Definitions

Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology

A Diplomate is a periodontist who has made significant achievements beyond the mandatory educational requirements of the specialty and who is certified by the American Board of Periodontology.  Less than one third of practicing periodontists are board certified.
To be educationally qualified for Board certification requires:
  • Certification as a dentist, including basic college education and completion of dental school to earn the D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree and;
  • Certification as a periodontist after successful completion of an educational program in Periodontology, which is accredited by Commission on Dental Accrediation of the American Dental Association.
  • Comprehensive qualifying and oral examination covering all phases of periodontal disease and its treatment, including dental implants.
  • Re-certification every six years.

In short, having a Diplomate as a periodontist ensures that you are seeing a professional who has taken the time and effort to prove, before a panel of internationally respected peers, that he is competent enough to hold the specialty’s highest status.

Scaling and Root Planing

The removal of hard and soft deposits from the teeth and roots of teeth. This includes bacterial plaque (germs) and the toxins they produce and the mineralized form of plaque called calculus (tartar). It is these deposits that cause irritation and infection of the gums and bone loss around the teeth. Scaling and Root Planing is a very technique sensitive procedure that uses a combination of sonic, ultrasonic, and hand instruments.

Chemotherapeutic Irrigation
This is the direct delivery of an antibacterial or antimicrobial solution into an infected area. This procedure is often done in conjunction with scaling and root planing.

Direct Delivery of Antibiotics
This is the placement of antibiotic or antimicrobial fibers, chips, or gels into an infected area or areas. Unlike irrigation, these antibiotic containing vehicles remain in the infected site for several days exerting their effect.

Bone Grafting/Tissue Regeneration
This surgical procedure replaces bone that has been lost around the teeth as a result of advancing gum disease. Various types of bone grafting materials are used from synthetically derived bone to collagen-type materials to the patients own bone. Often a “membrane” of some type is used to help contain the graft within the prepared bone site and help the graft to heal properly.

Gum Grafting
A surgical procedure designed to add protective gum around the root of a tooth. Protective gum is often lost as a result of recession of the gum or trauma. Most often, the protective gum used for the graft is taken from another area of the patients own mouth where the protective-type gum is abundant. The graft heals, the area will continually maintain the new protective gum. Gum grafts are very predictable and usually need to be done only once.

Root Coverage Procedures
These types of gum grafts are designed to cover the roots of teeth that have been exposed due to recession or trauma. These procedures are often done as cosmetic procedures in areas of esthetic concern. (See Before and After Page).

Crown Lengthening
This surgical procedure is designed to assist your restorative dentist in enabling a restoration (cap or filling) to properly fit your tooth. When decay or tooth fracture goes beneath the gum line your dentist may require that more tooth structure be exposed surgically so that he or she may properly restore the tooth.

Supportive Periodontal Maintenance
Once your gums have been brought back to health, it is imperative that a maintenance schedule be designed to fit your needs. Typically, your teeth will be cleaned, scaled, and polished every three months. 90 day intervals help keep the plaque levels around the gums minimal and thus significantly reduces your risk of re-infection. Maintenance is the key to successful treatment.

Sinus Lift Augmentation
Often the sinuses will enlarge in size following loss of the upper back teeth. This often will preclude placement of dental implants in the upper back areas of the mouth since the sinus is an air filled space and dental implants need to be surrounded by solid bone. A sinus lift augmentation/graft is a surgical procedure that repositions the sinus cavity into its original position and replaces the bone that has been lost as a result of the enlarged sinus. This new bone graft typically takes 9-12 months to heal before the dental implants can be placed into the grafted bone.

Autogenous Bone Grafting
Occasionally, areas where dental implants are ideally to be placed do not have sufficient bone quantity to predictably place the dental implants. In these cases it is often necessary to “borrow” bone from another area of your mouth to graft into the deficient area. Often the area of choice is from the chin or in the back of the jaw where your wisdom teeth used to be.

Implant Site Development
When a tooth needs to be removed due to infection, it is not uncommon to have lost bone from around the infected tooth. In these cases various types of bone grafting can be done at the same time the tooth is removed to facilitate the placement of a dental implant at a later date.

Cone Beam Computed Tomography

In layman’s terms, CBCT is a compact, faster and safer version of the regular CT. Through the use of a cone shaped X-Ray beam, the size of the scanner, radiation dosage and time needed for scanning are all dramatically reduced.

A typical CBCT scanner can fit easily into any dental practice and is easily accessible by patients. The time needed for a full scan is typically under 20 seconds and the radiation dosage is up to a two hundred and fifty times less than that of a regular CT scanner.

How does the CBCT scan help Dr. Avera?

It allows him to:

  • Visualize internal anatomy that can not be diagnosed externally
  • Plan treatment and surgery
  • Prepare necessary aids
  • Assess risk
  • Analyze the position and orientation of critical structures, like nerves, teeth roots, previous implants, the sinus and nose

Computer Enhanced Treatment Planning
We have a special software called “Simplant” on our computer which allows us to evaluate your dental cat scan in three dimensions for bone quality, bone quantity, and bone location for the best possible placement of your dental implants. This also allows us to work closely and smoothly with your restorative dentist to ensure an ideal result.

Implant Maintenance
Once your dental implant restoration is completed, it is important to keep the area clean and infection free. Dental implants can accumulate plaque and tartar just as teeth can. Whether you have just one tooth replaced by an implant or several, a professional cleaning schedule will be necessary to keep your implants healthy. The time interval for these professional cleanings will be determined by your individual needs