Online Dental Education Library

A periodontist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of problems that affect the gums and other supporting tissues of the teeth. If you want to keep your teeth for life — a completely reasonable goal in this day and age — you need to make sure the tissues that surround them are also healthy. Should gum problems arise, you may need periodontal therapy to restore diseased tissues to health. Learn more about Periodontal Disease & Therapy.

Treatment of Gum Disease

Treating gum disease starts with the removal of any plaque and hardened deposits (tartar or calculus) on the tooth root surfaces. This may be followed by other non-surgical treatments and/or periodontal surgery to remove diseased tissue and restore your mouth to the best possible health.

Implant Dentistry

Dental Implant Video

If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants offer the comfort and security of a permanent replacement that looks and functions just like your natural teeth. Dental implants also help preserve the tooth-supporting bone in your jaw that deteriorates when even one tooth is lost.

Cosmetic Gum Surgery

The gum tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth plays a big role in how appealing your smile will look. Excess gum tissue, gum recession, and an uneven gum line are all problems that can often be successfully treated surgically at the dental office. Learn more about Cosmetic Gum Surgery.

Gum Grafting

If gum recession is affecting your health or your appearance, a routine surgical procedure called gum grafting may help. It involves carefully placing a small amount of new tissue in an area where little or no gum tissue currently exists — typically recommended to prevent further gum recession or to help cover tooth root surfaces that have become exposed. Learn more about Gum Grafting.

Tooth Extractions

There are times when it is in your best interest to have a tooth extracted (removed). This could be the case for a variety of reasons, including: damage or trauma to the tooth; extensive gum disease; extensive tooth decay; or overcrowding. Learn more about Tooth Extractions.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting, a minor in-office surgical procedure, is commonly used in dentistry to correct deficiencies in bone quantity and to build support for teeth or dental implants. Learn more about Bone Grafting.

Sedation Options

We offer a wide array of sedation options for our patients.  We want you to be comfortable for every procedure and are fully Licensed to offer you Nitrous Oxide sedation ( laughing gas), Oral sedation, IV sedation and General Anesthesia. Learn more about  Anesthesia

 

Dental exam.When you come into the dental office for an examination, you might assume that the focus is on your teeth. That's often correct — but don't forget that there are a number of other parts of the oral and facial anatomy that are examined as well. These include areas around and inside the mouth (such as the lips, gums, hard and soft palate, and the tongue) as well as outside the mouth (the skin, muscles and glands in the neck, and the temporomandibular joint). In fact, when it comes to detecting certain oral or systemic (whole-body) diseases, a thorough dental exam may be your first line of defense.

How are diseases in the mouth discovered? Most of the time, it's simple: You will be asked about any changes you have noticed, or symptoms you may be experiencing. Your face, mouth, and neck will then be visually inspected, and certain areas may be palpated (gently touched or pressed with fingers) or probed (touched with a small instrument). If needed, additional tests or diagnostic imaging (X-rays or other methods) may be used to aid in diagnosis.

Occasionally, an abnormality such as a lesion (an unusual localized change in your tissues) is found that needs to be examined further. Lesions may resemble white or red spots or lumps (tumors), but they are typically benign. However, it is often better to err on the side of caution and perform a biopsy to be sure. This may involve making a small incision and removing a part of the suspicious area. The tissue sample will be sent to a pathologist, who examines it under a microscope for signs of disease.

Some Oral Diseases To Look For

Oral diagnosis and biopsies.Oral cancer is perhaps the most significant disease to look for in an examination — both because it can be life-threatening, and because early detection is proven to increase the survival rate. But it's important to remember that a large majority of unusual growths are found to be benign. Some other oral diseases that may be screened for include:

  • Fibroma, a thickened mass that may feel like a lump in the lining of the mouth.
  • Leukoplakia, a condition that causes white patches to form inside the mouth. While usually benign, the lesions may be precancerous and are often biopsied.
  • Lichen Planus, an inflammatory disease that sometimes causes discomfort.
  • Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid, an autoimmune disease that may cause oral lesions, but is not life threatening.
  • “Pregnancy Tumors,” benign red swellings that may form on gum tissue of pregnant women due to hormonal changes.

In addition, some systemic diseases (such as diabetes, Crohn's disease, and heart disease) may produce effects that can be observed in the mouth. We are always on the lookout for signs of these potentially serious conditions.

When a Biopsy Is Needed

Although the majority of oral lesions are benign, if there is any possibility that the growth could be cancerous or pre-cancerous, it's likely that a biopsy will be performed. Depending on how much tissue needs to be removed, this may be a simple in-office procedure, or it may be done in a hospital setting. Typically, the procedure requires only local anesthesia, and it doesn't take long. If incisions are made, they are often closed with self-dissolving sutures (stitches) that don't need to be removed.

Because the oral tissues are rich in blood vessels, some bleeding is normal for a period of time afterward. You will be given follow-up instructions as needed, including how to manage swelling and discomfort, when to take medication, and what to eat and drink. Getting some rest and maintaining good oral hygiene will also help you get back to normal as quickly as possible. When the pathology report is complete (usually in a few days), you will be given the results.

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