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Arestin: Fighting infection where it starts

You may have heard about gum disease, also known as “periodontitis” or “periodontal disease.” Maybe a dental professional or hygienist recently told you that you have this infection. But do you really know the difference between periodontal disease and other types of complications that can affect your mouth, such as gingivitis? Do you know why it’s so important to treat periodontal disease-and why brushing and flossing alone won’t do the trick?

Most importantly, did you know that periodontal disease is today’s #1 cause of tooth loss among American adults? Or that, although a causal relationship between periodontal disease and an elevated risk for systemic events has not been established, recent data suggest a possible association between periodontal disease and other health issues including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and preterm low birth-weight babies?

Fight infection right where it starts
ARESTIN® (minocycline hydrochloride) Microspheres, 1 mg is an effective antibiotic treatment that comes in powder form. This powder is placed inside infected periodontal pockets just after the dental professional finishes the scaling and root planing (SRP) procedure.

Biopsy

Oral tissue biopsy may be necessary for lesions that cannot be diagnosed on the basis of the history and clinical findings alone. A thorough inspection of the oral cavity should be a part of any complete head and neck examination. Approximately ten percent of patients have some abnormality. A biopsy is often the definitive procedure that provides tissue for microscopic analysis when additional information is required to guide any indicated therapy.

Biopsy is indicated for the assessment of any unexplained oral mucosal abnormality that persists despite treatment or the removal of local irritants. Malignancy is suspected when persistent oral mucosal lesions are red or red and white or when they are ulcerated, indurated or fixed to deeper tissues. In the dental industry, the role of the biopsy is to diagnose oral cancer.

Bone Grafting

It is not unusual for a patient to be informed at some point that they may require a bone graft in order to maximize the outcome of dental implant surgery. While this sounds scary at first, the truth is that bone grafting in the oral cavity today is a routine, predictable, and painless procedure.

Ridge Augmentation

This is a common dental procedure often performed following a tooth extraction to help recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw that may have been lost due to bone loss as a result of a tooth extraction for another reason. Rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge is not medically necessary, but may be required for dental implant placement, or for aesthetic purposes.

Sinus Augmentation

If you are in need of dental implants but have been told that you lack enough bone density due to periodontal disease or tooth loss it becomes nearly impossible to achieve implant success. A sinus lift procedure can correct this problem by elevating the sinus floor and growing bone for the placement of dental implants. Several techniques can be used to raise the sinus cavity allowing new bone to form. The most common technique, is an incision is made to expose the bone. Then a small circle is cut into the bone. This piece is placed into the sinuses, much like a trap door, and the space underneath is filled with graft material. Finally, the incision is closed so that healing can begin to take place. Since each person heals differently, the bone is usually allowed to develop in 4 to 12 months before moving forward with implants. After an implant procedure, an additional healing period is required. There are certain circumstances where the implant can go in at the same time as sinus augmentation. Sinus lift surgery has shown positive results when it comes to successful implants for years to down the road. Patients experience very little discomfort during this procedure.

Crown Lengthening

In this common surgical procedure, the dentist removes gum tissue, both or both to expose more of a tooth. Crown lengthening is done when a tooth needs to be fixed. Sometimes, not enough of the tooth sticks out about the gum to support a filling or crown. This can happen when a tooth breaks off at the gum line. It can also happen when a crown or filling falls out of the tooth and there is decay underneath.

Frenectomy

A  frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes or loosens a band of muscle that is connected to the lip, cheek, or floor of the mouth. It is usually performed under local anesthetic with uneventful healing. There are people with large frenums beneath their tongues. This prevents their tongue from moving freely and interferes with speech. Adults who are getting dentures may need a frenectomy as the position of frenum interferes with the way they will fit.

Gingival / Gum Grafting

Gum recession is a gradual process that stems from advanced stages of gum disease. 4%-12% of American adults are afflicted with this problem, and many of the cases often go unnoticed until it becomes so severe it is difficult to not notice. Symptoms include extreme sensitivity, and unattractive smile and tooth loss. To prevent any of this from occurring, your can repair the damage and prevent future problems with a simple procedure: The gum graft.

Periodontal (gum) disease

If Gingivitis is left untreated it will advance to Periodontitis. The gums will begin pulling away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected. The body’s natural immune system works hard to fight the bacteria as plaque begins to spread below gum line. Toxins and the body’s response to the infection starts to break down the bone and tissue that holds teeth in place. If Periodontitis goes untreated, the bones, gums, and tissue are destroyed causing loose teeth that may need to be removed.

Scaling & Root Planing

Root planing and scaling is one of the most effective ways to treat gum disease before it becomes severe. It cleans between the gums and the teeth down to the roots. This conventional therapy, or deep cleaning is the process of removing or eliminating the etiologic agents, dental plaque, its products, and calculus which cause inflammation. This works to help establish a periodontium that is free of disease. For some patients, scaling and root planing can cause discomfort. A local anesthetic may be used to numb the portion of your mouth that is being worked on.

Soft Tissue Graft

Soft tissue grafting is often necessary to combat gum recession. Periodontal disease, trauma, aging, over brushing, and poor tooth positioning are the leading causes of gum recession which can lead to tooth root exposure in severe cases. When the roots of the teeth become exposed, eating hot and cold foods can be uncomfortable, decay is more prevalent and the appearance of the smile is altered.

Deep cleaning will be performed above and below the gum line to clear the teeth and roots of tartar. The grafting procedure itself will generally be performed under local anesthetic depending on the size of the areas receiving grafts. A small incision will be made at the recipient site to create a small pocket and the donor tissue is placed in the area.

Occlusal Adjustment

This is done to correct the alignment of the bite. A bite may be misaligned due to loose, shifting, crowded, or missing teeth. Once the adjustment is made the result will be an evenly distributed bite that eliminates irregular pressure on one side of the mouth. Your teeth will meet properly and the process causes only minimal pain and a little discomfort.

Periodontal Splinting (Weak Teeth)

This is a technique used to stabilize teeth which have become loose as a result of losing the supporting bone around them from periodontal disease, a condition known as secondary occlusal trauma. Frequently the problem is complicated by heavy bite stress.

Osseous Surgery / Pocket Reduction

This is the treatment for the gum disease periodontitis. People with periodontitis develop holes called defects in the bone around their teeth. Osseous surgery reshapes the bone to get rid of the defects. This procedure is often used to treat bone loss around multiple teeth.

Cosmetic Periodontal Surgery

This is a type of treatment used to maintain or improve aesthetics while preserving or restoring function. Cosmetic periodontal procedures will help with the appearance of short, unsightly teeth.

Osseous Grafting / Guided Tissue Regeneration

Guided tissue regeneration may be used in conjunction with bone grafting or as a stand alone procedure. Guiding tissue regeneration prevents the ingrowth of the gum tissue into an area formerly occupied by bone and periodontal ligament.

At Soft Touch Dentists, we’re dedicated to providing a stress-free and relaxing environment to our dental patients. Whether you need to bring in your little one for a general check up, or need to bring in your teenager for braces, our professional staff of dental hygienists will ensure their experience is as comfortable as possible.

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With our state-of-the art facility, we’re proud to offer the latest in innovative dental solutions to patients throughout Washington, D.C.. For the best in general dentistry, family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, oral surgery, periodontic surgery, and more, contact our professionals today!

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If you’re a new patient, Soft Touch Dentists provides a complimentary insurance verification before your first office visit to ensure you are fully aware of your covered benefits. If you have transportation problems and live within a three mile radius of our practice, we offer complimentary Uber services to and from our office.

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