Below are descriptions of some of our most common services.
Initial Oral Examination
Your first visit at our office is very important in establishing your periodontal health baseline. We will perform a complete periodontal evaluation, an analysis of your occlusion (bite) and a thorough examination of your teeth, their supporting structures and of the oral anatomy.
The Preventive Program
Both natural teeth and teeth with restorations survive best in an oral environment that is clean and where proper oral hygiene is maintained. Our dental hygiene program is designed to help prevent new cavities, preserve teeth that have been restored and manage periodontal disease. At the initial visit with our hygienist, oral hygiene instructions are reviewed and are reinforced at subsequent recall visits.
Scaling and Root Planing
Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Periodontal disease progresses as the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and gums gets filled with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, which cause irritation to the surrounding tissues. When these irritants remain in the pocket, they cause inflammation and damage to the gums and eventually, the bone that supports the teeth. If the disease is caught in the early stages (known as Gingivitis) and no permanent damage has been done, one to two sessions of scaling and root planing may be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits. However, if the disease has progressed to a more advanced stage, where the infection has caused bone loss, treatment options may include bone surgery or or other gingival and osseous treatments.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
Pocket reduction surgery (also known as gingivectomy, osseous surgery and flap surgery) is a collective term for a series of several different surgeries aimed at gaining access to the roots of the teeth in order to remove bacteria and tartar (calculus).
The human mouth contains dozens of different bacteria at any given time. The bacteria found in plaque produce acids that lead to demineralization of the tooth surface, and ultimately contribute to periodontal disease.
Periodontal infections cause a chronic inflammatory response in the body that literally destroys bone and gum tissues once they invade the subgingival area (below the gum line). Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which, if left untreated, causes gingival inflammation and bone loss. Pocket reduction surgery is an attempt to alleviate this destructive cycle, and reduce the depth of the bacteria-harboring pockets.
During both periodontal and dental implant surgery, it may be necessary to perform bone grafting. The bone graft supplements the bone around existing teeth or in the case of implants, in the recipient site of the implant. The goal of the graft is to strengthen bone support for the existing tooth or to create a more stable base for the dental implant.
Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone. There is a solution called a sinus graft or sinus lift graft. The sinus membrane is lifted upward and donor bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus. The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option other than wearing partial dentures.
Dental implants are frequently the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth. Rather than resting on the gum line like removable dentures, or using adjacent teeth as anchors like fixed bridges, dental implants are long-term replacements that we surgically places in the jawbone. Dental implants are composed of titanium metal that "fuses" with the jawbone through a process called "osteointegration". After more than 15 years of service, the vast majority of dental implants first placed in the United States continue to still function at peak performance. If properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime. Dental implants combine the best of modern science and technology, including a team approach spanning several disciplines.
A successful implant requires that all parties involved — the patient; the restorative dentist, who makes the crown for the implant; and the periodontist, who surgically places the implant, follow a careful plan of treatment. All members of the implant team stay in close contact with each other to make sure everyone clearly understands what needs to be done to meet the patient's expectations. The team is organized as soon as the decision for placing a dental implant is reached. Following an evaluation that includes a comprehensive examination, x-rays and a consultation with the patient and members of the implant team, the doctor surgically places the implants in the patient's jaw. After several months, when the implants have stabilized in the jaw, the restorative dentist will fabricate the final restoration.