November 2021

top 8 advances in treating periodontal disease 62a20dd4b23cd

Top 8 Advances In Treating Periodontal Disease

Modern Treatment of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is one of the most common oral health problems in adults. The CDC has found that more than 47% of adults over the age of 30 and 70% over the age of 65 have some form of periodontal disease, from mild gum disease to advanced periodontitis.

Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults and can wreak havoc on teeth, gum tissue, and bone when left untreated. While the numbers may seem grim, there is a silver lining: modern dentistry and its approach to periodontal disease treatment have improved considerably. Dentists like Dr. Bentz can diagnose cases sooner, treat issues more effectively, and repair any damage that has been done.

Thanks to these following 8 advances, periodontal disease is only a temporary obstacle and not a permanent end to a stunning, healthy smile.

1. A greater understanding of prevention, treatment, and systemic connections.

Each year brings new studies, new information, and new knowledge of periodontal disease. While there is always more to learn, dentists who continue to pursue education opportunities are up-to-date on modern approaches to preventing all forms of gum disease as well as the most effective treatment plans for each individual case. Dentists also continue to learn more about vital systemic health connections linked to periodontal disease.

2. More effective antibiotics are available, including topical medications designed for periodontal disease.

Periodontitis is characterized by a severe and often stubborn infection within the gum pockets. Oral antibiotics are usually administered to kill the infection, but overuse of antibiotics can also be hard on healthy oral and gut bacteria needed for the immune system. Topical antibiotics like Arestin® are used in conjunction with traditional scaling and root planing to stop the infection and prevent future infections from occurring.

3. At-home aftercare is enhanced with the addition of antimicrobial trays for continued treatment.

As important as professional dental care is for treating periodontal disease, following up with proper care at home ensures overall treatment success. In addition to maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine, dentists can also provide antimicrobial perio trays that will continue to support healthy gums and fight infection.

4. Gum pocket reduction surgery knocks out infection and bacteria more quickly.

The gum pockets surrounding each tooth are where periodontal disease begins. When the gums become inflamed, the pockets swell and open, allowing bacteria to reproduce and thrive. Gum pocket reduction surgery involves surgically moving back your gum line so the underlying tooth roots can be thoroughly cleaned of bacteria, infection, and dead tissue. As a result, your gum pocket will also have a shortened depth to help prevent this from occurring again.

5. Revolutionary laser dentistry allows for precise oral surgery, reduced risks, and faster healing.

In cases of periodontitis, oral surgery is often necessary for gum pocket reduction, removal of dead or damaged tissue, and cosmetic contouring after gum recession. Laser dentistry makes oral surgery a far more comfortable and beneficial process for patients. Not only is your dentist able to precisely treat the trouble area, but you’ll have less bleeding, swelling, and post-surgery discomfort, and you’ll heal faster too.

6. Bone and gum tissue loss can be regenerated through surgical grafts.

Periodontitis can cause irreversible damage to the gum tissue even down to the jaw bone. This leads to tooth loss, a misaligned bite, and changes to the facial shape. Regeneration is possible through bone and gum tissue grafts, and the techniques used now are highly successful. Even with severe damage, your dentist can help rebuild the foundation for a healthy smile.

7. Stunning dental implants can permanently replace damaged or missing teeth.

When tooth loss does occur or a tooth needs to be extracted, dental implants provide a superior prosthetic tooth solution. They are ideal for periodontitis patients after any infection has been healed and necessary bone or gum grafts have taken place. Best of all, dental implants help maintain bone and gum health over the long haul.

8. Advanced dental technology enhances the periodontal disease diagnosis and treatment process.

By using state-of-the-art dental technology, dentists are able to not only diagnose cases of periodontal disease more quickly, but also make the treatment process more comfortable and efficient for patients. Digital X-rays take clearer images of your mouth and produce less radiation; digital CT imaging can help assess your jaw structure and bite alignment; and products like OraVerse reverse numbing so you can carry on with your day after a visit.

Expert periodontal disease treatment in East Norriton, PA.

If you’re located in or around East Norriton, PA, Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center will help you recover from your periodontal disease, and continue to care for your smile with a complete menu of services. To book an appointment with Dr. Bentz, you can either call our office or use this online form.

step by step process of full mouth rehabilitation 62a20ddfcf0f7

Step By Step Process of Full Mouth Rehabilitation

What to expect during your full mouth rehabilitation.

Full mouth rehabilitation is an incredible form of restorative care that allows people just like you to recover from extensive damage and missing teeth. Every treatment plan is uniquely designed to fit your needs and help you achieve your smile goals, but each plan can be broken down into a series of basic steps.

Here are the 10 steps involved in a typical full mouth reconstruction plan.

Step 1: Consider your personal smile goals.

This first step happens before you even set foot in your dentist’s office! By having a general idea of your personal smile goals, you’ll feel much more confident and prepared once this question comes up during your consultation. Think about what aspects of your smile you want changed and what your “ideal smile” looks like in your eyes.

Step 2: Meet your dentist for a consultation.

Choosing a dentist you can trust and develop a relationship with is important in a successful full mouth rehabilitation. Your dentist’s skills, technology, and approach to patient care will have a direct impact on your experience during treatment as well as how the final results look. Once you’ve found a great dentist or prosthodontist, schedule a consultation to meet them and discuss your options.

Step 3: Define what aspects of your smile need help.

During your consultation, your dentist will perform a very thorough examination of your smile. This includes a visual exam as well as some basic X-rays to see your underlying jaw structure. Using this information, your dentist will determine what needs to happen in order to help you achieve a functional and beautiful smile. You’ll also be encouraged to let your dentist know about your own goals for your smile.

Step 4: Evaluate your oral and general health for candidacy.

For most, a full mouth rehabilitation involves oral surgery and invasive procedures like dental implants. Because of this, an important step in determining if you’re a candidate for certain procedures is a health evaluation. In addition to ensuring there aren’t any active infections in your mouth, your dentist will also go over your medical history. Uncontrolled medical conditions and poor overall health could heighten risks, making something like oral surgery potentially unsafe at this time.

Step 5: Discuss the best treatment plan for meeting your goals.

The next step is one of the most exciting! With your smile goals in mind, you and your dentist will determine the best plan of action for treatment. Your dentist will go over which procedures he believes will be the best fit for you and explain what each procedure entails. You’ll also have time to ask as many questions as you’d like if you feel at all concerned or unclear about something.

Step 6: Discuss the treatment timeline and estimated budget.

Once you and your dentist have agreed on the best treatment plan, the next step is discussing the treatment timeline and a rough estimate on costs. Your dentist will explain how long treatment will take and if multiple appointments are necessary. Some procedures, like dental implants, can add months to a full mouth rehabilitation. However, advances in technology mean treatment time can be shortened with same day dental implants.

You’ll also receive a quote on costs, including how much you might pay out of pocket after insurance.

Step 7: Create a schedule for necessary appointments.

After everything is finalized you’ll end your consultation by scheduling your actual treatment appointments. If you need preliminary treatment, such as a bone graft, or you need more in-depth imaging or dental impressions, this will take place before your first actual treatment appointment.

Step 8: Undergo your full mouth rehabilitation treatment!

This next step is when all of your planning becomes a reality! Your full mouth rehabilitation may take place all in one visit or require two to three appointments to complete. As mentioned above, many dental technology advancements have made full mouth rehabilitation more efficient. What once used to take multiple appointments over a month or more can now be done in a single visit!

Step 9: Recover at home and have your initial follow-up visit.

Once your treatment is complete, it’s time to go home to relax and recuperate. Procedures like dental implants require a few months of healing, anywhere from three to six months, before you are fully healed. However, you’ll usually only have a couple of weeks of downtime before you feel like yourself again and you can begin eating a normal diet.

About two weeks or so post-treatment you’ll come in for a follow-up visit to ensure everything is healing properly. If you had dentures placed, you’ll also come back around this time to ensure everything is fitting properly.

Step 10: Final follow-up visit and book preventive care.

About a month or two after your follow-up appointment, you’ll generally come back for one more visit to ensure you’re still progressing as you should. During this time you can also schedule your preventive care appointment visits. We recommend regular checkups and cleanings every six months.

Come see Dr. Bentz for your full mouth rehabilitation consultation.

Dr. Bentz is a skilled prosthodontist who specializes in full mouth reconstructions, dental implant technology, and advanced restorative and cosmetic dental care. Our East Norriton office provides a complete menu of dental care services, from total smile makeovers to routine preventive care.

To learn more about full mouth reconstructions and how it can benefit your smile, you can book a consultation by calling our office or using this online form.

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Full Mouth Reconstruction: What Is It Exactly and How Does It Help?

The Basics of Full Mouth Reconstruction in Plain Language

Missing teeth are one of the most challenging oral health issues adults face. Whether a side effect of a long battle with tooth decay or damage from advanced gum disease, missing teeth and badly damaged teeth are very real problems for a significant number of Americans. In fact, an astounding 26% of adults ages 65 and older have eight or fewer natural teeth left. Thankfully, even if you’ve experienced widespread damage to your smile, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a healthy, beautiful smile once again. Full mouth reconstruction is a treatment process that addresses missing teeth, severely damaged teeth, misaligned bites, and similar oral health problems.

Here is an introduction to full mouth reconstruction, what it can do for your smile, and how you can expect your own treatment plan to go.

What Full Mouth Reconstruction Is and How It Works

What is the purpose of full mouth reconstruction?

Full mouth reconstruction is a treatment process that combines specific restorative and cosmetic dental treatments to replace missing teeth, save remaining natural teeth, restore oral health, and enhance your smile’s appearance. The overall goal of reconstruction is to restore both the function and beauty of your smile.

Compared to a cosmetic smile makeover, a full reconstruction is much more in-depth and focuses heavily on replacing missing teeth that have been lost or need to be extracted.

For example, one or two missing teeth coupled with cosmetic care may only be considered a smile makeover. But treatment requiring extensive restorative care or full arch rehabilitation would be considered full mouth reconstruction.

Who needs full mouth reconstruction?

Full mouth reconstruction is for anyone who has experienced extensive oral damage and tooth loss. Some reasons you might need this form of treatment include:

  • Extensive tooth decay
  • Advanced periodontal disease
  • Oral injury or impact
  • Severe bruxism (grinding)
  • Severe TMJ disorder
  • Genetic conditions
  • Oral cancer recovery

Common Dental Procedures Used in Full Mouth Reconstruction

Periodontal Therapy

The leading cause of tooth loss in adults is advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis. For this reason, many patients who have gum disease must undergo periodontal therapy and frequent maintenance cleanings to get and keep their periodontitis under control. Once all infection is healed, patients can move forward with repair and reconstruction.

Dental Restorations

Restorative dentistry procedures are commonly used in full mouth reconstructions in which some natural teeth will remain in the smile. Dental crowns, dental bonding, tooth-colored fillings, and inlays or onlays are a few examples of restorations you might want to protect your natural teeth.

Dental Implant Technology

Dental implants are incredible dental prosthetics for full mouth reconstructions. They can either replace individual missing teeth or, in combination with special bridges or a denture, an entire arch of teeth. Dental implant technology includes conventional (single) implants, same-day implants, implant-supported bridges, implant-supported dentures, and techniques like All-on-4.

Full and Partial Dentures

Dentures are a traditional means of replacing missing teeth, and they still remain a popular option. Modern dentures are more beautiful than ever and can be fitted to your exact smile for a comfortable, rub-free fit.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry can take your new smile to another level. In addition to replacing missing or damaged teeth, cosmetic dentistry procedures like porcelain veneers can be used to enhance your remaining natural teeth and match your new prosthetics.

Oral Surgery

Damage due to severe injuries, periodontal disease, and oral cancer, as well as genetic conditions like a cleft palate, often require oral surgery to repair missing or damaged soft tissue and bone.

How To Begin Your Own Full Mouth Reconstruction Journey

Consider your personal smile goals.

When you look at your smile right now, what do you want to change? Do you only want missing teeth replaced? What about how your smile looks from an aesthetic perspective? Do you want it to look as it did before the damage occurred, or do you want a completely new look?

By getting a general idea of what you want out of your full mouth reconstruction, you’ll feel more confident when your dentist asks you about your goals.

Find an experienced and compassionate prosthodontist.

Your reconstruction can only be as successful as the dentist you choose to care for your smile. Dr. Bentz has well over a decade of experience in innovative prosthodontics, restorative dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry techniques.

By combining a gentle hand with artistic smile design, the latest in dental technology, and expert skill, Dr. Bentz will help make your dream smile a reality.

Schedule a consultation to begin your smile design.

Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center is always accepting new patients who are eager to achieve optimal oral health. In addition to helping you with your full mouth reconstruction, we can cover all of your other preventive and general dental care needs as well.

When you’re ready to take that first step toward your full mouth reconstruction, you can call us at our East Norriton office or use our online form to schedule an evaluation.

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How Serious Is Periodontal Disease Really?

The Dangers of Periodontal Disease

Perhaps you’ve been recently diagnosed with periodontal disease or maybe your dentist has mentioned that you have gingivitis. Now you’re wondering, “Is gum disease really that big of a deal if my teeth feel just fine?”

Sadly, gum disease is an oral health problem that isn’t discussed often enough considering how detrimental it can be to your oral and overall health. While tooth decay and cavities often take the spotlight, it’s actually gum disease that has the most destructive potential behind it.

Let’s take a closer look at what gum or periodontal disease is, why it’s such a serious problem, and what you can do about it.

Understanding Periodontal Disease and Its Stages

There is often some confusion about what exactly periodontal disease is. Is it gum disease? Gingivitis? How does periodontitis fit in? Here is a rundown of each of these terms and what they mean.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is the layman’s term for periodontal disease. They are used interchangeably and both describe a state of chronic inflammation or infection of the gum tissue.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is the proper terminology for infected or “diseased” gums. You’ll often hear your dentist use this term the most when discussing your condition, especially if an infection is present.

Periodontal disease isn’t a specific disease, but a category of two specific conditions — gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is how nearly all cases of periodontal disease begin. This condition is a state of chronic gum inflammation and can be described as a mild form of periodontal disease. At this early stage, patients experience some symptoms and discomfort, but the gum tissue isn’t yet infected.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is the most severe stage of periodontal disease. When gingivitis isn’t treated and inflammation persists, infection will eventually occur. Once the gums have become infected, permanent damage to the gums, teeth, and even the jawbone can occur. Periodontitis is extremely serious as it not only causes irreversible damage to your mouth, but the infection can also cause or greatly increase the risks of other bodily diseases and disorders.

Periodontitis causes anything from tooth loss to systemic disease

When discussing the dangers of periodontal disease, it’s typically periodontitis that is the culprit. While gingivitis is certainly not something to ignore, it doesn’t have the same destructive force as a periodontitis infection.

When left untreated periodontitis can cause:

Tooth Loss

As gum tissue recedes and erodes they no longer provide the support healthy teeth need. This loss of structure combined with infection and bacteria leads to damaged and loose teeth needing to be extracted. Restorative care will then be needed to replace missing teeth.

Malocclusion

Loss of teeth and receding gums can cause teeth to shift out of place and in different directions. Abnormal movement of teeth easily leads to malocclusion, meaning a crooked or misaligned bite. Problematic malocclusion may need intensive restorative or orthodontic care to reverse.

Gum Tissue Loss

Infected gum tissue can erode away or need to be surgically removed as part of the treatment process. Gum recession and loss will need to be fixed with a gum graft to rebuild healthy soft tissue.

Jaw Bone Loss

Infection in the gums quickly works down to the hard tissue and bone within your jaw. Bacteria can eat away at the bone, causing it to shrink or become brittle. This also is a contributing factor in tooth loss. Bone loss can only be fixed with a bone graft.

Systemic Disease

The mouth is a very vascular area of the body, rich in blood vessels. Bacteria from periodontitis can leach through the thin skin in the mouth and get a free ride throughout your body through your circulatory system. Because of this, periodontitis is linked to either causing or exacerbating a number of systemic diseases and disorders, such as heart disease, kidney disease, dementia, diabetes, infertility, and cancers.

Signs That Gingivitis Is Evolving Into Periodontitis

Gingivitis often presents itself as minor to moderate gum irritation, tenderness, light bleeding while brushing and flossing, and halitosis. However, if your mild gingivitis begins to worsen, this is a clear sign that you’re headed toward periodontitis.

Some signs that this is happening include:

  • Worsening bad breath
  • Very red, swollen gums
  • Visual signs of pus
  • General mouth discomfort
  • Sore teeth when chewing
  • Receding gums
  • Teeth feeling wiggly

If you notice this happening, it’s imperative that you seek help from your dentist right away.

How Periodontal Disease Is Treated and the Damage Reversed

The good news is that gingivitis responds very well to treatment. It is a reversible condition and you can reclaim healthy gums by following a thorough at-home dental regimen, using dentist-recommend products for periodontal health, and seeing your dentist for deep cleaning or periodontal therapy.

Periodontitis can also be healed, though the damage it causes isn’t reversible. In a case of periodontitis, you’ll need frequent, thorough cleanings that remove plaque, bacteria, and dead tissue from deep within the gum pockets. These techniques are called scaling and root planing. You may also need periodontal laser surgery as well as gum or bone grafts.

While periodontitis damage isn’t reversible, that doesn’t mean your smile can’t be restored. Prosthodontics like dental implants replace missing teeth and cosmetic care like porcelain veneers can help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile once again.

Periodontal Therapy and Prosthodontics With Dr. Bentz

Dr. Bentz provides the whole gamut of periodontal care and prosthodontic solutions for patients with minor to extreme periodontal disease. This includes extensive periodontal therapy cleanings, laser gum surgery, stunning dental implants, and cosmetic dentistry enhancements.

You can begin gaining control over your gum disease today by calling Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center or using this online form.

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East Norriton, PA 19401

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610-272-6949

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