Periodontics

Did you know that 80% of Americans have some form of periodontal disease? Most people are unaware of this “silent” disease even though they may experience bleeding, puffy or inflamed gums, because bone loss is completely painless! Even more Americans are unaware that diseases of the mouth could affect their overall health. Recent research indicates that gum infections may have a direct relationship to cardiovascular disease. Additionally, gum disease has been shown to be related to premature deliveries, pre-term, low-birth-weight babies, and diabetes.

As a periodontist, Dr. Humphreys seeks to treat the disease that destroys gum and supporting bone and promote your total health. Beautiful smiles begin with healthy gums and bone and Dr. Humphreys is committed to your health. With his expertise and state-of-the-art technology, you can expect excellent results.

Comprehensive Periodontal Examination: During a thorough examination of the gum tissues, Dr. Humphreys collects data related to bone levels, pocket depths, bleeding points, and overall gum and bone health. This examination enables Dr. Humphreys to provide you with the appropriate diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan for your specific needs.

Oral Cancer Screening: If you are a tobacco or smokeless tobacco user, you are at higher risk for oral cancer. More than 8,000 deaths were attributed to oral cancer in the past year. We are committed to early detection. Please note that we provide oral cancer screenings at each preventive care appointment.

Occlusal Examination: Your bite can sometimes have an effect on the position of your teeth and jaw. We can help redistribute and redirect the biting forces by performing minor polishing on the surfaces or fillings of your teeth. This will help ensure that the natural function and comfort of your bite is maintained.

Preventive Services

Tooth Desensitization: This treatment for the pain associated with sensitive teeth can help to reduce the level of sensitivity often associated with gum recession.

Periodontal Maintenance: After periodontal therapy, it is extremely important that you maintain your dental health. To achieve this, it is important that you return on a regular basis for routine examination, scaling and root planing. We generally request that you alternate periodontal maintenance visits between our office and your referring dentist. Regular preventive care is the best assurance of future oral health.

Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy

Antibiotic Irrigation: This procedure can be used in home or office to control the bacteria that causes periodontal disease. The gum tissue is bathed and flushed with an antibiotic preparation to kill bacteria and promote healing of the gum tissue.

Scaling and Root Planing: Plaque trapped below the gum line can cause a condition known as periodontitis, which is an inflammation that can erode the ligaments and bone that support your teeth, creating deep pockets that foster the growth of more destructive bacteria. Treatment may include the use of antibiotics and root planing (deep scaling of the bacteria-filled pockets). Our hygienist will remove the hard bacterial deposits (tartar) from beneath your gums and develop a personalized oral hygiene program for you. You will be given careful instructions on how to best maintain your oral health.

Nightguard Therapy: Nightguards are used as a treatment option to prevent damage to the chewing surfaces of the teeth associated with grinding and clenching. It is a conservative treatment that is very successful and highly recommended for patients with TMJ dysfunction. By creating an acrylic pattern of your teeth, Dr. Humphreys can help you protect your teeth from unnecessary wear.

Occlusal Adjustment: The forces of your bite can sometimes affect the positioning of the jaw and teeth. Minor polishing of the surface enamel or fillings of the teeth can help to redistribute and redirect the biting forces.

Surgical Periodontal Therapy

Gingivectomy and Gingivoplasty: A gingivectomy reduces excessive gum tissue, while a gingivoplasty reshapes gum tissue. Both procedures involve the removal and re-contouring of your gum tissue to improve your appearance and facilitate better health.

Pocket Elimination Surgery: Pocket elimination treatment is the surgical removal of deep periodontal pockets. This procedure allows for effective removal of plaque and calculus deposits. Eliminating unnecessary pocket depth increases the possibility that your home care will be effective in controlling disease.

Gum Grafting: Gum grafting involves adding gum tissue to prevent gum recession or irritation. This prevents future tooth loss due to root decay, vigorous tooth brushing, or root abrasion. Teeth that are cold, sensitive, or have obvious “lengthy root” appearances will benefit from the improved cosmetic look that gum grafting provides.

Guided Tissue Regeneration: Periodontal disease causes loss of bone and connective tissue. Today, through Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR), Dr. Humphreys can promote the regrowth of ligament fibers and bone. A bone graft may be used in conjunction with this procedure.

Bone Grafting: Bone grafting is used to restore a large amount of bone tissue that has deteriorated due to gum disease. There are several types of grafting materials; however, most encourage new bone growth.

Crown Lengthening: Crown lengthening may be recommended for prosthetic or esthetic reasons. It is also indicated when a tooth has fractured or decayed beneath the gum line. Crown lengthening is useful in providing tooth length without compromising the supporting gum tissue or the strength of the future restoration.

Ridge Augmentation: Ridge augmentation is a procedure performed to repair defects due to extraction or tooth loss. This procedure enables teeth to be replaced (by your referring dentist) with optimum functional and esthetic results.

Dental Implants: Dental implants have several component parts. The implant itself is a titanium screw that is placed in the jawbone to serve as a mechanical replacement of the tooth root. They can serve as support for single or multiple crowns, bridgework, and dentures. After a period of healing, normally three months, a second component, the abutment, is attached to the implant body. Abutments vary from "snap" attachments for dentures, to posts for crown and bridgework. A new scanning technology allows for the fabrication of "custom milled abutments” which will produce a more esthetic final restoration. Find out more under our Dental Implant heading.

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