At Healthy Smiles, we are extremely proud to have Dr. Matthew D. Lann, a board certified Periodontist on our team, and right here in our office. Unlike most dental practices, having Dr. Lann locally in our practice affords our patients the convenience of having all treatments performed under one roof, without having to be referred out to another office.
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.
Periodontists often treat more problematic periodontical cases, such as those with severe gum disease or a complex medical history. Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments, surgical procedures, and are specifically trained in the placement and repair of dental implants.
Some of the most prominent treatments focused on at Healthy Smiles are:
- Periodontal Disease
- Dental Implants
- Bone Grafting
Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tarter). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don't know it! Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.
Not only is it the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.
To protect yourself from this destructive disease, it is extremely important to have your teeth professionally cleaned, and a thorough examination performed, at least twice a year. It is also important to thoroughly clean your teeth twice daily at home (that means flossing too!). Routine home care should seem more purposeful now that you understand the health implications involved.
Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease. The good news is that gum disease can be treated and prevented.
Your teeth were designed to last a lifetime, but sometimes they don't! Replacing missing teeth is important to your general health and to the health of your other teeth. Not only do you lose chewing ability when a tooth is lost, but not replacing teeth can cause other teeth to be lost, tipped or crowded and create subsequent problems. Also, there are obvious problems of poor facial appearance and loss of self-esteem caused by one or more missing teeth.
Dental implants should always be considered the first option to replace a failing or missing tooth. Replacement of lost teeth with dental implants has been used for treating missing teeth for more than 40 years and is recognized as the ideal treatment choice. Treatment is considered more predictable than bridgework, crowns, dentures and root canals. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.
Have you ever seen someone without their dentures in? Their face collapses inward. This is due to bone loss from the loss of teeth. This process starts as soon as even one tooth is missing.
Over a short period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth dissolves and shrinks. Similar to a bar of soap in the shower, the bone "melts" away once a tooth is removed. 40-60% of the bone is lost in the first six months to one year after a tooth is extracted!
This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants. Today, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance. If the bone is too thin or too short it must be replaced so an implant can be placed in the precise position of the tooth.