is important to follow the instructions that we give you at Wagner Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Specialists, and to always remember that if you have any questions or concerns regarding a procedure or following your surgery, you can always give us a call at Racine Phone Number 262-634-4646.

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How to Make Your Own Ice Cream

'ice cream'As you may or may not know, July is officially National Ice Cream Month! While it is fun to go and grab ice cream from your local shop down the street, it can be more fun and rewarding to make your own ice cream for you and your family to enjoy. Ice cream is also a great treat to enjoy after different types of oral surgery. You don’t need an ice cream maker in order to make delicious, creamy ice cream. Just follow our instructions below!

Servings: 2-3


– 2 cups of milk
– 3 tablespoons of sugar
– 2 teaspoons of vanilla


– 3-4 cups of ice
– 2/3 cup salt
– 1 quart sized Ziploc bag
– 1 gallon sized Ziploc freezer bag


– Combine milk, vanilla and sugar in quart sized bag
– Press any air out of bag and seal tightly
– Mix ice and salt in gallon sized bag
– Place quart sized bag into gallon sized bag and seal tightly
– Shake the bag vigorously for about 5 minutes
– It will be very cold, be careful!
– Liquid inside smaller bag should start to harden
– Let bags sit for a few minutes with ice in large bag surrounding small bag
– Open bags up and scoop ice cream out
– Enjoy!!

As you can see, it isn’t hard to shake up some ice cream that the whole family can enjoy, using fairly standard household ingredients. Use chocolate/strawberry milk instead of regular milk to change the flavor, or use half and half for a creamier product. This year, celebrate National Ice Cream month by making your own ice cream at home!

Orthognathic Surgery

woman sitting in dental chairWhat is orthognathic surgery?

Also known as corrective jaw surgery, patients undergo this procedure in order to correct a wide range of major and minor dental and skeletal irregularities. Jaw surgery is used to correct the misalignment of a person’s jaw or teeth, which will eventually improve breathing, chewing, and speaking. While a patient’s physical appearance may be altered just a bit with surgery, orthognathic surgery is mostly meant to correct functional problems.

What are some conditions that require orthognathic surgery?

There are quite a few conditions that indicate that you may need jaw surgery. Some of those include:

  • Sleep Apnea (breathing problems during sleep)
  • Protruding jaw
  • Open bite (someone who is unable to fully close their mouth)
  • Chronic mouth breathing and dry mouth
  • Difficult biting food or chewing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic joint or jaw pain (TMJ)
  • Excessive wear on teeth

Evaluating Your Need For Jaw Surgery

We will work with your orthodontist and general dentist to evaluate your need for jaw surgery. In a great number of cases, patients need to have orthodontic work done before and after surgery. Jaw surgery is a lengthy and delicate process. In most cases, the whole process, including orthodontic work, will last 1-2 years. We will evaluate you thoroughly and realistically so that you may make the most informed decision possible.

How will I benefit from having jaw surgery?

Corrective jaw surgery will benefit you in numerous ways. After surgery, your jaw will be more aligned and balanced, and you will have more a far more functional and healthy jaw. While recovery may be lengthy, we will keep you comfortable along the way. With jaw surgery, patients can see an improvement in speech, eating, chewing and also breathing. Many patients see a positive change in their facial structures aw well after their jaw has been realigned.

To find out if you are a good candidate for corrective jaw surgery, please call us at Racine Phone Number 262-634-4646.

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New Trends In Dental Implants

dental implants

A trending topic right now seems to be the decision to opt for “mini-dental implants” instead of more traditional ones. Below we are going to take a look inside the trend, and lay out some of the benefits and drawbacks so that you can get a better understanding of this exciting trend in dentistry.


  • Mini dental implants are usually less expensive than traditional ones, sometimes costing only 1/3 that of regular implants. They take less time to place and are smaller and less invasive, and can be used in small spaces or for those with inadequate bone mass.
  • With mini dentures, smaller dentures can be used, leading to a better tasting experience for the palate than a traditional denture would provide.
  • Mini implants can be placed with minimal recovery time, and usually require very little to no bone grafting.


Because this is still a fairly new procedure, there are a few downsides. For one, there aren’t enough studies out there on the longevity of these implants, so we don’t know how they hold up over time. A study published in the International Journal of Implant Dentistry in 2016 revealed that traditional dental implant placement has a proven survival rate of 95% or greater. The analysis collected data from over 10,000 implants from 3,095 patients, across three separate private practices over the course of 20 years. For mini dental implants, there isn’t yet enough data to conclude a proper survival rate.

Another concern is that because this is such a new trend there is not as much information or regulation out there. Some practices with claims such as “Dentures-in-a-day” might not do a proper consultation, skipping important steps such as a 3D scan to make sure that you are a good candidate for the procedure.

While it may be some time before this method is perfected and adopted, it is also exciting to see the advancements changing people’s lives in the dental industry every day. Check in with Wagner Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Specialists to find out what tooth replacement options may be right for you!

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I could not be more proud to see my friend and colleague Ned Murphy D.D.S. sworn in as Wisconsin Dental Association president. (WDAJ Vol 93(1):8-9, Jan-Feb 2017). Ned has worked tirelessly in the local, state, and national dental associations to seek excellence in dentistry as practitioners in Wisconsin provide for our patients as well as being an advocate for patient’s access to care. He has selflessly given his time and talents to the people in our communities and has been a stellar example for dentists, and for that matter, many practitioners as to what it means to “give back” and share your talents. Thank you, Ned, for all of your work.



The use of Bone Morphogenetic Protein (recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 = rhBMP-2) as a bone induction technique (to gain new bone) has been an accepted and effective technique for many years. (J Oral Maxillofac Surg 74:928-939, 2016). The main limiting factor over the years has been the cost of the materials which is quite high. Because of what seemed to me to be a prohibitive expense, I have used other techniques which evolved over time. Over the past number of years we have been using a combination of human bone allograft and PRGF (platelets rich in growth factors). The bone-PRGF technique has been so successful for me, and is relatively inexpensive, that at this time it is my work-horse procedure to add bone in areas of deficit. This has been especially useful to build up the bone in areas where we want to place dental implants such as with the sinus lift procedure.

One of the biggest problems we have seen over time with the rhBMP-2 is that it causes a significant tissue reaction with a significant amount of swelling after the procedure which ultimately makes the patient more uncomfortable. The bone-PRGF technique is a passive procedure with little discomfort and an excellent tissue response often with little or no swelling.
Where the rhBMP-2 procedure does not require a blood draw or the use of a human bone product, it does not result in as excellent a result as it relates to the ultimate gain in bone height. The bone-PRGF technique gives us great results, more bone volume, is quite a bit less expensive, and gives a stable bone site for subsequent dental implant care.

If you have questions, call Wagner Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Specialists at (262) 634-4646 to learn more.

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A “corticotomy” refers to a procedure where we make cuts in the bone to disrupt the outer (cortical) bone layer in the area of the tooth roots to cause the release of reparative factors from the bone and tissues. These factors signal the bone and surrounding teeth to heal, but it has been found that these factors also act as signals to the body to be very open to change. That is, the healing or reparative process is also a process that accelerates changes like tooth movements. It is for this response that we perform this procedure. Once stimulated in this way, the surrounding bone and teeth are much more “open” to orthodontic and orthopedic treatments and this can result in tooth movements much more quickly and even tooth movements that were previously not possible. This procedure must be differentiated from corticectomy, which is a much more invasive procedure, and involves removal of the top layer of the bone in the area of the teeth.

I prefer the corticotomy procedure and most recently we have applied this technique in a case of adult orthodontics in a patient who has also undergone orthognathic surgery (corrective jaw surgery for a developmental jaw/bite abnormality).

If you have questions, call Wagner Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Specialists at (262) 634-4646 to learn more.

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Studies have shown that telemedicine consultations (consultations with a doctor or nurse over an electronic video link such as the internet) are as effective as traditional face-to-face consultations. (J Oral Maxillofac Surg 74:262-268, 2016). We have not yet gone to this method at our office, but it seems that it would make us more efficient and would be friendly for most patients’ busy lives and for those who have routine oral surgery needs. It would certainly be more convenient for most patients with basic needs – it could be done virtually anywhere with your phone. The problems I see are that in most examination and consultation visits, there may be need for more imagining, or other/different concerns may arise that may not be picked up in the telemedicine consult.

I do think that in the near future we will be able to handle most simple consults for wisdom teeth and routine extractions this way. There is some basic infrastructure which has to take place such as making consultation and consent videos, but the web makes that pretty easy and accessible. I will look forward to progress in this area.

If you have questions, call Wagner Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Specialists at (262) 634-4646 to learn more.

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Truly one of the most poorly understood professions, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have done a poor job of promoting and providing public awareness of our profession. (J Oral and Maxillofac Surg 74:1109-1110, 2016). The basic definition is that we provide “comprehensive surgical care and treatment of the face, jaws, mouth and teeth.” We are the highest trained and most comprehensively trained in all aspects of dental surgery – moreso than any other dental specialty; and we have the highest medical and general surgical training of any of the dental specialties. Most of us have advanced training in head and neck surgery with overlaps to areas of otolaryngology, facial plastic surgery, and panfacial trauma. We are the highest trained as it relates to dental implants and related surgeries. We are arguably the highest trained subspecialty in anesthesiology. These statements are not cockiness or egocentrism. It is just the truth and I’m proud of it.
If there is a shortcoming in this, it is that the specialty may be so broad that one needs to limit their practice to certain areas of subspecialty in order to “have a life”. I absolutely love being an OMS. I look back on the path to being here and I am so grateful to God and so grateful to so many people who have supported, trained, guided, and loved me through this journey. My specialty is planning a media outreach to do just that – explain and define what it is that we are and do. I hope that campaign is informational and helpful.  

If you have questions, call Wagner Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Specialists at (262) 634-4646 to learn more.

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I first saw Dr. Istvan Urban present on the “sausage grafting technique” several years ago at the Pikos Institute course in Orlando. The grafting technique uses PRGF and bone product in a tube shaped absorbable mesh material. This technique uses materials and methods that are familiar to us, but like many things in dentistry, he applied innovative logical thinking and came up with a new application. I have subsequently used this method to graft bone to areas of the jaws where there was not enough bone for implant care. We were subsequently able to place dental implants successfully in the new bone that was created.

The shortcomings of the procedure are that it takes time – often 6-8 months to complete the process – and it is a tedious, involved surgery. On the positive note, it is not a particularly painful process and our results have been very good. Contraindications would be significant health issues that may affect healing (such as radiation and chemotherapy in the past, vegetarian diet, and cigarette smoking).

The assessment for the procedure would include a comprehensive dental plan, a cone beam scan, and clinical examination. This technique can also be used to best prepare the jaws for comprehensive implant care such as the All on Four/Teeth in a Day technique.

If you have questions, call Wagner Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Specialists at (262) 634-4646 to learn more.