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Do Dental Implants Hurt?

August 6th, 2018

senior woman getting dental treatment

If your periodontist has recommended that you undergo dental implant surgery, you may be afraid that the process will be painful both during or after the procedure. While this is a common concern, the vast majority of most patients have stated that surgery is in no way painful and the recovery involves minimal discomfort. If you're still hesitant, we’ve outlined the procedure below, and you can always ask Dr. Klassman for more details if you’d like.

How Does Dental Implant Surgery Work?

The dental implant surgery process takes place over the course of several months and several visits. The first part of the process involves placing the implant into the jawbone using a screw. The screw will integrate with the jawbone via a process called osseointegration. The goal is to replace the original tooth root with an artificial one.

Once the implant is placed, the gums will be sutured using stitches. The implant will then be allowed to heal for three to six months. If necessary, your Dover periodontist will place temporary crowns so that you can eat, drink and smile in comfort.

Next, an abutment will be placed on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. An impression of the base will be taken and used to create your new implant. Finally, after an impression is made and the healing process complete, the implant cap will be placed, giving your smile an all-natural, finished look.

Will There Be Pain During or After the Procedure?

As with all surgical procedures, you are likely to experience some degree of discomfort during the recovery process. That said, you may experience slight bruising along the gums, pain at the implant site and minor bleeding. You may feel tenderness or swelling around the chin and cheeks and underneath the eyes. However, the pain is manageable with Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter pain meds.

You should not feel any pain during the surgery itself, as a local anesthetic is used to control the discomfort. If you are nervous about the surgery, a more intense sedative may be used.

Contact Your Local Wilmington & Dover, DE Periodontist!

Everyone responds differently to dental implant surgery, but for the most part, patients report that the procedure is relatively pain free. To learn more about the process and to determine whether or not it is right for you, call Delaware Periodontics at (302) 658-7871 or request your appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Gum Disease: How To Avoid It

July 24th, 2018

At Delaware Periodontics, we place a heavy emphasis on prevention, to help our patients practice excellent oral hygiene to ensure their smile stays as healthy as possible. However, we still see many cases of gum disease in our Wilmington office, and want to educate both current and prospective patients on this common infection. Dr. Bradford Klassman and his team examine, diagnose and treat gum disease with a variety of treatment options, including delivering minimally invasive laser periodontal treatment.

You can learn more about gum disease and how to prevent it below.

What is Gum Disease?

Healthy vs. Periodontal Disease Gums

Periodontal disease, called gum disease, is a common infection that damages the soft tissue and bone supporting the tooth. In the earliest stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, the infection affects only the gums. When the periodontitis is more severe, it attacks below the gum line and can damage all of the supporting tissues, resulting in your teeth detaching from the gums and the destruction of bony ridge that holds your teeth in, called the alveolar bone.

Why is Gum Disease Bad?

It is estimated that 35.8 million Americans are living with a bacterial infection of the gums known as periodontal disease. On average, 500 plus different types of bacteria live in your mouth. While many of these bacteria are actually beneficial to your health, there are others that with the right conditions can cause disease. Dr. Klassman at Delaware Periodontist can treat even the most severe form of periodontal disease, called is periodontitis. It is caused by plaque that develops just below the gum line in your periodontal pocket where it causes the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down. The mildest form of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis and is triggered by bacterial plaque that forms at the gum line.

Living a healthy lifestyle helps you keep the harmful bacteria under control. Not taking care of your teeth and gums can cause a surge of harmful bacteria. Some of this oral bacteria may enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout your body. This could contribute to processes that could lead to serious health problems beyond the mouth, in addition to the threat of losing your teeth. For example, not only can periodontal diseases cause bad breath and tooth loss, but they may contribute to a variety of serious life threatening systemic conditions including:

  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes

Researchers are now investigating the relationship between periodontitis and chronic systemic diseases.

Diagnosing Gum Disease

Periodontal disease actually encompasses a number of diseases of the periodontal tissues that can result in tooth loss. Dr. Klassman is specifically trained to recognize the various types of gum disease, to make an accurate diagnosis, and to prepare appropriate treatment options.

Some of the symptoms of gum disease that you may recognize include:

  • Mouth pain
  • Bleeding gums, especially when brushing
  • Spaces developing between teeth
  • Swollen and tender gums
  • Receding gums (exposing the bottom of your teeth)
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Developing sores

What Can You Do To Prevent Gum Disease?

Almost a third of the population may develop gum disease due to genetics. Systemic diseases, pregnancy, oral cancer, and using certain medicines can also attribute to gum disease. However, there are things that you can do, and things you can avoid, that will help prevent the disease from affecting your health. Those things include:

  • Practice excellent oral hygiene - brush and floss at least twice daily
  • Don’t use tobacco
  • Repair and/or replace bridges that no longer fit
  • Get orthodontic treatment to fix any crooked teeth
  • Visit your general dentist every 6 months and make sure you have any cavities filled and replace any defective fillings.

How Does A Periodontist Treat Gum Disease?

Dr. Klassman treats gum disease using various techniques, depending on the severity and type of the disease. These treatments include:

  • Scaling & Root Planing. This is a typical treatment for gum disease that involves 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).
  • Gum Flap Surgery. For more serious cases, Dr. Klassman can perform gum flap surgery which involves cutting into the gum tissue to allow for deep cleaning around the tooth roots.
  • Laser Periodontal Therapy. This non-surgical treatment involves is the very first FDA-approved laser treatment for gum disease. Delaware Periodontist is the first periodontal practice in the state of Delaware to offer the Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure for the treatment of gum disease. LANAP is a painless and effective treatment that does not require the use of a scalpel or sutures. Here’s how it works:
    • After diagnosis, X-rays will be taken to make a definitive diagnosis and determine the severity of the infection.
    • You will receive a local anesthetic to eliminate any possible discomfort.
    • A small laser fiber, equivalent to the thickness of three hairs, will be inserted between the tooth and gum to clear the infection.
    • In just two hours you will be able to get on with the rest of your day.

Dr. Klassman is experienced and skilled in the use of this technology for treating gum disease which offers many benefits to our patients including:

  • Non-surgical, requires no cutting
  • We can remove only the targeted, infected tissue, and leave the healthy tissue intact.
  • Allows us to get a closure of the periodontal pocket wound and allow healing to take place.
  • Enhances the likelihood that patients will be able to restore and protect their affected teeth.

Find Out More About Gum Disease Treatment. Call Today!

If you find you have symptoms of gum disease, we encourage you to make an appointment with Dr. Klassman for an examination at our Wilmington, DE, office. He will determine the health of your gums and discuss any treatment options you may need. Call us at (302) 658-7871 or use our appointment request form online today. We look forward to getting you back on track to health gums, a healthy mouth, and a healthy you.

5 Important Differences Between a Periodontist & Dentist

July 8th, 2018

Sure you see your family dentist in every six months for those regular check ups. But why would your dentist refer you to a periodontist? What exactly is a periodontist and how is that specialist different than a dental specialist?

For your convenience, we’ve organized a table that outlines the core differences between a periodontist and dentist, so you have a better understanding of who can help you address your specific oral health questions or issues.

Breakdown Of Differences Between Dentists & Periodontists

 

Dentists Periodontist
1. Area of Specialty Dentists in Dover, DE, will diagnose and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of the teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health. A periodontist in Dover, DE, like Delaware Periodontist, is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation.
2. Job Responsibilities Dentists diagnose and treat injured and decaying teeth, gums and supporting bones. When there is a more complex case involving these areas, they may refer their patient to a periodontist.

Dentists remove teeth, clean teeth, manage routine checkups and provide oral health education to their patients. They are like  your general medical doctor in that they are looking at your whole mouth and examining you for disease, even oral cancer.

Dentists also provide cosmetic care such as teeth whitening. A general dentist can treat gum disease through routine cleanings, scaling and deep cleanings called root planing, and antibiotic medications.

Usually, a periodontist's cases are complex or severe, triggering the need for a specialist rather than a general dentist. For example, a patient with severe gum disease often will see a periodontist for diagnosis and treatment.

A periodontist’s treatment may involve a non-surgical procedure, such as scaling or planing an infected root to a tooth, or it may involve oral surgery or laser periodontal therapy.

Periodontists must be trained and skilled in advanced surgical techniques, including regenerative surgery, periodontal plastic surgery and dental implant placement, according to the American Academy of Periodontology.  

Periodontists are needed for advanced cases of gum disease call periodontitis which are out of the realm of treatment a general dentist.

3. Workplace Dentists and periodontists work in similar settings, such as solo practices, group practices, hospitals, dental schools and other health clinics. In some cases, dentists and periodontists will work in the same clinic, allowing them to collaborate to treat patients. At Delaware Periodontist, Dr. Klassman and his team work with other Dover area dentists who refer patients to them and also have patients who contact them directly at their Wilmington, DE, office.
4. Education & Credentials Undergraduate degree required

Dental school required - a four-year program that includes both coursework and clinical experience.

Requires earning a dental license, usually passing written and practical exams.

Undergraduate degree required

Dental school required - a four-year program that includes both coursework and clinical experience.

Requires earning a dental license, usually passing written and practical exams.

Complete an additional three years of postdoctoral training in their field, according to the American Academy of Periodontology.

Acquire an additional state license specific to their field.

5. Pay In 2015, general dentists earned an average of $125,168 annually, according to PayScale.com. In 2015, periodontists earned an average of $168,697annually, according to PayScale.com.

Call Your Local Wilmington, DE Periodontal Experts!

The biggest difference between a dentist and periodontist is that a periodontist like Dr. Klassman diagnoses gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis which can affect the gums and the bones. If you think you may have an issue that requires the expertise of a periodontist, give Delaware Periodontist a call at (302) 658-7871 or schedule an appointment using our convenient online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

The Benefits of Single-Tooth Dental Implants

June 15th, 2018

single-tooth dental implant

Since at least 2500 B.C., humans have understood the importance of caring for our teeth and replacing them if one should go missing. Like then, our teeth can still end up missing from disease, decay or accident. But thankfully, with today’s advanced methods, we have many options for repairing and restoring our smiles. Dental implants look, feel, and act like real teeth giving you not only the freedom to flash a perfect smile, but also the means to properly speak, chew and eat food, and maintain good oral health.

Dr. Bradford Klassman and his team at Delaware Periodontics have mastered the single-tooth dental implant procedure for countless patients in the Wilmington and Dover, DE areas. Learn more about the benefits of single-tooth dental implants below.

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a small, screw-like post made of titanium that is surgically inserted into your jawbone where the missing tooth used to be. Given time to heal, the post integrates with your jawbone to act like roots of a tooth. Then, Dr. Klassman places the replacement tooth, or crown, on top and secures it as one piece. You can use dental implants to replace several missing teeth or a single tooth.

Dental Implant Benefits

Whether you’ve lost your tooth because of a disease, you’ve had irreparable tooth decay, or your mouth has suffered some kind of trauma or accident, dental implants can be a successful solution. Leaving a gap in your smile may seem like the best solution, but there are many health and visual benefits to replacing that gap with a highly-functioning dental implant, including:

  1. Improve your smile. This is the most obvious one, but having a healthy, beautiful smile can give you the confidence that can positively affect many areas of your life.
  2. Avoid speech impediments. You may not realize it, but losing a tooth can affect the way you speak.
  3. Maintain bone strength. Losing a tooth can cause your other teeth to shift into the open space, weakening your jaw and contributing to bone loss.
  4. Protect surrounding teeth. Having a full set of teeth helps each tooth protect the others, preventing damage that can occur to teeth next to an empty gap.
  5. Enjoy favorite foods. Having a full set of teeth will allow you to eat the same foods that you loved before you lost a tooth.
  6. Keep long-lasting benefits. The “roots” of your dental implant should last a lifetime and crowns usually last up to 15 years, giving you years of positive oral health benefits.

Find Out If A Single-Tooth Dental Implant Is Right For You!

Many of our Wilmington and Dover, DE, area patients are already enjoying all of the benefits of a single-tooth dental implant. The success rate is very high, in part, because Dr. Klassman will screen you to make sure that your gums and oral health are in good shape to take on a dental implant. Once cleared, our financing experts will work with you and your insurance company to make sure you receive the benefits you earned and to develop any payment plans needed that will fit your budget.

Don’t put off having that beautiful smile your deserve or preserving your oral health any longer. Give us a call at (302) 658-7871 to schedule your first visit, or reserve your appointment now using our handy online scheduling form. We look forward to utilizing our expertise to create your perfect smile.