FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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What Is a Periodontist?

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.

What Is the Lifespan of a Dental Implant?

Every patient is different, but a dental implant can never be compromised by tooth decay and it is strong enough to tolerate normal biting and chewing forces, it has proven to be an impressively durable restoration.

Just like natural teeth, your dental work may be subjected to normal wear and tear, and you should take the appropriate steps to protect your smile! Wearing a protective mouth guard during sports and at night if (if you are prone to clenching and grinding), avoiding tobacco products, and maintaining good health habits can lengthen the lifespan of your smile.

Of course, the lifespan of an implant can be further extended when you observe proper oral hygiene techniques and adhere to regularly scheduled dental check-ups and cleanings.

These durable teeth will require the same level of maintenance and care as natural teeth. Diligent brushing and flossing, dental exams, and good overall health are critical to the longevity of your smile.

From this perspective, your dental implants are designed to hold up for a lifetime

Do Dental Implants Require Special Care?

Presume that dental implants are natural teeth and treat them that way. Return for regular check-ups. Brush and floss.

Realize also, that caring for the gums is the best way to care for one’s teeth. More teeth are lost as a result of gum disease than any other single cause.

I’ve Heard That Dental Implants Are Experimental. Is That True?

Absolutely not! Dental implants have a long history of use and success. Implants are the most thoroughly researched procedure in the history of dentistry and, while no procedure is 100% successful, the current technology has resulted in very high success rates in the hands of well-trained and experienced clinicians.

Dental implants are carefully regulated by the FDA and a number of implant systems have been approved by the American Dental Association.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals.

Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum disease (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth and if not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing the plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).

The bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form.

As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds the teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.

How Often Should I Brush and Floss?

Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.

Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay.

Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.

Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.

Toothbrushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.

  • Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
  • Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
  • Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and to freshen your breath.
    Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.

Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

  • Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
  • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
    Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.

How Can I Tell if I Have Gingivitis or Periodontitis (Gum Disease)?

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.

Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms.

Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.

Periodontal disease begins when plaque, a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums.

The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone. Brushing and flossing regularly and properly will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do its damage.

Other than poor oral hygiene, there are several other factors that may increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco – Tobacco users are more likely than non-users to form plaque and tartar on their teeth.
  • Certain tooth or appliance conditions – Bridges that no longer fit properly, crowded teeth, or defective fillings that may trap plaque and bacteria.
  • Many medications – Steroids, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure meds, oral contraceptives. Some medications have side affects that reduce saliva, making the mouth dry and plaque easier to adhere to the teeth and gums.
  • Pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and puberty – Can cause changes in hormone levels, causing gum tissue to become more sensitive to bacteria toxins.
  • Systemic diseases – Diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV / AIDS, etc.
  • Genetics may play role – Some patients may be predisposed to a more aggressive type of periodontitis. Patients with a family history of tooth loss should pay particular attention to their gums.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease:

  • Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
  • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
  • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
  • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
  • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
  • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
  • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
  • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.
  • Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

Can I Get a Same-day Appointment?

Possibly! Contact us today and let us know your needs.

Depending on the situation, we may be able to accommodate you quickly.

Why Is It Important to Use Dental Floss?

Brushing our teeth removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from all tooth surfaces, except in between the teeth. Unfortunately, our toothbrush can’t reach these areas that are highly susceptible to decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that cause cavities and irritate and inflame the gums.

Also, when plaque is not removed above and below the gumline, it hardens and turns into calculus (tartar). This will further irritate and inflame the gums and will also slowly destroy the bone. This is the beginning of periodontal disease.

How to floss properly:

  • Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
  • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
  • Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Daily flossing will help you keep a healthy, beautiful smile for life!

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QUESTIONS?

If you have questions about dental implants or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us at our dental practice today!

IMPLANT & PERIO SPECIALISTS OF KANSAS

(316) 683-2525

9100 E. 29th St. N. Wichita KS United States 67226