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How Laser Periodontal Therapy Treats Gum Disease

January 18th, 2018

As laser technology has evolved at an incredible rate, lasers are now routinely being used by dentists to detect and treat tooth decay, as well as speed up in-office teeth whitening procedures. As a leader in periodontics, Dr. Klassman is proud to be the first periodontist to offer laser periodontal therapy in the state of Delaware. Our office has unmatched experience in this form of treatment, and want to provide you with more information if you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease.

Periodontis

Understanding Gum Disease

Gum disease (aka periodontal disease) is a bacterial infection that affects the tissues that support your teeth. If left untreated, the disease accelerates as the harmful bacteria works its way deep in the crevices (pockets) between your gums and teeth. Gum disease can be caused by:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Chronic illnesses such as diabetes
  • Certain medications
  • Genetics

Typical treatment for gum disease is scaling and root planing. This is a non-surgical procedure that removes plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. The teeth are cleaned (scaling) and then made smooth (planing). Sometimes gum flap surgery is performed which involves cutting into the gum tissue to allow for deep cleaning around the tooth roots.

How Laser Therapy Works

When you visit Dr. Klassman for laser therapy, you will be given a local anesthetic to ensure that you’re comfortable throughout the procedure. Once your gums are numb, he will use a small dental laser to vaporize and remove the diseased gum tissue from around the root of the teeth. Then, the laser fires a second time to heat the area quickly until a clot is formed, to cauterize the wound. The precision of the laser means that only the infected gum tissue is removed while leaving the healthy tissue untouched.

Benefits

Treating gum disease with laser therapy is beneficial in many ways including:

  • No general anesthesia required
  • No incisions or sutures used
  • The laser can precisely and accurately target the diseased areas
  • Pain, bleeding, and swelling are limited because periodontal laser therapy is less invasive than surgery
  • Less costly than surgery
  • Short recovery and healing time

Post-Treatment Care

After you’ve undergone laser periodontal treatment, your body will begin the healing process to restore your gums to a robust state of health. It is normal to have some light bleeding, slight swelling, and some soreness after the treatment. We will provide you with specific aftercare instructions before you leave our office. To reduce the risk of future infections, be sure to practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist bi-annually for routine exams and cleanings. If you’re a smoker, kick the habit so you can enjoy having healthier gums.

Contact Delaware Periodontics Today!

If you have any questions about laser periodontal therapy, please feel free to contact us for the answers you need. If you suspect that you have gum disease, we encourage you to request an appointment with Dr. Klassman right away, because the sooner you’re diagnosed and treated, the better. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Healthy Gums for the New Year

January 18th, 2018

Most new year resolutions involve losing weight, putting aside some money or quitting a bad habit like smoking. As your local Wilmington & Dover periodontal experts, we think it’s a great idea to promise yourself you’ll make 2018 the year you resolve to improve the health of your gums. By visiting us for a periodontal evaluation, we can diagnose your current periodontal health. If Dr. Klassman determines that your gums are unhealthy, he’ll provide you with one of our periodontal procedures to restore the health of your gums.

Why Having Healthy Gums is ImportantHealthy Gums

Many people overlook their gums when caring for their oral health because they’re more focused on having teeth that are strong, beautiful, and pearly white. However, it doesn’t matter how good your teeth look if they’re not supported properly by healthy, strong gums.
When you have gum (periodontal) disease that’s left untreated, harmful bacteria will slowly destroy the gum tissue and the ligaments holding your teeth in your gums. As the disease progresses, this bacteria can destroy the bone surrounding your teeth, causing your teeth to loosen and eventually fall out.

Signs of Unhealthy Gums

When your gums are healthy, they’re firm, pink in color, and don’t bleed each time you brush and floss your teeth. Some signs to watch for that can indicate you have periodontal disease include:

  • Gums that are red in color
  • Gums that feel mushy to the touch
  • Gums that bleed frequently when brushing and flossing
  • Gums that are pulling away from the teeth
  • Foul-smelling breath
  • Teeth that feel loose

About Our Wilmington Periodontal Therapy

The periodontal therapy we offer at Delaware Periodontics includes both surgical and non-surgical procedures to restore the tissues that support the teeth and prevent tooth loss. If you have gum disease, we may suggest a non-surgical procedure like deep scaling to remove the plaque and tartar from beneath the gums. If Dr. Klassman needs to remove bacteria in pockets found around the roots of your teeth, he may suggest you undergo surgical periodontal therapy.

Another gum disease treatment that may be recommended for you is a painless procedure called laser periodontal therapy. Using a small laser fiber that’s no thicker than three hairs put together, Dr. Klassman can clear away infection between the teeth and gums, while leaving the healthy tissue intact.

Schedule A Consultation With Us Today!

Regardless of the type of gum treatment you’ll receive, once your treatment is over, you’ll leave our office with a smile on your face, knowing that your gums are healthy! If you’re ready to get 2018 off to a great start by checking on the health of your gums, call us today at (302) 658-7871 to schedule an appointment with our Wilmington periodontist. We look forward to seeing you soon!

About Holiday Beverages & Dental Implants

November 27th, 2017

christmas coffee

If you’ve recently visited us for dental implants, we assume that you plan on showing off your new smile to friends & family over the holiday season! That’s why we’re here with these friendly tips that will help protect your implants from harm.

All through the holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, there will be a wide array of delicious beverages being served that could potentially harm your implants if not consumed properly. Just keep the information below in mind and you’ll breeze through the holidays without any problems.

Be Careful With Hot Drinks

Throughout the holidays, you’ll be tempted by all kinds of steaming hot drinks like pumpkin spice lattes and flavored coffees. But it’s important to take it easy when enjoying these hot beverages because the metal implant posts that are embedded in your gums can retain the heat from hot liquids.The frequent consumption of hot drinks could burn away a small layer of cells around these posts, to put your implants at risk for failure. A good rule of thumb to follow is to avoid drinking anything that’s too hot to touch. Simply give your beverages time to cool down a bit before you indulge to keep your implants safe.

Hot & Cold Don’t Mix

It’s natural to reach for something cold to diminish the shock of heat after taking a sip of something that’s very hot. However, this is not a good thing to do if your implants are made of porcelain. This is because porcelain expands and contracts with heat and cold, just like glass does. If you were to eat or drink something cold right after drinking something hot, you could end up cracking an implant. This can also happen with the enamel on your natural teeth to result in tooth sensitivity. The best way to avoid this problem is to always make sure the beverages you’re about to drink are not overly hot.

Avoid Chewing on Ice

When you’re enjoying your favorite holiday drinks “on the rocks”, be sure not to chew on the ice. This is a habit that can crack both your implants and your natural teeth. The same thing goes for foods that are hard, so be mindful of what you put in your mouth to keep your implants and teeth safe!

Questions? Contact Us!

By following these tips, you should be able to enjoy all the fun the holidays bring without doing any damage to your dental implants. If you have any questions about how to properly care for your implants, don’t hesitate to call us at (302) 658-7871 for the answers you need! Dr. Klassman and his friendly team would like to wish all our patients a happy and fun holiday season!

FSA Accounts & Dental Implants

November 27th, 2017

With 2017 winding down, it’s that time of the year when we remind our patients that their flexible spending accounts (FSAs) will be re-setting at the start of the new year. If you don’t use all of your FSA contributions by year’s end, you will lose them. This makes the end of the year a great time to get dental implants because implants are covered by flex spending accounts!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with FSAs, we’ve put together the following information to let you know how you can use a flex spending account to help cover the cost of dental implants (and other dental treatments you need).

About FSAs

An FSA is a special health and dental care account you establish with your employer, wherein you elect to have a specific amount of money taken out of your paycheck each month. This money is set aside before taxes and taken directly from your wages. The money in this account can be used to reimburse you for approved medical and dental care expenses.

It’s important to know that an FSA is for reimbursement purposes only. The funds cannot be withdrawn prior to a treatment in order to pay for the treatment.

Flex spending accounts are capped at $2,500 annually. While some plans allow you to roll over unused money to the following year, this isn’t always the case. Be sure to speak with your FSA provider to find out the specifics regarding your account.

Setting Up an FSA Account

Flex spending accounts are set up at the beginning of the calendar year, with strict deadlines and stringent, narrow stipulations for late enrollments. If you want to set up an FSA, speak with your employer for more information.

Dental Implants are an Eligible FSA Expense

A good reason to set up an FSA account is to help you cover the cost of replacing any missing teeth you have with dental implants. Dental implants are an eligible FSA expense, meaning that the oral surgery and the placement of the implant post will be covered. The cost of the restoration is also covered since it is a restorative dentistry treatment.

In general, the only dental care expenses not covered by FSAs are those that are purely elective/cosmetic in nature.

Plan Your Treatment to Maximize Your FSA Benefit

The cost of undergoing dental implant treatment can run relatively high. However, since dental implants are covered by FSAs, you can plan your treatment out so you can maximize your benefit. By carefully setting aside funds and considering how to use different payment options in addition to your FSA, you can save money in the long run. And do remember that there is a tax break to take advantage of when you file your annual taxes because your FSA affects your income.

We recommend speaking with your employer about how to get the most out of your FSA if you plan on undergoing a lot of dental work. You can also ask our friendly staff any financial questions you may have as we’re always more than happy to help!

Interested in Dental Implants? Contact Us Today!

If you’d like to find out if you’re a good candidate for dental implants, we encourage you to call our Wilmington office today at (302) 658-7871 or request an appointment online. During your visit with us, Dr. Klassman will provide you with an examination followed by a discussion of his findings and recommended treatment which may include dental implants. We look forward to hearing from you soon!