Modern Periodontics

Dr. Allan Romeo


1680 Monroe Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618
Phone: (585) 242-8980
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Frequently Asked Questions

 
modern periodontics
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What type of toothbrush should I use?

The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. It's unnecessary to "scrub" the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings. back to top »

 

Is one TOOTHPASTE better than others?

Generally, no. However, it's advisable to use a fluoride containing toothpaste to decrease the incidence of dental decay. We recommend our patients use what tastes good to them as long as it contains fluoride. back to top »

 

How often should I floss?

Flossing of the teeth once per day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy. back to top »

 

What's the difference between a crown and a cap?

These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all of these restorations as "crowns". However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored ones as "caps" and the gold or stainless steel ones as "crowns". back to top »

 

What's the difference between a bridge and a partial denture?

Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and is easily removed by the patient. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures. back to top »

 

Do I need to have a root canal because I have a crown?

No. While most teeth that have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal. back to top »

 

Why should I see a periodontist?

Dentistry can be compared to medicine and its specialties. Your family dentist is like your family physician. He or she can treat a wide range of needs and help keep you in good health. Like your family physician, your general dentist will advise you to see a specialist when it is necessary.

Your periodontal disease can progress to the point where a specialist, your periodontist, has been recommended. Your periodontist has treatment and diagnostic skills to treat your disease in cooperation with your general dentist.

Aside for treating periodontal diseases, there are other reasons to visit your periodontist. If you are missing one or more teeth, and are considering dental implants, your periodontist can help you decide if they are appropriate for you. He or she also is trained to work with you and your general dentist or prosthodontist when missing teeth are being replaced with dental implants. In addition, your periodontist also can help create proper gum appearance to improve your smile.

Just because you have started to see a periodontist doesn't mean you should stop seeing your general dentist. Your periodontist will work in cooperation with your general dentist to treat your periodontal disease, and help coordinate your dental care. back to top »

 

How did I get periodontal disease?

Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors, however, it's mainly caused by the bacteria found on dental plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not careful removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).

Bacteria found in plaque produces toxin 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 hold teeth in place deteriorate. Left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.

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 gets started. professional interventions is necessary to prevent its progress. back to top »

 

What can I expect the first time I visit my periodontist?

It will remind you a lot of going to your family dentist. Remember, periodontists are dentists, too. Your periodontist will review your complete medical and dental history with you. It's extremely important for your periodontist to know if your are taking any medications (both prescriptions and over-the-counter) or if your are being treated for any condition that can affect your periodontal care.

You then will be given a complete oral and periodontal examination. Your periodontist will examine your gums, check to see if there is any gumline recession, assess how your teeth fit together when you bite and check your teeth to see if any are loose.

After that, your periodontist will take a small measuring instrument and insert it between your teeth and gums to determine the depth of those spaces, known as periodontal pockets. This helps your periodontist assess the health of your gums. This examination is so simple, your may barely feel it. Next, radiographs (x-rays) will be used to show the bone levels between your teeth to check for possible bone loss. back to top »

 

What is Periodontal Disease?

Approximately 75 percent of all Americans have some form of periodontal disease, known by many as gum disease. These usually painless diseases often can go undetected until its too late. If left untreated, gum disease can destroy the bone and tissue surrounding the teeth, causing them to become loose and, in some cases, painful. In addition, gum disease can cause bad breath and change the appearance of your smile. If the condition progresses far enough, you can loose your teeth.

Periodontal disease affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. You may have it and not even know it. There are no early warning signs, except for occasional bleeding and redness around the gums when brushing, and mouth odor. However, as the disease progresses, the symptoms become more obvious. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to loosening of teeth, receding gums, and gum discomfort. back to top »

 

What causes periodontal disease?

Bacteria are the primary cause of periodontal infection. Bacteria form in plaque, which is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms over the teeth and destroys bone. Plaque that is not removed by regular brushing and flossing hardens into tartar over time. You cannot remove tartar (or calculus) on your own. The only way to remove tartar is by a procedure called scaling, which is done by a dentist. back to top »

 

I don't have gum disease, do I?

Periodontal diseases are quite common. In fact, 75% of us have some form of them, although they can be known be different names. Some common names for periodontal disease are: Periodontitis, pyorrhea, gum disease, trench mouth. Most people don't know they have periodontal (gum) disease, or even that the specialty of periodontics exists, until their dentist brings it to their attention. One of the reasons it comes as a surprise is that periodontal disease (also known as periodontitis, gum disease, or pyorrhea) is a silent disease, with few obvious symptoms in its early stages.

Periodontitis is a chronic disease. It takes a long time to develop and can be characterized by short periods of rapid tissue breakdown, followed by long periods of quiescence. With treatment, a periodontal condition can be controlled and maintained. It is important to note that treating periodontal disease takes a team effort: Your dentist, your periodontist, and you.

How do you know you have periodontal disease? The signs are subtle at first, and often can only be detected by a dentist or hygienist. These professionals are trained to look for:

  • Pockets: Pockets occur when the collar of gum becomes infected and detaches from the tooth - creating a space. This space is a "pocket." Your dental exams should include "checking for pockets." If your dentist is not, ask them to do so.
  • Bleeding: In spite of its common occurrence, gums are not supposed to bleed any more than fingers, ears, or noses do on their own. If any of those start hemorrhaging, everyone knows to stop the bleeding, and look into it if it recurs. But when gums continue to bleed, many simply ignore it, as if it were "normal." Bleeding gums are not normal. When gums bleed, at the very least, a minor, reversible problem exists. Sometimes the bleeding is a sign that there are deeper problems, and without some kind of treatment, pockets and bone loss will continue to occur.
  • Bone loss: Dental x-rays, taken at regular intervals, chronicle bone levels surrounding the teeth. Subtle changes can be seen, and when they are observed, they are definite markers that periodontal breakdown is occurring. Bone loss left untreated, progresses until teeth are compromised. Fact: seventy percent of all teeth removed from adults is from bone loss due to periodontal disease not decay.
  • Loose teeth: Often early signs of loose teeth are detected by the dentist or hygienist, not by the person. Looseness in teeth is a sign that something is wrong. When discovered, the cause needs to be determined and corrected.
  • Spaces forming between front teeth: In general, teeth don't shift their position, though crowding of the lower (mandibular) front incisors does occur as we age. However, when spaces start forming between some of the upper (maxillary) front teeth, it's time to figure out why. Sometimes, so many new dental restorations have been placed on the back teeth, that the front teeth shift. This happens. But the more common reason for front teeth to flare out is due to advanced bone loss and the lack of tooth support that comes with progressive periodontal disease. Once it occurs, it should be treated before it gets worse.
  • Halitosis: Bad breath may be a sign that significant periodontal problems exist in someone's mouth. Once the periodontal problems are under control, bad breath often goes away.
  • Abscess: Occasionally, the first time a person knows they have a gum problem is when they get a periodontal abscess. An abscess occurs when bacteria are trapped in a gum pocket. They have no way of escaping and the pocket expands, forming an abscess. If treated in time, little damage is done to the surrounding bone and tooth. Not treating an abscess in time, can lead to rapid and severe bone loss. When this happens, additional periodontal treatment is needed.

Like all chronic diseases, periodontal disease doesn't go away. It won't get better by itself. It can remain silent and in remission, only to act up at a later date. As the condition worsens, it's harder to successfully treat. That's why once gum problems are noticed or diagnosed, it's best to initiate treatment as soon as possible. back to top »

Modern Periodontics  |  Dr. Allan Romeo  | 1680 Monroe Avenue  |  Rochester, NY 14618  |  (585) 242-8980  |  Site Map  |  Created by Dental Branding