THIS IS HOW WE SAVE TEETH
Most adult tooth loss is a result of poorly treated or untreated periodontal disese. Periodontal disease starts as gingivitis and then progresses to periodontitis. This painless disease is sometimes characterized by recession, loose teeth, shifting teeth, spaces between teeth, swollen gums, bad breath and occasional gum abscess. Often times bone loss is seen on x ray.
The best way to determine if you have periodontal disease is to see a board certified periodontist. The most important aspect of the exam is the placement of a measuring tool called a probe between the tooth and gum. This tool is used to measure the distance from the top of the gum line to the bottom where the gum is attached to the root of the tooth. This crevice or pocket varies in depth from 1 to 3 mm which is normal to 7 mm or more which is considered a deep pocket associated with severe periodontal disease. How deep are your pockets? The periodontist collects data including 6 measurements about each tooth, bone loss as seen on x ray, looseness of each tooth and other signs and symptoms and then arrives at a diagnosis for your mouth generally and each tooth specifically. We also make a statement regarding the prognosis or what we think is the likelyhood of keeping the teeth generally and individually.
Do you have teeth that are loose? Do your gums bleed when you floss? Are your gums receeded? Have you noticed that you have an offensive mouth odor? Any of these signs may mean that you have periodontal disease.
A plan of treatment is then developed with options. This is explained to you as well as any risks involved as well as the risks of not having treatment. Treatment generally includes a first stage or disease control stage. During the first 4 visits the patient is taught how to use special tools to clean around each tooth. Each tooth will be scaled or deep cleaned. This is done painlessly. In some cases the bite is adjusted in order to reduce the forces on some teeth. After this stage is completed the mouth is evaluated and residual disease is treated by doing periodontal surgery. Now contrary to some self serving statements made in the press, conventional periodontal surgery is NOT painful. I have done thousands of these procedures and I have testimonials from many patients to attest to this fact. Periodontal surgery includes gently lifting the edge of the gum line so the tooth root and bone are visible. This enables me to remove residual plaque and unhealthy tissues. It also enables me to place bone replacement grafts to replace lost bone. In other cases I may need to replace lost gum tissue. I have had many many years of experience doing these procedures. I am completely up to date and the evidence of this is that I was recertified as an expert in December 2015. I have lectured extensively and have published 12 scientific papers. I suggest that you look at a book I wrote. The title is "The Survival Guide for the Dental Patient". It is available on Amazon for $12.04 or you can obtain an e copy for $3.00. The book, 100 pages, explains a lot more about treatment and many other things like how to find the best dentist and how to deal with emergencies. MANY SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS HAVE SHOWN EVIDENCE THAT PERIODONTAL DISEASE IS ASSOCIATED WITH HEATH PROBLEMS LIKE HEART DISEASE AND DIABETES. SEE ME FOR A FREE SCREENING EXAM.