Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease as well as the placement and maintenance of dental implants. A periodontist is one of the eight dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association and has had extensive training with two additional years of study after dental school. As specialists they devote their time, energy, and skill to helping patients care for their gums.
Our Palo Alto Dental Practice specializes in conservative treatment of gum disease including cosmetic procedures to aesthetically enhance your smile.
Periodontal diseases are ongoing infections of the gums that gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically-susceptible individuals. Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums. They 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. Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. Statistically, this disease damages the teeth, gum, and jawbone of more than 80 percent of Americans by age 45.
Your Palo Alto dentists offer bone grafting in order to improve the results of dental implants. Bone grafting is a routine, painless and straight forward process. When a tooth is removed the socket will collapse inward decreasing the amount of available bone for the future implant. In the old days, bone grafting required the use of the patient’s own bone taken from another area of the mouth. Thankfully this is no longer necessary, as we can use a xenograft or an allograft at the time the tooth is removed to preserve the socket and amount of available bone. The human body is then “fooled” biochemically into resorbing and replacing the graft with the patient’s own bone.