Frequently Asked Questions
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease refers to a group of pathologic conditions that affect the gums, teeth and bone. Caused by bacteria, the infection begins as gingivitis that causes bleeding, swelling and redness of the gums. The infection may progress to periodontitis, a chronic infection in the pockets around the teeth. The resulting inflammation, which may be painless, can damage the attachment of the gums and bone to the teeth. At this stage, treatment by a periodontist is needed. Left untreated, teeth may eventually become loose, fall out or require removal.
Why should I have periodontal treatment?
Treatment of periodontal disease not only stops the infection, but also addresses the bone loss that occurs with the disease process. This improves the health within the mouth and allows for healthy reconstruction of the teeth. There is also a correlation between periodontal disease and heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high cholesterol, low birth weight babies and premature babies, to name a few. Treatment of the periodontal infection, therefore, may improve the overall systemic health as well.
Does periodontal treatment hurt?
During periodontal treatment, local anesthesia is used so there should be no pain. Post-treatment pain is controlled with both over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Most people are able to go back to work and resume their normal activities the next day.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Other Important Factors Affecting the Health of Your Gums
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
- Pregnancy and puberty
What is an implant?
A dental implant is a small man-made titanium screw that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. The dental implant consists of three parts: 1) the implant, which replaces the root, is placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw and allowed to bond with the bone and serve as an anchor for the replacement tooth; 2) the abutment, which serves as a connector between the implant and the crown; and 3) the crown or tooth, which is fabricated by a dental laboratory, placed by a restorative dentist and attached to the abutment. Dental implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth. Implant-supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. Dental implants may also be used to support and retain dentures. Dental implants are a proven restorative option with a long clinical history. Dental implants preserve the integrity of the facial structure and reduce the inconvenience associated with tooth loss.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Anyone who is missing one or more of their teeth due to injury, disease or decay may be a candidate for dental implants. If one, a few or all teeth are missing, dental implants in conjunction with a crown or bridge can replace those teeth. Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits that dental implants offer. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you're healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you're probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Your dentist and our periodontal office will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical health history. At this time all your questions can be answered.
Is there any pain or discomfort involved?
Most patients report that there is very little discomfort and were much more comfortable following the procedure than they anticipated. Anesthesia and patient sedation are used to eliminate any discomfort during the procedure.
How will I benefit from dental implants?
The benefits of implant treatment include appearance, the enhanced ability to chew and enjoy your food, and often protection of your remaining teeth and jawbone. Dental implants offer many benefits never before available for the treatment of missing teeth. In short, dental implants will look, feel and function like your real teeth.
How long will the treatment take?
Treatment time will vary depending on your particular situation. In some cases, teeth can be attached to the implants the day they are placed, and in some cases it may be necessary to wait a number of months before finishing the restorations in order to obtain an optimal result.
How much will it cost?
The fee for tooth replacement with dental implants will depend on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of implants required to support your replacement teeth. It is important for you to know that you do not necessarily need an implant for each missing root. Some additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of your dental implants to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants. To obtain a specific fee estimate, it is necessary to have Dr. Gandhi examine your mouth. After a diagnostic examination, he will recommend the treatment that is best for you and what your investment would be for the procedure.
How long do implants last?
Implants and the companies that manufacture them have been around for over 30 years. Dental bridges supported by implants have been shown to last over 15 years in 90% of cases. Most patients can expect them to last a lifetime.
Is it important to take care of the implants after the treatment is completed?
Yes! Maintaining care of the implants will help to ensure the long-term success of your treatment. You will be responsible for daily plaque removal, which can be accomplished through brushing and flossing around your restoration. Our office staff will show you how to properly care for your implants. You will be alternating from your general dentist's office and our office for maintenance appointments and examinations just as you would for natural teeth.