should I expect during my first appointment? back
In most cases your general dentist referred you. Since he/she is fully
aware of your existing condition, we work closely together with your
dentist’s office to ensure you get the best possible care. During
your first visit, you'll receive a periodontal exam to evaluate bone
loss around your teeth. X-rays might also be taken to further assess
Are X-Rays really necessary?
X-rays are necessary to detect decay between teeth and areas not visible
to the naked eye. Since gum and bone problems happen slowly over time,
they are often not felt or detected from the surface. X rays are also
necessary for detecting bone loss and infections at root surfaces. Many
people are understandably concerned about excessive radiation. Incredible
Smiles takes digital radiographs, which use 80% less radiation than
What is Periodontal
Periodontal Disease is loss of bone surrounding teeth, usually a “silent”
process until later stages of disease progression when tooth looseness
occurs and/or secondary tooth nerve infections occurs. Pocketing occurs
when bone loss occurs beneath gum tissues, resulting in a space or “pocket”
between gum height and diminished bone height around teeth. Periodontal
disease is caused by the presence of certain bacteria, and is exacerbated
by medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hormonal
fluctuations (such as pregnancy), and respiratory disease as well as
by smoking and the use of certain medications. Periodontal disease is
usually very treatable, particularly if caught early in its progression.
the symptoms of periodontal disease? back
Since periodontal disease attacks below the gum line, you probably won't
experience any noticeable symptoms at first. With gingivitis, a mild
form of periodontal disease, the gums redden, become swollen & sensitive,
plus they bleed easily when brushed. Without treatment, gingivitis can
advance to periodontitis where more serious symptoms manifest with:
- toxic bacteria producing bad breath
- progressive and destructive infection
- degeneration of supportive tissues and bone
- gums receding from teeth forming deep pockets around them
- loosening and/or shifting of the teeth
- eventual extraction and tooth loss
Why should I have treatment?
Saving your teeth has many benefits, including preserving chewing function
as well as facial/dental esthetics. Additionally, seeking periodontal
treatment will improve your overall health by eliminating serious bacterial
Besides bacterial infection, gum and bone deterioration and tooth loss,
periodontal disease can cause other ill health issues. As periodontal
bacteria gets into surrounding bone, it then has an entry point into
the blood stream and can contribute to a host of serious medical problems.
Recent studies have confirmed that patients with periodontal disease
are two times more likely to suffer heart disease and stroke. Periodontal
infections have also been linked to:
- premature childbirth
- respiratory disease
- transmission of periodontal infections to family members
What is a dental implant?
This is a surgical procedure designed to replace a missing tooth. An
dental implant is a titanium cylinder that is placed in the bone and
replaces what was once the root of the tooth. A crown is attached to
the implant to simulate an individual tooth.
is a dental implant different from a dental bridge?
A dental implant literally replaces a missing tooth. A dental implant
simulates the root of a tooth to which the cosmetic dentist attaches
a cosmetic tooth. A dental bridge, on the other hand, is non-surgical
and uses the adjacent teeth to support a new cosmetic tooth. A dental
implant is not invasive to surrounding teeth (especially desirable if
they are healthy and in good condition). By simulating the root, it
engages the bone and keeps it healthy. Because a dental implant is an
individual tooth it is also easier to floss. A dental bridge can be
a good choice if the adjacent teeth are in need of restoration.
does the Dental Implant process take? back
Once a person is deemed a good candidate for dental implants, then there
is one visit to surgically place the implant. Some applications are
ready for immediate restoration, others may be required to wait anywhere
from 3 to 6 months for bone growth to solidify around the implant to
anchor it. At this point the implant can be restored to completion.
What are gum and
soft tissue grafts? back
Soft tissue grafts are used to reduce gum recession, cover exposed roots
protecting them from decay and to enhance the appearance of your smile.
Gum tissue is taken from your palate or another area of the mouth and
grafts it to the receding gum line in order to cover any exposed roots.
What is pocket depth
Periodontal disease destroys gum tissues and bone which support your
teeth creating “pockets” around them. Without treatment,
these pockets become deeper, providing more space in which bacteria
can thrive. As more bacteria develops around the teeth, it can accumulate
to the point where further bone and tissue degeneration results in tooth
What causes TMJ pain?
The Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) is the “hinge” that functions
when the jaw opens and closes. There are many theories and practices
to treating TMJ pain. Every TMJ dentist will have his or her own theory
on TMJ treatment. People will often report neck and upper back pain,
headaches, sore muscles and even migraines. Neuromuscular dentistry
practices under the premise that when the teeth are shortened (either
by wear, grinding, old age, clenching or even the cumulative effects
of large amounts of dentistry) then the jaw over-closes causing stress
and pressure in the TMJ. By restoring the vertical dimension to the
teeth or by positioning a carefully fitted orthotic optimal health and
function is restored to the TMJ. Many people suffering from TMJ pain
have found relief using the techniques and theories of neuromuscular
I going to be awake during my periodontal procedure? Will I need a driver
for my appointment? back
Local anesthesia will be used, rather than general anesthesia or intravenous
sedation, so you will not be “put to sleep”. However, your
treatment will be customized to meet your needs, and may include the
use of oral antianxiety medication, in which case you will need to have
a driver for your treatment session.
will my recovery after periodontal treatment be like? back
Unsurprisingly, recovery experience varies from person to person, as
well as being dependent upon treatment received. However, peak inflammation
occurs at 48 hours post-treatment, and this period is most critical
for your following recommended medication and post-operative instructions
reviewed with you. Most pain and discomfort is manageable and oftentimes
avoidable. Also, careful planning/scheduling for being able to “take
it easy” for 1-2 days post-treatment will optimize your experience
and speed your recovery.
my insurance cover my periodontal or implant treatment? back
This depends upon your insurance policy. Some insurance companies are
proving dental implant benefits. Our skilled staff will file your insurance
claim with necessary supporting documentation for you, and we will do
our utmost to research and explain your dental insurance benefits and
limitations to you.
too old for implant or periodontal therapy? back
No one is ever too old to be healthy! Eliminating periodontal infections
will obviously only improve overall health. With regards to tooth replacement
via implant therapy… seeking a personalized consultation to obtain
information will help you make the decision which is right for you!
has home fluoride therapy been recommended to me? back
Fluoride is antibacterial, and also remineralizes root surfaces, which
decreases root hypersensitivity and prevents decay on root surfaces
which lack enamel protection.
do I need periodontal cleanings at my periodontist? Why are they more
frequent than every 6 months, which is what my insurance will cover?
Periodontal disease-causing bacteria reappear every 3-4 months, particularly
in areas inaccessible to toothbrushing and flossing, so regular professional
periodontal cleanings are needed to combat disease/infection recurrence.
Additionally, infections can be detected and managed before pain and/or
tooth loss result. Insurance companies will often provide coverage for
dental hygiene sessions for non-periodontal patients, at a 6 month interval,
which is inadequate care for periodontal patients. A periodontal maintenance
interval which is appropriate to meet your individualized needs will
be recommended to you as an essential part of your periodontal/implant
therapy. Periodontal maintenance therapy is key to optimizing your health,
your treatment outcome, and your investment in yourself!