4455 E. Camelback Road, Suite #E-100, Phoenix, AZ 85018


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Ronald Watkins, DDS, MS has created this informative blog to help educate the community.

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How Can We Tell When Gums Require Grafts?

Posted on 12/21/2020 by Ronald Watkins
Sometimes, when we perform a comprehensive periodontal exam (CPE), we discover that a patient needs to have grafts. If you need gum grafts, it is usually due to recession. The following information will provide further details. When Grafts Are Required? As periodontal professionals, we know that the condition of a patient's gum is an important part of his or her overall oral health. Gums, when healthy, keep the teeth solidly fixed in the jaw and protect a tooth's roots from bacteria and plaque. When the gums recede or pull away from the teeth, grafts are often preformed to preserve the tooth and keep it intact. According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) gum recession is common and affects from 4% to 12% of adults. Because the process is painless and gradual, many patients do not realize they need grafts until the recession reaches an advanced stage. What Is a Gum Graft? A gum graft is performed by taking gum tissue from another area and grafting it to the recession site. Usually, one of 3 types of grafts is used. For example, a free gingival graft involves taking a piece of tissue from the palate and affixing it to the affected site. This graft is performed when a thick tissue is required to prevent further recession. A connective tissue graft is harvested from a sub-layer of connective tissue, under the top-most layer of the mouth's roof. We can also take a pedicle graft, or a flap of gingival tissue that sits adjacent to the affected site. After we perform a gum graft, we will give you detailed post-operative care directions. We will also set up an appointment to make sure that the site is healing correctly. Do you have gum recession? Would you like to know more about gum grafting? If so, give us a call to schedule a comprehensive periodontal exam and consultation....

Lasers Make Treating Gum Trouble Easier

Posted on 12/7/2020 by Ronald Watkins
Today, lasers make it possible for periodontal patients with gum disease to see improvements in their gum health without undergoing invasive procedures. If you need periodontal treatment for advanced gum disease, usually a scaling and root planing (SRP) will be performed. However, you may want to consider how lasers can provide benefits too. Treating the Gums with Laser Technology Lasers are used in periodontal procedures to regenerate and preserve tissues and build the bone. They can also be used to kill infections in periodontal pockets. Once the infected tissue has been removed and the root is exposed, the tartar is removed with a tool called an ultrasonic root cleaner. This tool replaces the scraping tools used for an SRP. The energy from a laser is also used to warm a dental pocket's stem cell. This is done to seal the tissues against the roots. In addition, lasers stimulate the stem cells in gingival tissues so they can form new collagen and bone, and regenerate. After laser use, the process of healing regenerates the reduced bone and periodontal ligaments around a tooth. What Are the Main Benefits of Lasers? By using a laser to treat periodontal disease, bacteria are removed and killed, which reduces swelling and bleeding. In some instances, using laser technology eliminates the need for further treatments for gum disease, including surgery. Laser wavelengths and power can also be adjusted, depending on the severity of the disease. Because laser treatments cause little trauma to the gum tissue and teeth, healing time is drastically reduced. Patients recover much more quickly and the whole process, in turn, is much faster. Moreover, lasers also reduce the need for anesthesia, which means there is much less discomfort and pain. The treatments are precise, which provides stronger and more successful results. If you would like to know more about laser treatments for periodontal disease, we can give you the answers. Call us today to arrange a consultation....

Are Gum Pockets a Problem?

Posted on 11/16/2020 by Ronald Watkins
One of the ways we diagnose gum disease is by measuring gum pockets. Gum pockets or periodontal pockets are the spaces surrounding your teeth, beneath the gum line. Read on to learn more about what gum pockets tell us, and how they can be treated. How Are Gum Pockets Measured? During an oral exam, we measure the depth of gum pockets using a very small ruler called a probe. We take six measurements per tooth, three on the inner side and three on the outer side. It is normal to have a very small space, about one to three millimeters, around each tooth. Proper brushing and flossing can clean food and debris from spaces of this size. What Deep Gum Pockets Tell Us A gum pocket depth of between three and five millimeters is an indicator of early gum disease, otherwise known as gingivitis. If gum pockets are deeper than five millimeters, this is a sign of gum disease that has progressed beyond gingivitis, with pocket depth of seven to ten millimeters indicating advanced periodontitis. In some cases, pocket depth might be classified as mild to moderate (for example, four millimeters) while the presence of other symptoms such as bleeding gums would point to more severe periodontitis. Gum pockets are the result of gum tissue detaching from your teeth. The deeper the pocket around a tooth is, the more space there is for plaque to build up and bacteria to thrive. It is very difficult or even impossible to clean food and debris out of a space deeper than the normal one to three millimeter pocket. Without treatment, bacteria continue to grow in the pocket, gum tissue continues to detach from the teeth, and eventually bone and tooth loss can occur as a result. How Are Gum Pockets Treated? Treatment depends on the depth of the gum pocket and how much gum disease has progressed. In addition to measuring gum pocket depth, we will probably also take X-rays to see if there is any bone loss under the gum line. Early gum disease can typically be reversed with a diligent daily oral hygiene routine. Treatment options for more severe periodontitis include antibiotics, scaling and root planing, and various surgical procedures. If you are concerned that you may have gum disease, call our office to set up an appointment....

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4455 E. Camelback Road
Suite #E-100
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(480) 504-0506