What Is Crown Lengthening?

Clinical Crown Lengthening

Both Dr. Cristoforo and Dr. Neidhart are skilled in crown lengthening, a surgical procedure many people need when a patient’s levels of gum tissue, and sometimes the bone, in order to improve the health of the gum tissue, prepare the mouth for a restorative procedure, or for cosmetic purposes (i.e.: correct a “gummy” smile).

What Is Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is done when your periodontist must adjust the levels of gum tissue and sometimes bone around a tooth in order to create a new gum-to-tooth relationship. Often this is used to fix a damaged or altered tooth before a permanent restoration is affixed. Other times, it is performed for aesthetic or functional reasons; it can be used on patients whose teeth appear too short, or their gum line is uneven or “gummy.”

Crown Lengthening for Restorative Purposes

Sometimes a tooth is decayed or broken below the gum line, or has insufficient tooth structure for a restoration such as a crown, bridge, or veneer. Crown lengthening allows your periodontist to adjust the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so the restoration can fit correctly.

How Is the Procedure Done?

During crown lengthening, your periodontist removes excess gum tissue and sometimes bone to expose more of the tooth crown, the white enamel-covered part of the tooth. Once it is removed, the gum line is then sculpted to create a more correct proportion between gum tissue and tooth surface.

This can be done to one tooth to even out your gum or to several teeth to expose a natural and broad smile.

Do Patients Need to Be Put Under?

Not at all! Local anesthetic is used to numb the area. Patients are able to drive themselves to and from the appointment without a problem.

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Will There Be Follow Up Appointments?

Yes. It is crucial to schedule and keep your post operative appointments so your periodontist can ensure you are healing correctly. Even if you do not feel any pain, it is important to make sure everything is healthy and going according to plan.

Other Care

For at home care, it is important to brush your teeth twice a day to remove plaque and debris from around the teeth and gums. Floss at least once a day to remove it from between the teeth and below the gum line. And of course, always see your periodontist for a periodontal evaluation once a year to accurately screen for periodontal disease.

Healthy Gums Are Imperative for Crown Lengthening Procedures

Crown lengthening can provide a solution to optimize the health, appearance, and comfort of your teeth. This procedure can give you a beautiful new smile and boost your overall confidence, but most importantly, it can help improve your overall periodontal health.

 

 

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Choosing Proven Treatments

Treat Gum Disease with Tried-and-True Methods, Not Quick Fixes

Miracle cures, or quick fixes, have been around for centuries; certain foods, ointments, or potions have claimed to cure everything from hair loss to cancer. Marketed as quick, easy, and painless, these miracle cures are often not backed by science or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that they may do more harm than good.

These Quick Fixes Are Everywhere

They exist in all areas of life. Similar quick fixes that claim to treat periodontal disease are no different. Though elements of these quick and easy periodontal “cures” may be FDA approved, there may be little or no scientific prof that they are effective in the prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases. In fact, periodontal “miracle cures” may actually harm your oral health!

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. It has been associated with the progression of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

What’s Wrong With Quick Fixes for Periodontal Disease?

If you opt for a treatment for periodontal disease that has not been backed by scientific evidence, it’s possible that the treatment won’t effectively treat (or could even worsen) your condition. Just because a treatment is deemed “new” or “innovative” doesn’t mean that it works properly or better than more traditional treatments.

By choosing the quick fix route first, your oral health may remain in poor condition and you may require additional treatment.

Ignore Quick Fixes and Miracle Cures

Instead of opting for a treatment that is not proven to work and could harm you further, a better idea is to schedule an appointment with a periodontist when you notice signs of periodontal disease:

  • red, swollen gums
  • tender gums
  • bleeding while brushing
  • bleeding while flossing
  • gums that are receding/pulling away from the teeth
  • loose or separating teeth

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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 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 their education and experience allow them to effectively treat periodontal disease using clinically proven treatments such as scaling and root planing, soft tissue grafts, and regenerative procedures.

A periodontist will evaluate your unique condition, and offer the treatment that is best for you; one that is supported by both science and experience. Your periodontist can also answer any questions that you may have about alternate treatment options.

What If I Need Periodontal Work?

If you or someone you know is considering treatment for periodontal disease, do some research on the disease and its treatment. Perio.org has information about the latest research and treatment options available. You may also want to talk to friends or relatives who have had periodontal treatment and learn about their experiences. By learning about different treatment plans, you will be prepared to discuss your options with your periodontist.

Don’t Let a Quick Fix Ruin Your Health

Your health is invaluable. While quick fixes for periodontal disease and other ailments may seem like a good option, it’s a better idea to research treatment options and discuss them with your healthcare providers first. The discussion has the possibility of saving you time and money in the long run.

 

INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG IS A COURTESY OF PERIO.ORG, WHICH GIVES PERMISSION TO SHARE CERTAIN ARTICLES WITH THE PUBLIC. 

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PERIODONTOLOGY PATIENT PAGE IS A PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE AAP AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE CARE AND ADVICE OF YOUR PERSONAL PERIODONTIST AFTER A THOROUGH EXAM. THERE MAY BE VARIATIONS IN TREATMENT THAT YOUR PERIODONTIST WILL RECOMMEND BASED ON INDIVIDUAL FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES PER PATIENT. VISIT PERIO.ORG TO ASSESS YOUR RISK AND FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PERIODONTAL DISEASE.

 

Your Gums and Your Smile

Smiles Are Important

A smile is one of the most universally recognizable expressions. Smiling can demonstrate a person’s happiness, confidence, attractiveness, sociability, and sincerity. Unfortunately, the effects of gum disease or other oral tissue disorders cannot only be dangerous to your health and well-being, but can also have the potential to ruin your smile.

Periodontists Can Help

Luckily, periodontists are the experts in treating the tissues around the teeth. They have the know-how to treat the effects of gum disease or other oral tissue disorders and help improve your smile. There are a variety of periodontal cosmetic procedures than can improve and enhance the overall artwork of your smile.

Missing Teeth

Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. In the past, the only options for disguising tooth loss were dentures and bridges. Nowadays, dental implants are a more natural looking option because implants look and feel just like real teeth. They also allow the patient to speak and eat with comfort and confidence.

During this procedure, a dental implant is attached to the root and after a healing period, an artificial tooth is attached. The result is a permanent replacement tooth that blends right in with the rest.

Root Coverage

Gum recession as a result of gum disease causes the tooth root to become exposed, which can make teeth look long and can prematurely age a person. In fact, the phrase “long in the tooth”, used to describe the elderly, is derived from this very reason.

A periodontist can fix this problem with a procedure called root coverage, or gum grafting. During this procedure, tissue from the mouth’s palate, or other synthetic materials, are used to facilitate coverage of the exposed root.

Gummy Smile

Periodontists also have the ability to fix a “gummy smile” when a person’s teeth appear too short. The teeth may actually be the proper length, but they’re covered with too much gum tissue. Your periodontists can correct this by performing a procedure called crown lengthening. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. Think of it like pushing back the cuticles on a fingernail. The outcome is longer looking teeth and a winning smile.

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Smile for Happy Gums

A recent study published in The Journal of Periodontology found evidence that periodontal, or gum, disease may negatively affect an individual’s smiling patterns and deter someone from displaying positive emotions through a smile. So maintain good oral health by brushing and flossing daily and give your gums something to really smile about!

A Smile to Last a Lifetime

Your gums are an important part of your smile. They frame the teeth and play an integral role in the overall aesthetics of your everyday appearance. While taking care of them by brushing and flossing daily is the best way to maintain a healthy mouth, talk to your periodontist about the procedures available to maximize the potential of your smile.

 

INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG IS A COURTESY OF PERIO.ORG, WHICH GIVES PERMISSION TO SHARE CERTAIN ARTICLES WITH THE PUBLIC. 

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PERIODONTOLOGY PATIENT PAGE IS A PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE AAP AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE CARE AND ADVICE OF YOUR PERSONAL PERIODONTIST AFTER A THOROUGH EXAM. THERE MAY BE VARIATIONS IN TREATMENT THAT YOUR PERIODONTIST WILL RECOMMEND BASED ON INDIVIDUAL FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES PER PATIENT. VISIT PERIO.ORG TO ASSESS YOUR RISK AND FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PERIODONTAL DISEASE.

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease: A Two-Way Relationship

The American Diabetes Association defines diabetes as “a serious disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life.”

Diabetes and Oral Health

Approximately 23.6 million Americans have diabetes; however, 5.7 million of  them have not yet been diagnosed.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, you already understand the importance of keeping the disease under control. However, you may not know that good oral health not only keeps the mouth and gums free from periodontal disease, but also might have a significant impact on the control of diabetes. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory response to a bacterial infection that, if left untreated, may cause damage to the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth, and may even lead to tooth loss.

People with diabetes are three to four times more likely to develop periodontal disease, which, like an other infection in the body, can impair their ability to process and/or utilize insulin. Additionally, people with diabetes tend to have more severe levels of bone loss, and often experience more aggressive disease activity. This can ultimately lead to tooth loss, which can make chewing and digesting food difficult. Fore people with diabetes, this can have a devastating impact on the ability to maintain proper nutrition and control blood sugar levels.

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease

Just as diabetes can increase a patient’s chance of developing periodontal disease, research suggests that periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar. Periodontal disease increases the body’s systemic inflammatory signals that serve to increase blood sugar. This contributes to increased periods of time when the body functions with an unhealthy blood sugar level. Consequently, it is important for people with diabetes to treat periodontal disease to eliminate the infection for optimal metabolic control.

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Periodontal Treatment for Those With Diabetes

Periodontal disease is a leading complication of diabetes. Therefore, it is important for people with diabetes to know their treatment options. If detected early, a periodontist can provide treatment that can stop the gum disease and bring the gums back to a state of health, preventing additional bone or tooth loss. IN fact, periodontal treatment has been shown to improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, suggesting that treating patients’ periodontal disease could decrease insulin requirements.

Questions Your Periodontist Might Ask

Be sure to know the answers to the following questions that your periodontist may ask at your next visit:

  • When were you diagnosed with diabetes?
  • What type of diabetes do you have?
  • Do you take any medication? (Must provide a written list.)
  • If not, how is your diabetes being managed?
  • Are you insulin-dependent?
  • What is your baseline sugar level?
  • What method do you use to measure your blood sugar level?
  • How often do you measure your blood sugar level?
  • What is the name, address, and telephone number of your diabetes care provider?

Diabetes and You

If diabetes is well controlled, treatment will be similar to the treatment of someone who doesn’t have diabetes. In the early stages of gum disease, treatment usually includes scaling and root planing, a procedure in which plaque and calculus are removed from the pockets around the teeth and near the gums. People with diabetes may want to schedule their dental appointments early in the morning after they have eaten a normal breakfast in order to stabilize and prevent a severe or sudden drop in blood sugar levels. Upon determining a treatment plan, your periodontist and physician will work together to help you control both your diabetes and your gum disease.

Nutrition and Your Oral Health

Nutrition and Your Oral Health

Nutrition plays an important role in overall wellness, including your oral health. Eating well and maintaining a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of developing problems in your mouth, such as periodontal disease. In fact, including certain foods as part of a nutritious diet has actually been shown to play a role in the prevention of periodontal disease.

Lactic Acid and Calcium

Most people know that dairy products can help build strong bones. What some may not know is that consuming dairy products may also reduce your risk for developing periodontal disease. A recent study determined that individuals who regularly consume 55 or more grams of foods containing lactic acid, commonly found in dairy products such as yogurt, have a lower instance of gum disease.

Dairy products are also a good source of calcium which has been shown to lower the risk of severe periodontal disease.

The American Diabetic Association advises that adults should consume at least three servings of calcium each day to help keep your jaw bone strong and your teeth in place.

Vitamin C

When a cold is coming on, many people reach for the vitamin C. But this vitamin may do more than just fend off the sniffles’ it may reduce the risk of periodontal disease.

According to a study, consuming less than 60 mg of vitamin C each day can put you at slightly higher risk for developing certain types of periodontal disease. And this isn’t recent news! In fact, in the late 18th century, sailors away at sea would eat limes to prevent their gums from bleeding. The Institute of Medicine states the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is 60 mg per day – or about one orange.

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Vitamin D

Sometimes known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D can help lessen inflammation associated with periodontal disease. Research shows that foods fortified with vitamin D such as milk, eggs, sardines, and tuna fish, as well as moderate exposure to sunlight, can provide you with the amount of vitamin D required to stay healthy.

Eat Well and Brush Well

While nutrients such as lactic acid, calcium, and vitamins C and D have been shown to have a possible effect on periodontal diseases, patients should be aware that a well-balanced diet alone is not a substitute for periodontal care. It is important to follow up every healthy meal with proper brushing and flossing.

Making sure you make and keep your regular dental cleanings and check ups with either your general dentist or periodontist are crucial as well.

Healthy Diet

There may be more reasons to watch what you eat other than maintaining a healthy weight. Studies indicate that obesity may be linked to periodontal disease. Obesity can be the result of an unbalanced diet, which may lack the nutrients known to help prevent gum disease. Also, excessive consumption of sugary drinks such as soft drinks and foods high in sugars, trans-fats, and sodium are often associated with increased tooth decay and can have a negative impact on periodontal health.

Without the proper nutrients from a healthy diet, the body can have a hard time fighting off infections such as periodontal diseases. And routinely including such things as lactic acid, calcium, and vitamins C and D in your diet have been shown to possibly reduce the occurrence of gum disease.

So the next time you go to the grocery story or sit down for a meal, remember: eat right to smile bright!

INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG IS A COURTESY OF PERIO.ORG, WHICH GIVES PERMISSION TO SHARE CERTAIN ARTICLES WITH THE PUBLIC. 

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PERIODONTOLOGY PATIENT PAGE IS A PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE AAP AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE CARE AND ADVICE OF YOUR PERSONAL PERIODONTIST AFTER A THOROUGH EXAM. THERE MAY BE VARIATIONS IN TREATMENT THAT YOUR PERIODONTIST WILL RECOMMEND BASED ON INDIVIDUAL FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES PER PATIENT. VISIT PERIO.ORG TO ASSESS YOUR RISK AND FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PERIODONTAL DISEASE.

A Lifetime of Healthy Teeth and Gums

Periodontal Work for Older Adults

People are now living longer and healthier lives, and older adults are more likely than ever before to keep their teeth for a lifetime. However, research has shown that older people also have the highest rates of periodontal disease. In fact, at least half of people over the age of 55 have some form of periodontal disease, and almost one out of four people over 65 have lost all of their teeth.

Healthy Teeth and Gums Are Important At Any Age

No matter how old you are, it is important to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you’ve succeeded in avoiding periodontal disease as you age, it is especially important to continue to maintain your oral care routine. Be sure to always brush and floss daily, and see a dental professional, such as a periodontist, regularly.

You should receive a comprehensive periodontal exam each year as well. This will ensure that your oral health (and even your overall health) stays at its best. If you have dexterity problems or a physical disability and are finding it difficult to properly brush or floss your teeth, your dentist or periodontist can suggest options such as an electric toothbrush or floss holder.

Other Diseases Put You At a Higher Risk for Periodontal Disease

Research has shown that periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that may put you at a higher risk for other kinds, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

During your regular visits with your dentist or periodontist, be sure to let him or her know if you have any of these medical conditions or if you have a family history of disease. Likewise, if you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, it’s a good idea to share this information with your physician to ensure that you’re receiving appropriate care.

Medications Can Impact Your Oral Health As Well

You should also tell your dentist or periodontist about any medications you are taking, because many can impact your oral health and therefore affect your dental treatment. Hundreds of common medications – including antihistamines and ones for high blood pressure – can cause side effects such as soft tissue changes, taste changes, and gum overgrowth.

Another possible side effect of some medications is dry mouth, or xerostomia, a condition that leaves the mouth without enough saliva to wash away food from your teeth. This may leave you more susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and can also cause a sore throat, problems with speaking, and difficulty swallowing.

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Special Concerns for Women

Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal may experience changes in their mouth, including xerostomia, pain or burning sensations in the gum tissue, and altered taste due to hormonal changes. Additionally, menopausal women should be concerned about osteoporosis, which can lead to tooth loss if the density of the bone that supports the teeth has decreased. Talk with your doctor about hormone replacement therapy or estrogen supplements, which may help symptoms of menopause.

Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums At Every Age

Maintaining your oral health should be a priority at any age. As you get older, be sure to continue to take care of your teeth and gums to ensure that they’ll stay healthy and strong for life!

Use Your Dental Insurance Before You Lose It!

If You’re Paying for Dental Insurance Coverage and Don’t Use It, You Lose It

If you have signed up for a dental insurance plan either individually or through an employer, you have a set amount of coverage to use each benefit year for needed dental work. As you (or your significant other or parent) are the one who purchased the plan, you are responsible for knowing all aspects of your dental insurance before using it. After you sign up for a plan you are sent a handbook which goes over your plan’s covered benefits, its annual maximum and deductible, and any waiting periods or stipulations that may affect your coverage while using your plan.

However, many people don’t realize that if you do not use your benefits up before your plan’s renewal date, you are losing your benefits as well as losing money out of each paycheck to pay for something you aren’t using.

How Does the End of My Dental Insurance Plan’s Benefit Year Affect Me?

One of the most common things we see is patients losing their annual coverage by waiting until a later date to get their needed treatment done. Simply put, the issue with doing this is that you are paying your dental insurance company out of every paycheck for an amount of money that will cover your needed dental work work that reduces or, in some cases, even eliminates your out of pocket cost for dental appointments. However, after your plan renews, you lose what you’ve already paid for! It’s like throwing your money right out of a window.

If you have coverage for dental procedures that you have to get done, and you have plenty left to use of your annual maximum, try to get your work scheduled and completed before your plan’s renewal date. We here at The Center for Periodontics and Dental Implants can even help you plan out your needed treatment based on what benefits you have left. We can help you find out how much you have left of your annual maximum, what will be covered of your treatment, and let you know your estimated out of pocket costs (but remember, all estimates, from us and from your dental company, are always just that: estimates).

Check Your Benefit Rollover Date

First and foremost it is very important to know exactly when your dental insurance benefits renew. Most plans rollover the first of each year – January 1st of every year – regardless of when you signed up during the previous year. However, there are still many plans out there that renew at different times. For example, some plans renew their benefits July 1st or August 15th; it can literally be any time during the year.

Knowing when your benefit renewal date is for your dental insurance tells you exactly how much you have left of your maximum every time you have a dental appointment, and then helps you calculate what you have left for your particular “benefit year.”

Your Annual Maximums and Deductibles Renew

On your particular dental insurance plan’s renewal date, your annual maximum will renew. For example, if you have $1,500 to use per benefit year, and you have used $1,037 of it, the day your plan renews it refreshes your maximum and you then have $1,500 to use again for the new benefit year.

The same applies to your annual plan deductible. If you have a deductible that you have met, once your dental insurance plan renews, you now must meet your deductible again. Many plans have a small deductible such as $25 or $50, but some can be a bit higher, so it is always a good idea to know what your deductible is, and that you will have to meet it again once your plan renews. This can add more to your out of pocket costs if you wait until the next year to get treatment done, as well.

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Always Review Your Plan Before You Use It

No matter what time of year you use your dental insurance benefits, it is extremely important to know your plan and what is available to use before each appointment you schedule. It can be reviewed in the packet of information your insurance company or HR department sent to you after signing up, or it you can discuss with a dental insurance representative by calling the customer service number on your dental insurance card.

Below is the most important information you need to know about your dental insurance plan before scheduling any appointment at a dental office or specialist clinic such as a periodontal office like us, The Center for Periodontics and Dental Implants.

What Information Do I Need To Know Before Scheduling an Appointment?

  • your plan’s benefit renewal date (rollover date)
  • your annual maximum and deductible
  • any waiting periods or stipulations your plan may have
  • your benefits in and out of network
  • what providers you are allowed to see (which is determined by your insurance company)

Almost Every Single Plan Is Different, and There are Millions of Them

It is very important to know that your insurance coverage is your responsibility. This means you are responsible for knowing where your plan is accepted, what is covered and what is not, as well as all plan information outlined by your dental insurance company. This also means you are financially responsible for any work your insurance ends up not covering, regardless of why.

Don’t Play the Waiting Game – It Could Cost You More Than Money

If you know you have needed treatment to be done sooner rather than later, and you have dental insurance benefits left, give us a call. Schedules tend to fill up around the holidays, and the longer you wait, the more likely it is that you’ll end up needing bigger treatment, which could end up costing you more money, your health, and even your teeth themselves! Don’t delay!