Periodontists are dentists who have taken two or three years of advanced training beyond their dental school education. (As of 1997, all periodontal residencies were lengthened to a minimum of three years). Like medical specialists, periodontists concentrate and gain expertise in one specific area. In this case, periodontists treat a myriad of periodontal diseases that affect both the hard and soft tissues – the gums and jawbones - that not only make up the essential support of teeth in health and function, but can become a conduit that affects your general medical health when left untreated.
Why is this important? Because the major cause of tooth loss in adults, not only in the US but around the world, is caused by teeth loosening and bone loss from gum or periodontal disease. Saving teeth is important for a variety of reasons. Besides the most common benefits of keeping your teeth healthy and sound so that you may look great, speak clearly, chew your food properly, and breathe easily, treating your gums back to health may just save your life. Recent evidence, in study after study, demonstrates a relationship between untreated gum disease and cardiac disease (heart attacks), strokes, respiratory problems, and giving birth to premature babies with lower birth weights. We invite you to visit the American Academy of Periodontology’s website for more information on the systemic links to untreated periodontal disease.
How is your periodontal problem treated?
The first step is for a periodontist at Central Park Periodontics to perform a careful examination and determine the extent of your problem. Once the necessary data is gathered, we present our findings and discuss treatment options with you. A major goal of periodontal treatment includes slowing down the progress of this chronic condition through a variety of methods. It may be suggested that the pockets around the necks of the teeth – pockets are spaces where the gums have pulled away from the roots, allowing bacterial plaque and tartar to form on roots – cleaned thoroughly. We call this “scaling and root planing” because we are meticulously removing bacterial plaque and hard accretions, commonly referred to as tartar, off the root surfaces. This is critical because bacteria leave a noxious residue on tooth roots that needs to be removed in order to restore the gums back to health. For moderate problems, this may be all the treatment needed. In instances where deep pockets remain that can not easily be cleaned, other treatments may be recommended, including gum (periodontal) surgery.
When additional gum treatment is suggested, bone grafts may be recommended, as well as gum grafts for cosmetic reasons. Sometimes, cosmetic surgeries are performed that trim away excess gum tissue so crowns will fit better.
But that’s not all we do. The periodontists at Central Park Perio also:
- Perform cosmetic gum grafts to treat recession
- Adjust bites when the teeth are loose
- Fabricate bite guards
- Perform complex surgeries to rebuild lost soft and hard tissues for bridges and implant restorations, including sinus grafts and ridge augmentations
- Insert dental implants
- Remove teeth
- Oral cancer checks
- Consult for complex treatment plans
- Second opinions
- Laser gum treatment
- Laser gum disinfection
X-rays and computers
For your health and benefit, our office utilizes state-of-the-art computerized dental imaging, embracing this technology when it was first introduced to dentistry in 1994. Instead of using conventional dental film, we utilize silicone sensors. These sensors are placed in your mouth to capture images that are digitized on computer monitors conveniently located in every treatment room. These images require 10% of the impulse energy needed to take the most common conventional dental X-ray. In other words, this system results in 90% less radiation exposure to you.
These computed digital dental images are stored in our server and become part of your permanent record in our office. Hard copies may be printed and sent to other dentists as well as insurance companies. As the digital age spreads through dentistry, it has become commonplace to email X-rays between the various dentists caring for you.
Treatment Records, Technology, and You
While the glitz of technology can be overwhelming, Central Park Periodontics is dedicated to embracing practical technologies and solutions that will enhance each patient’s experience and care. To this end, we are committed to:
- Paperless charts and records
- Voice activated, computerized periodontal charting
- Online medical histories, post-op instructions, consent forms, HIPPA forms
- Electronic submission of insurance clams
- Email reminders of upcoming office appointments
- Access to each doctor by email or text