Our goal is to provide you with the most advanced care in a relaxed and safe environment. To achieve this, we use the most current periodontal procedures, instruments, medications, and sterilization techniques.
Every procedure is done with your comfort and safety in mind. We work closely with your general dentist to ensure you get the best possible care. We want you to be completely informed of your condition and encourage you to ask any questions you may have regarding your treatment and care. Please feel free to ask questions before, during, or after any procedure.
While no dental procedure is 100% comfortable, we go to great lengths to minimize any discomfort you might feel. Many of our patients make statements like, "This wasn't even painful? How did you do that?" The following are some of the latest techniques we use to provide you with as comfortable an experience as possible.
Patient comfort is one of the most important aspects of care. Different patients have different needs for pain and anxiety control medication. Depending upon the procedure and your wishes, there are many medications we can prescribe.
Patients with certain medical conditions (e.g. valvular heart conditions and artificial joints) may be asked to pre-medicate with antibiotics prior to treatment. We do this with your safety in mind. Please inform us if you have a condition that might need pre-medication.
Injections of Anesthesia
In the past, injections of dental anesthesia by others may have been uncomfortable. We recognize this and take extra care when preparing a patient for anesthetic. We use a topical ointment on your gums first and then administer the injection very slowly and precisely to reduce the burning sensation that can be experienced. These techniques ensure our patients have minimal, if any, discomfort during this portion of care.
Sedation and Anesthesia
For those patients who would feel more comfortable with sedation, we offer a full range of services. Nitrous oxide and oral sedatives can be given to help you relax during treatment.
We also offer closely monitored conscious IV sedation. Just enough sedation is administered to allow you to be completely relaxed while still being aware of your surroundings. Afterwards, you will not remember your dental treatment.
Your comfort is one of our primary concerns. If you have any questions about anesthesia or sedation, please do not hesitate to discuss these with us.
We take patient safety very seriously and adhere to the highest professional standards of cleanliness, sterilization, and radiation control. Our staff regularly attend safety seminars and are quite knowledgeable on the latest techniques.
We know that preventing the spread of infectious diseases such as AIDS, herpes, hepatitis and even the cold virus is critical and our team takes sterilization very seriously. We use extensive sterilization procedures, going well beyond the guidelines recommended by the American Dental Association and Centers for Disease Control.
We use barrier techniques such as disposable masks and gloves and replace them with every new patient. Each piece of fixed operatory equipment is wiped-down with antibacterial solution prior to every clinical procedure. Sterile water delivery systems are utilized. We use autoclave sterilization for all instruments prior to dental examination and treatment. You can be assured that our staff have been specifically trained on sterilization procedures and their importance.
Post Treatment Instructions
After treatment, home care and medication instructions will be thoroughly explained. For your convenience, you will also be given printed instructions. Of course, we are always available for questions after treatment.
We strive to stay on the leading edge of periodontal techniques and equipment. In order to do this, we take a great deal of continuing education. We also utilize advanced equipment in our office. This includes:
You have probably seen a Magnifier Loop in a jewelry store when the jeweler was closely examining a diamond. Dental Magnifier Loops are made for periodontists to view your teeth and gums in minute detail during periodontal procedures. Dr. Adkins uses periodontal loops in many procedures to ensure more precise treatment.
Panoramic Radiography (Panarex) is an advanced full-mouth x-ray that allows a full “panoramic” view of your teeth. This type of x-ray is often necessary in the diagnosis of dental implant placement and comprehensive periodontal therapy.
Basic Periodontal Treatment
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that gets under the gums and into the bone around your teeth, causing inflammation. Periodontal inflammation leads to tooth loss and may contribute to other medical conditions.
The periodontal infection must be removed and the area given a chance to heal. There are generally two accepted treatments for this condition depending upon the severity of your infection.
Upper Level Infection Removal
The upper level of infection in the pockets around your teeth can be removed using specialized instruments. This procedure is called, “Scaling and Root Planing", “Phase One Treatment" or “Initial Therapy". It is done under local anesthesia and is quite different from the routine dental cleaning or “deep cleaning" that is traditionally done in the general dentist's office.
Lower Level Infection Removal
If your infection has spread into the bone that supports your teeth, and is below the level that can be reached in “Upper Level Infection Removal", then a surgical procedure must be performed to retract the gums and remove the lower level infection.
Before placing a crown, your general dentist must first prepare your tooth. Sometimes there is not enough tooth structure above the gum line to accept a new crown. "Crown lengthening" provides more tooth structure for your crown. This ensures a more stable crown with less resulting gum irritation.
Procedure: The periodontist administers a local anesthetic and gently recontours excess gum and bone tissue to expose more of your natural tooth.
Esthetic Crown Lengthening & Gingival Contouring
If your teeth appear small when smiling, it can look unattractive. This is known as a "gummy" smile. An uneven gum line can also be distracting.
The gum line, and the bone just beneath the gum line, can be lowered to change the appearance of your smile. This can create a more even gum line or make the teeth appear longer. “Gingival (gum) contouring" is the process of recontouring the gum only. "Crown lengthening" refers to recontouring of both gum and supporting bone.
Procedure: The periodontist administers a local anesthetic and gently recontours excess gum and bone tissue to expose more of your natural teeth.
Aesthetic Soft Tissue Grafting
Longer teeth or exposed tooth roots can look unsightly. They can also increase your sensitivity to heat, cold or sweets. In some cases, gum tissue can be placed in these areas.
Procedure: The periodontist administers a local anesthetic, gently prepares the area and then places a gum tissue graft.
Your jawbone is what supports your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, severe periodontal infection dissolves parts of your jawbone. This bone loss can eventually lead to the loss of your teeth. The first step of treatment is to remove the periodontal disease, which halts the bone loss. Then we repair the damage that has occurred. In many cases, various bone grafting techniques can be used to re-grow some of the jawbone that was lost.
Procedure: The periodontist administers a local anesthetic and gently opens the area. He or she then removes the periodontal disease, repairs the bone damage and fills in the damaged area with bone grafting material.
Some localized topical antibiotics can enhance your periodontal treatment. In certain circumstances, placement of antibiotic medicine can also reduce tissue inflammation. This antibiotic therapy is always done in conjunction with scaling and root planing. This procedure is more often used for patients who have had previous periodontal repair therapy.
Procedure: Topical antibiotics, in various forms, are precisely placed in isolated areas to improve healing after the localized area is scaled and deep cleaned. The results are then closely monitored during follow-up maintenance visits.
Aesthetic Ridge Augmentation
Sometimes after an extraction, there will be a sunken spot or concave appearance in your gum line. This looks unsightly and can also jeopardize the appearance of a bridge that goes over the area. Grafting material can be inserted under the gum to fill out this depression.
Ridge augmentation can also be used to build up an area of bone so that a dental implant can be placed.
Procedure: The periodontist administers a local anesthetic and gently opens the area. He or she then fills the sunken area with grafting material.
Every procedure is done with your comfort and safety in mind. We work closely with your general dentist to ensure you get the best possible care. Please feel free to ask questions before, during, or after any of these procedures.