What is a Periodontist? A periodontist is a dentist who has completed four years of college, four years of general dental education and a three year post graduate specialty residency program. They limit their practice to the diagnosis of periodontal disease, oral medicine and implant dentistry.
What is Periodontal Disease? Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that affects both the gums and bones supporting the teeth. If left untreated the disease results in both bone loss and tooth loss. In many cases the disease causes gingival recession which will expose the root surfaces of the tooth and create a sensitive tooth. Periodontal disease may eventually lead to the extraction of the affected teeth. The bone that remains following the extraction of the tooth is a portion of the foundation that is used for any replacement dentistry. Recent scientific advances have linked periodontal disease with several other general medical conditions i.e.; heart disease, Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis and several types of Cancer.
What is Periodontal Maintenance? Periodontal maintenance consists of separate parts: The first part is what each individual patient does on a daily basis with their home care program to maintain their oral health. The second part is the procedures that are done at the periodontal maintenance appointment by our dental hygienists to help control periodontal inflammation and restore periodontal health. An important portion of the process is evaluating and recording the patient’s current periodontal health and comparing it to past evaluations so that any early changes are detected and treatment can begin.
What is Periodontal Therapy? The treatment of periodontal disease falls in three separate and specific phases: Phase I: Soft Tissue Phase: soft tissue phase treats the inflammatory (Infection) portion of periodontal disease by controlling and/or eliminating the bacterial infection. This is accomplished by a thorough professional examination, necessary x-rays followed by the removal of the plaque and calculus from the root surfaces of the teeth. This process is complimented by the establishment of the patients daily home care program that will help control the inflammatory aspects of the periodontal disease. Phase II: This portion of treatment is generally a surgical procedure to correct, modify and/or rebuild the bone and soft tissue structures around the teeth altered by the disease process. Phase III: Maintenance.
What are Dental Implants? Whether you have lost one or all of your teeth, dental implants allow you to have teeth that look and feel just like your own. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed into your jaw. Dental implants are intimately connected with the gum tissue and underlying bone in the mouth and prevent further bone and gum recession that often accompanies conventional bridgework and dentures. When teeth are missing, the bone which previously supported those teeth begins to deteriorate this can result in a dramatic change in your appearance, shape. The doctors at Valley Periodontics have been placing dental implants for more than 25 years. They are effective and can be used to replace either a single tooth or multiple missing teeth.
What we know about Oral Cancer. Oral Cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. At each periodontal maintenance in our office an oral cancer examination is done. It is a visual and digital examination of all the structure both inside and outside the oral cavity. Recent information published in the Journal of Transitional Medicine suggested that bacteria may play a role in causing oral cancer. Finding bacteria associated with oral cancer may lead to the development of diagnostic markers for early diagnosis of the disease. The American Cancer Society estimates that in the United States 30,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer and 7,000 people will die annually from the condition. Bacteria and viruses are known to cause certain cancers. At each visit in our office you will receive a complete oral cancer examination. If between visits you have a concern about a change inside your mouth please contact our office for an examination.
What is an Oral Cancer Exam? What We Know About Oral Cancer is a site at the National Cancer Institute where you can read a complete discription of an oral cancer exam and explore many other topics. Another excellent resource is MEDLINEplus Health Information. This site has information and general overviews.
What is the Oral Systemic Interface? Oral Systemic Disease Interrelationship: As we get older, the maintenance of our health becomes a major factor in determining the quality of our lives. The chronic recurrent nature of periodontal diseases demands that we establish a personal and professional maintenance program to preserve our oral health for a lifetime. The periodontal maintenance programs at Valley Periodontics have been designed to meet the lifelong oral healthcare needs of our patients. You have already taken the first step toward good oral health by pursuing active periodontal therapy.
What Type of X-rays do I need? In our office two different types of x-rays are taken: Standard dental x-rays are individual x-rays taken of both the upper and lower teeth. Each individual x-ray generally exposes a 2-3 tooth area. A Panorex is one x-ray that exposes all of the oral structures in the low 1/3 of the face and is used to evaluate areas that cannot be seen on a standard dental x-ray. All the x-rays taken in our office are digital x-rays taken through a computer system which exposes the patient to 1/6th the radiation of normal dental x-rays. A complete series of x-rays or a Panorex is generally taken at the initial examination in our office. Subsequent x-rays are taken periodically to evaluate the status of the bone supporting the teeth or dental implants.
What is Gingival Recession? Gum recession is a condition where the soft tissue around the tooth recedes down the root of the tooth exposing the root surface of the tooth, which may create a sensitive tooth that is predisposed to dental decay and several other conditions. Recession of the soft tissue may eventually lead to the loss of the tooth.
What is Regenitive Surgery? Membranes, bone grafts and tissue-stimulating proteins can be used to encourage your body's natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue. We will discuss these xstreatment options that can be used to encourage your body's natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue.
Procedures are available to stop gum recession and improve the esthetics of your gum line. Exposed tooth roots are the result of gum recession. Maybe you're not bothered by the appearance of these areas, but the exposed tooth roots are sensitive to hot or cold foods and liquids. Gum tissue may recede for a variety of reasons. We can help you identify the factors contributing to the problem. Once these contributing factors are controlled, gum graft surgery will repair the defect and help to prevent additional recession and bone loss. Gum graft surgery is done to cover the exposed tooth root. A gum graft can be done for one tooth or several teeth to improve your gum line and reestablish an appropriate level of gum tissue around your teeth.
What is Crown Lengthening? There are many options to enhance support for your teeth and to restore your bone to a healthy level. Your periodontist will discuss your best options with you. Your teeth may actually be the proper lengths, but they're covered with too much gum tissue. Procedures are available to lay the groundwork for restorative and cosmetic dentistry and/or to improve the esthetics of your gum line. You may have asked your periodontist about procedures to improve a "gummy" smile because your teeth appear short. Your teeth may actually be the proper lengths, but they're covered with too much gum tissue. To correct this, your periodontist performs a dental crown lengthening procedure. Your dentist or periodontist may also recommend dental crown lengthening to make a restorative or cosmetic dental procedure possible. Perhaps your tooth is decayed, broken below the gum line, or has insufficient tooth structure for a restoration, such as a crown or bridge. Crown lengthening adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored.