February 2021

everything you need to know about periodontitis treatment prevention 62a20f47d8c2c

Everything You Need to Know About Periodontitis Treatment & Prevention

Taking care of your teeth is only one part of optimizing your dental health. Remembering to brush and floss daily can also keep your gums in great condition. The same goes for choosing healthy foods and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings.

Without proper care and attention, your gums can become infected. If left untreated, this condition can lead to a serious gum condition called periodontitis.

Today, we’re sharing the ultimate guide to understanding, preventing, and treating periodontitis. These insights can empower you to make smart choices and stick to good habits that can help your gums feel and look their best.

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis is an advanced infection of your gums. It develops when bacteria remain on your teeth and gums for a prolonged period of time.

As it progresses, periodontitis can begin to damage the soft tissue of your gums. In time, this can cause the bone that supports your teeth to become damaged and deteriorate. If this happens, it can lead to tooth loosening or tooth loss.

Symptoms of Periodontitis

How do you know if you have periodontitis? There are a few telltale signs, and they cover both the appearance of your gums, as well as the way they feel.

First, it’s important to know what healthy gums look like! When they’re in great condition, your gums will be pale pink and firm, fitting securely around your teeth. They’ll be easy to floss around and won’t cause you any pain.

If your gums have been affected by periodontitis, they’ll exhibit different traits. A few of the most common symptoms to look out for include:

  • Puffy or swollen gums.
  • Discolored gums (bright red, dark red, purplish).
  • Gums that bleed easily.
  • A pink tinge to your toothbrush after brushing.
  • Spitting out blood when you brush or floss.
  • Gums that feel tender when you touch them.
  • Gums that recede from your teeth.
  • Pus developing between your teeth and gums.

While the above concerns might seem fairly obvious, there are other signs of periodontitis that aren’t quite as easy to pinpoint. If you experience any of the following, a serious gum infection could be to blame:

  • Bad breath.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Teeth falling out.
  • Pain when you chew.
  • Spacing developing between your teeth.
  • Changes to your bite.

Of course, these conditions could also be attributed to other dental health issues. For instance, bad breath could be a sign of dry mouth or a side effect of certain medications. Your dentist will be able to pinpoint the exact issue and recommend the proper treatment.

Things to Know

The most important thing to know about periodontitis is that it’s easy to avoid. This condition develops when a sticky film called plaque is left on your teeth, so remember to brush and floss to keep that bacteria away!

This daily habit is especially important because many people miss the early stages and signs of gum disease. At first, you might not even realize your gums are negatively affected. By the time you do notice the symptoms, it may have already progressed.

Taking care of your gums doesn’t just keep them looking great. It also supports your entire mouth! Your gums work as an important seal, keeping the roots and supporting structures of your teeth in place. They also keep out bacteria and decay, so you need them to function properly.

Risk Factors for Periodontitis

Could you be at risk of developing periodontitis? There are certain factors that could increase your likelihood of this condition, including:

  • Diabetes.
  • Smoking or using tobacco.
  • Taking certain medications (e.g. steroids, cancer therapy drugs, anti-epilepsy drugs).
  • Ill-fitting bridges.
  • Older dental fillings.
  • Crooked teeth.
  • Pregnancy.

Understanding these risk factors can help you stay on top of your dental health. Make sure your dentist knows about them, so you can take extra precautions to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.

How to Prevent Periodontitis

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), around 42% of U.S. adults aged 30 years or older have some form of periodontitis. Still, while it might be common, this condition is largely preventable. The steps to follow to keep periodontitis at bay include:

  • Brushing at least twice a day.
  • Flossing every day.
  • Attending regular dental visits.

When you take the time to complete these three steps, you have a much greater chance of avoiding periodontitis altogether. If your gums do become infected, your dentist will be able to identify and treat the condition more quickly and easily if your preventative care visits are on schedule.

Understanding the Stages of Periodontitis

Your gums won’t go from perfectly healthy to affected by periodontitis overnight. Rather, this is a condition that develops gradually as underlying symptoms aren’t addressed. Let’s take a look at the different stages that can occur.

Stage 1: Plaque Forms

Any time you consume starches or sugars, these substances can interact with the bacteria that’s normally present in your mouth. This can cause plaque to form on your teeth.

As long as you brush twice a day and floss at least daily, you can prevent plaque from accumulating in your mouth. Keep in mind that it can reform quickly, so it’s important to make this a regular habit!

Stage 2: Plaque Becomes Tartar

What happens if you allow plaque to stay on your teeth? Without proper brushing and flossing, it can extend under your gum line, where it will harden into tartar, or calculus. This is a yellow or brown-colored deposit that strongly bonds to your tooth enamel.

Tartar is more difficult to remove than plaque, and is also filled with bacteria. Your dentist can treat tartar with a professional cleaning, but regular brushing and flossing aren’t enough to adequately take care of it.

Stage 3: Gingivitis Forms

If plaque and tartar continue to build up on your teeth and gums, they can lead to gingivitis. This is the most mild and treatable form of gum disease.

Gingivitis causes the soft tissue of your gums to become inflamed and irritated. However, it isn’t always easy to spot. As we mentioned, you may not even realize you have it! Though they tend to be mild, a few of the symptoms to watch for include:

  • Swelling and inflammation.
  • Bleeding gums.
  • Receding gums.
  • Bad breath or metallic taste.
  • New spaces between teeth.

Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment. It’s important to schedule your dental visit as early as possible to reverse these issues before they become more significant. Your dentist can check for signs of gingivitis at every visit by measuring the space between your teeth and gums.

Stage 4: Periodontitis Develops

If gingivitis is allowed to progress, it will become periodontitis.

This ongoing inflammation causes pockets to form between your teeth and gums. These pockets will fill up with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, and will only become deeper with time. This can directly compromise the tissues and bone structure that support your teeth and hold them in place.

Not only can periodontitis make it difficult to brush, floss, or chew, but the extended, chronic inflammation can also strain your immune system. It’s important to visit your dentist at the first sign of gum disease to prevent it from developing into this condition.

Treatment Options for Periodontitis

There are several different options that can be used to help treat and reverse periodontitis. The appropriate treatment for each case will depend on the patient, as well as the severity of the condition. Let’s review a few of the most common solutions.

Non-Surgical Treatments

Some milder forms of gum disease are treatable with non-surgical methods. These include:

  • At-home periodontal trays.
  • Scaling and root planing (deep-cleaning treatments).

Periodontal trays look and function similar to a mouth guard. These have a special sealing system that delivers medication below your gums. During your treatment, you’ll wear the tray for a few minutes every day to fight infection.

Scaling and root planing (SRP) procedures can also help remove the plaque and tartar attached to your teeth and gums. After an SRP procedure, your dentist may apply a topical antibiotic, such as Arestin, directly into your infected gum pockets. This medication can treat the bacteria and help reduce the depths of those pockets, making treatment more effective.

Surgical Treatments

Sometimes, periodontal surgery or laser gum surgery is required to treat advanced gum disease. These techniques can restore and regenerate the normal form and function of the periodontal structures that support your teeth.

In certain cases, dental implants may be required if periodontitis has led to tooth loss.

Healthy Habits Prevent Periodontitis

When your teeth and gums are in great shape, your smile radiates and you feel your best. Thankfully, gum disease is easy to avoid if you follow a few simple steps.

Our office is here to help you prevent periodontitis before it even forms. With regular checkups and periodontal examinations, we can spot and treat early signs of gum disease. In the meantime, you can do your part by maintaining an excellent at-home oral hygiene routine!

Need to schedule a cleaning or other dental service? You can make an appointment today.

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4 Issues Smile Restorations Address

Remake your smile with these cosmetic dentistry procedures.

Smile restorations can help to improve your self-confidence and allow you to openly smile in public and laugh out loud with friends, confident in the knowledge that your pearly whites are looking clean and bright.

Stained teeth or crooked, decaying teeth or teeth that appear unhealthy are good candidates for investing in a smile makeover. By improving the look of your smile, smile restorations can provide long-term benefits to you too, both physically and health-wise.

Smile restorations uses one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures to achieve this, such as:

Before a smile restoration or full mouth reconstruction takes place, there are some things to consider. A properly qualified dentist or endodontist will review and assess things like: your skin tone, hair color, facial appearance, gum tissue, lips, and your teeth (including color, length, width, shape, and general healthiness of your teeth).

There are four main issues that smile restorations can help improve. These are explained in detail below.

1. Traumatic Dental Injuries

It’s common for most traumatic dental injuries to occur in children and teenagers, but anyone can experience a traumatic dental injury. Trauma generally happens as the result of things like a sporting accident or car accident. A bad fall can also damage the teeth and mouth area.

What constitutes a traumatic dental injury?

The most common dental injury is chipped or fractured teeth. These can often be repaired by either reattaching the broken piece of tooth or by filling any gaps with a tooth-colored filling. In some cases, an artificial crown may be a more suitable solution. A qualified dentist or endodontist will be able to assess and recommend the correct treatment.

Other traumatic dental injuries can include dislodged teeth, knocked-out teeth, root fractures, and root resorption.

Regardless of the injury, time is always of the essence. Get in touch with your dentist or endodontist as quickly as possible to prevent any further damage from occurring.

2. Occlusal Disease

Occlusal disease, also referred to as malocclusion, can cause damage to the teeth, supporting bones and gums around the teeth, temporomandibular joints, and jaw muscles. The disease is caused by misalignment between the teeth of the upper and lower dental arches.

A lot of people often believe that tooth wear is part of the “natural aging or wearing” process, and this can lead to unnecessary teeth damage over time. A qualified dentist can treat symptoms associated with occlusal disease once diagnosed. Once treated correctly through restorative treatments, optimal oral health can be achieved.

3. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ-TMD)

Did you know that a lot of people who suffer from chronic facial and neck pain, along with recurring headaches and migraines, are actually suffering from temporomandibular disorder (TMD)?

The temporomandibular joint connects your skull to your lower jawbone. These joints are used daily, when we speak, eat, swallow, and even yawn.

Pain around and in these joints can be debilitating and can restrict movements. Common symptoms of TMJ-TMD include a clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves, locked jaw, pain in the jaw area, ongoing neck aches and more.

The are some things you can do to prevent TMJ-TMD from becoming an issue for you:

  • Avoid grinding your teeth.
  • Reduce constant gum chewing.
  • Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth.
  • Avoid resting your chin in your hands.

A qualified dentist will be able to provide proper diagnosis and treatment plans.

4. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a common oral health condition that many people will face during their lifetime. It results from the breakdown of the tooth enamel and is caused from eating foods high in sugars and starches.

As the tooth decays, it can lead to further issues developing, such as holes in the teeth, resulting in the need for fillings. It can also lead to gum disease issues over time.

When foods that are high in sugar and starch aren’t cleaned from the tooth properly, plaque develops. This combines with the bacteria in your mouth and produces acids that break down the enamel on your tooth. Long-term tooth decay can lead to loss of teeth, and in some cases, a full removal of all teeth.

Smile Restorations Treatment

There are several smile makeover solutions available that will help with these four issues (and more).


If tooth decay leads to the need for dentures, then the All-on-4™ treatment is a convenient solution. It replaces traditional dentures and uses state-of-the-art-technology that allows for same-day teeth replacement.

All-on-4 uses only four dental implants that attach to a full dental restoration. You don’t have to wait weeks to get smile restorations, it can happen in a few days with All-on-4.

Prosthodontic Treatments

Treatments for dental issues such as TMJ-TMD, traumatic dental injuries, oral cancer reconstruction, and continued care include solutions such as:

  • Bridges: A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been.
  • Crowns: Think of a crown as a “cover” cemented onto an existing tooth that fully covers the portion of the tooth above the gum line.
  • Veneers: Veneers are thin, custom-made shells made from tooth-colored materials, such as porcelain, designed to cover the front side of the teeth.
  • Dental implants: An implant is an artificial tooth made of metal and porcelain that looks just like the natural tooth.

Regardless of the smile restorations needed, chatting with a qualified dentist or endodontist is essential to the long-term health of your mouth, teeth, and gums.

Full mouth reconstruction, smile makeovers, and any associated treatment of the mouth can often be minimized through proper oral health care. If you have questions about how smile restorations could help you, feel free to get in touch and book a consultation to start you on your smile journey!

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10 Myths About Dental Implants

Do you need dental implants?

If you’ve lost one or more teeth due to injury or disease, dental implants can help restore your smile and improve your dental health.

Still, you might be a little unsure about moving forward with this treatment if you’ve heard some of the myths floating around about it. Thankfully, we’re here to dispel those! In this post, we’re sharing and debunking 10 of the most common misconceptions about dental implants. Let’s set the record straight on how they work and the benefits they provide.

Myth #1: Dental implants are painful.

At Bentz Dental Implants & Prosthodontics, our top priority during care is to provide our patients with a comfortable experience. That includes managing discomfort before, during, and after implant treatment. Our dental team has access to advanced technology that allows us to keep our patients extra comfortable.

This includes sedation dentistry, which can range in effect from mild to deep sedation. In addition to oral sedatives, we also offer nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to ease mild to moderate dental anxiety.

We understand your concerns and are here to put your mind at ease. Check out what Dr. Bentz has to say about what you can expect during your implant placement.

Myth #2: I’ll have to visit a surgeon.

Actually, that’s true, but not in the way that most people think. Dr. Bentz is a board-certified prosthodontist and implant surgeon. Dr. Bentz has also served as president of the Pennsylvania Prosthodontic Association.

In addition to performing implant surgeries, Dr. Bentz educates other dentists on proper dental implant techniques. After practicing for more than two decades, you can trust that he has the skills, education, and experience required to handle every step of your procedure with care.

What are the benefits of having every step of your treatment performed under one roof? For one, you can work directly with the dental team you’re already comfortable with. You don’t have to learn new names, meet new people, or seek out any referrals. This way, when it’s time for your implant surgery, you can feel as comfortable as possible without any of the confusion or complexity of navigating a different office.

Click here to listen to Dr. Bentz explain more about how to choose the right prosthodontist for your implant procedure.

Myth #3: I’m better off with my natural teeth or no teeth.

Of course, your natural teeth are always preferable. However, if you’ve lost one (or a few) teeth to injury, disease, or decay, a dental implant truly is the next best thing!

Your implant is a close second only to nature due to a fascinating process called osseointegration. Through osseointegration, the dental implant starts to become a permanent part of your jawbone as soon as it is in place. The osseointegration process can take between three and six months.

In addition to this process, there are other factors that affect the longevity and natural appearance of your implant. These include the materials and procedures used to design them and secure them into place.

Modern implant materials are as elegant and discreet as they are durable and long-lasting. When used alongside advanced techniques and expert care, the result is surprisingly realistic.

Myth #4: Everyone will know I have dental implants.

You’ll be amazed at how real your dental implants look. They mimic your natural tooth and are indistinguishable from the rest of your teeth. When you meet someone for the first time, the only way they’ll be able to tell that you have an implant is if you tell them. As for anyone familiar with your former smile, they’ll just notice how much more radiant and healthy your teeth are!

Myth #5: Dental implants won’t last long.

When performed correctly by a professional dentist or dental surgeon, your implant can last a lifetime. How can you help them stay in place for as long as possible? A solid at-home oral hygiene routine, coupled with regular preventative visits to your dentist.

By brushing and flossing around your implant, you can keep bacteria at bay and extend the life of your treatment.

Myth #6: I’m not the right age for dental implants.

Worried you’re too old or too young for implants? A patient’s age is not a chief determining factor when addressing their candidacy for this particular treatment. Instead, we’ll look at a few other factors, including:

These are only a few of the qualifying factors to consider, but they’re much more indicative of a successful dental implant process than your age is. Sometimes, you may need other dental services before you can become a good candidate for implants. If this is the case, Dr. Bentz can provide those treatments and prepare you for the next step.

Wondering if you’re a good candidate for an implant? Dr. Bentz can help you answer that question!

Myth #7: Dental implants are too expensive.

Dental implants can have a higher initial cost than other procedures. However, it’s important to consider the long-term value of the investment. These are designed to last much longer than other restorative treatments, including conventional bridges and dentures.

If properly maintained, you won’t have to replace your implant. This will save you time and money down the road and helps to make the option more financially feasible.

Myth #8: I can’t eat my favorite foods with dental implants.

Once your dental implant is in, you can treat it like a normal tooth. This includes eating your favorite foods! Just remember to brush and floss daily to keep it strong and healthy. It’s also important to take great care of your gums.

While periodontitis can weaken the bond around your implant, it’s easy to avoid if you maintain good oral hygiene. By staying up-to-date on your dental visits with Dr. Bentz, you can keep your implant looking and feeling great for a very long time! If a missing tooth has hindered your ability to enjoy certain foods in the past, this is one incredible benefit you’ll appreciate.

Myth #9: The recovery is long.

Full recovery from your dental implants can take a few months, depending on your individual situation, but the healing process won’t hold you back. Many of Dr. Bentz’s patients can return to work the same day as the implant procedure.

Full osseointegration takes place over the following months, allowing your dental implant to fully bond to the bone in your mouth and gums. As you heal, you’ll find that the recovery isn’t only shorter than you’d expect but also comfortable. You might experience a little tenderness, but it’s usually manageable with over-the-counter pain medication.

Dr. Bentz explains more about how the implant recovery process works in this video.

Myth #10: Dental implants have a high rate of failure.

With proper maintenance, dental implants are highly successful. As technology and techniques continue to develop, reported rates of failure are declining every year. In fact, for the past 10 years, implants have had a success rate of more than 97%.

Dr. Bentz has one of the leading implant success rates in the industry. This is attributed to the state-of-the-art tools and technologies he uses, as well as his experience, expertise, and detailed approach to aftercare.

At our office, we have specific and advanced technologies that reduce the rate of failure. One of those is computer-enhanced treatment planning. This is made possible through i-CAT 3D Imaging, a revolutionary cone-beam, 3D dental imaging system that provides complete, thorough data about your teeth and gums. With one painless, 20-second scan, Dr. Bentz can create a comprehensive image that allows him to make a precise dental health diagnosis. This system uses less radiation than traditional CT scanners and also enables more effective information sharing between dentists and patients.

The 3D model we analyze reveals key details about your bone quality, bone quantity, and bone location. Referencing this data allows us to ensure the ideal placement of your implant. We can also use these insights to work closely with your restorative dentist to make sure the procedure is successful.

Discover the Power of Dental Implants

You don’t have to hide your smile. You deserve a full set of bright, healthy teeth that allow you to live life to the fullest. Dental implants are an excellent treatment option for many people who experience tooth loss. Don’t let the 10 myths above dissuade you from learning more about this valuable procedure.

To learn more about our approach to implants or schedule a consultation, contact our team today.

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What Is The Difference Between Prosthodontics And General Restorative Dentistry?

Is Prosthodontics Really Any Different From Restorative Dentistry?

With over 200,000 active dentists within the United States, it’s surprising to know that only one in five of them specializes in a specific area within dentistry.

One of those specialties is prosthodontics. In a way, a prosthodontist is also a general dentist, but they have added specialized skills that allow them to offer more to their patients, particularly when it comes to smile makeovers.

So how does a prosthodontist differ from a general dentist? Why are they more specialized and what exactly can they do?

Read on to learn the difference between prosthodontics and general restorative dentistry.

Prosthodontics — what is it?

Prosthodontics specializes in assisting patients who may have issues with missing or lost teeth as well as maxillofacial tissues. Many prosthodontists offer denture alternatives such as dental implants.

And while general dentists also help people with missing or lost teeth and may help with maxillofacial tissues, a prosthodontist has a higher level of education with specific prosthodontic training qualifications. This is a special branch of dentistry that focuses on oral extractions and teeth replacements, which is rarely as simple as it sounds. There are many factors that must be considered with tooth replacement options.

To be qualified in prosthodontics, prosthodontists must undertake an additional three more years of school and training. Dr. Bentz achieved his specialty certificate from Temple University School of Dentistry.

And while general dentists are also trained to extract teeth, if a case is complex and requires surgery, this is when they would refer the patient to a prosthodontist. They may also work with a prosthodontist to assist in replacing teeth they’ve removed.

What do prosthodontists do?

As already mentioned, a prosthodontist specializes in any issues to do with missing or lost teeth. As part of their extensive training, they also specialize in cosmetic dentistry. In addition to tooth extraction, they are also able to provide dentures, crowns, bridges, and a full mouth reconstruction.

Prosthodontics also specializes in dental implants. Within the US, five million dental implants are placed every year. They also handle jaw joint issues (up to 40% of people will experience this in their lifetime), such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

When are prosthodontics needed?

At least 120 million people within the US are missing at least one tooth. Chances are, most of these people should be seeing their local prosthodontist.

A prosthodontist will help assess the type of tooth replacement procedure that is most appropriate for the situation. They are also the dentist who will carry out any necessary tooth replacement procedures, such as dental implants, crowns, and bridges. They will also develop an ongoing treatment plan to assist with overall ongoing oral health.

If jaw pain or a clicking sound is heard when the jaw moves, these are common signs of TMD, which needs to be treated as soon as possible. If left untreated, it can lead to chronic pain, headaches, and more.

A prosthodontist can also assist with restoration from oral cancer side effects and ongoing treatments.

When should I call a prosthodontist instead of a general dentist?

How does one know when to call the general dentist or a prosthodontist? Well, if only the teeth need cleaning, a general dentist is the best option. They focus on general overall oral healthcare and maintenance.

A general dentist may also assist with simple teeth extractions, particularly in an emergency, but a prosthodontist is the best option for any major smile restoration work.

Prosthodontists Specialize In Smile Restoration

If a traumatic dental injury occurs and a tooth is knocked out or the jaw is damaged, a prosthodontist is the best medical professional to assist and create a treatment plan.

If a full-mouth restoration is needed, a prosthodontist will recommend the best treatment based on the issues being faced by the patient.

A full mouth restoration is needed if teeth have been lost due to decay or trauma, teeth have been fractured or injured, or teeth are severely worn.

Not all traumatic dental injuries will result in a full-mouth restoration. This will largely depend on the condition of the teeth. A prosthodontist may recommend restorative measures such as crowns or dental implants to assist with smile restoration.

They will also review and assess the gum tissue, as the health of the gyms has an impact on any smile makeover treatment provided.

The duration of treatment will depend on the extent of work needed, but in the end, it will all be worth it. Your teeth, mouth, and smile will be healthy and beautiful for the rest of your life. We’re here to help.


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East Norriton, PA 19401

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