Saving your Teeth
Our goal is to save your teeth and create a healthy, good-looking, functional smile, which is why we provide you with the best, state-of-the-art treatment options available.
And, we realize that each patient has unique concerns and wants, which is why we make sure you understand your treatment plan every step of the way. Plus, we also help our patients learn how to maintain their smiles and prevent future problems, so they can minimize their visits to a periodontist.
Early to moderate periodontitis can be predictably treated with scaling and root planing (“deep cleaning”) in conjunction with effective homecare. Ideally, plaque, calculus (tartar), and stain are removed both above and below the gumline. It can easily be accomplished with topical and/or local anesthetics. Afterward, the “gums” might be a little sore with homecare for a couple of days. Typically, even this limited soreness can be managed effectively with a couple of doses of ibuprofen or Tylenol.
Sometimes, Dr. Newhouse will place antibacterial microspheres (Arestin) or an antimicrobial gel (Atridox) in the pockets (spaces between gums and teeth) as an adjunct to non surgical treatments. These materials may enhance the effects of the scaling and root planing.
Periostat (low dose doxycycline), an oral medication, may also be used to minimize further loss of tooth attachment and improve resistance to further infection.
LANAP®: An alternative to traditional periodontal surgery, this FDA-cleared laser treatment is the only scientifically-proven methodology that may result in periodontal regeneration, new bone growth, and gum tissue reattachment. It can target the source of the inflammation without hurting or removing any healthy gum tissue, slow or even stop any attachment loss and decrease pocket depth, and allow the body to recover from a chronic infection without the need for scalpel or sutures.
Sometimes, teeth cannot be saved for a variety of reasons – cracks or fractures, root canal failures, teeth whose structure can’t be restored, or impacted teeth associated with adjacent teeth. When this is the case, Dr. Newhouse can remove the teeth and perform socket regeneration so that the dimensions of the jawbone can be protected. Without such socket regeneration as much as 30% of the jawbone dimensions in all directions can be lost. Protecting the bone’s width and length becomes important for implant placement, for other types of esthetic tooth replacement, and for the bone support of adjacent teeth. In the end, it provides the foundation for model smiles and health!
When gums are healthy, there are only small, shallow spaces around each tooth. When bacterial plaque is left at the tooth/gum junction, the resulting infection (periodontitis) causes these spaces to become deeper. As the “pockets” (spaces) deepen, the bacteria grow in number resulting in red, swollen, bleeding gums and frequently bad smelling breath, and bone loss. When spaces become deep, a procedure of pocket reduction may useful. The procedure removes the bacteria and infected tissue, cleans and smoothes the root surfaces, and reshapes as necessary the bone and gums surrounding the teeth. All this allows the gums to heal with shallower, more cleansible, and healthier spaces.
With periodontitis (gum disease), teeth can lose supporting bone resulting in loose teeth, a change in the way teeth fit together and function, and eventual tooth loss. Sometimes the underlying boney architecture will allow the bone to be rebuilt. Based on the best clinical research and a great clinical skillset, Dr. Newhouse uses the either materials from the patient’s own mouth or processed banked materials with biologics (proteins that speed healing) and resorbable membranes to reconstruct the loss jaw structure, tighten teeth, reestablish function, and save teeth. Dr. Newhouse has done thousands of such procedures and saved thousands of teeth!
Healthy gums form the “picture frame” for the teeth. They also protect the teeth against decay. Root exposure or recession makes the teeth look long and unattractive. Recession can also make the teeth sensitive to hot, cold, or touch. By recovering the roots and rebuilding the lost gum tissue, recession can be reversed, sensitivity decreased, and decay susceptibility reduced, resulting in a younger, prettier smile.
Functional crown lengthening is a procedure performed when there is not enough exposed tooth structure upon which to place a restoration. It is often done when a tooth fractures at or below the gumline or when the tooth is significantly decayed. In order to save and properly restore the remaining tooth, a periodontist may remove gum tissue and/or bone to expose more healthy tooth structure. As a result, a crown-lengthened tooth will probably appear longer, since more of the tooth has been exposed.
A frenum is a small fold of tissue that attaches the gums to the inner lips, cheeks, and tongue. At times, these attachments cause pulling on the gums when the cheeks, lips, or tongue are moved during everyday activities like eating, speaking, or brushing. Over time, these “pulls” cause the gums to recede or shrink away from the tooth causing root exposure or can even cause undesirable spaces between teeth.
A frenectomy is a procedure where the frenum is repositioned so that it no longer creates tension on thin tissue or keeps teeth apart. It is a simple procedure that is typically done with local anesthetic so there is no procedural pain. There is with little to no post-surgical discomfort or swelling.