Periodontal FAQ

What is Periodontal Disease (gum disease)?

Periodontal disease affects the supporting tissue of the tooth - the periodontal ligament, the gingiva (gums), alveolar bone (supporting bone) and the cementum (root surface of the tooth). Gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults.

The condition begins as inflammation of the gum margin with redness, swelling and bleeding on brushing, a stage known as gingivitis. Without adequate attention gingivitis may slowly give way to chronic periodontitis in which the bone, and the fibres below the gum which support the tooth, are progressively attacked (usually without pain). This may lead to eventual loosening and finally loss of the tooth.

What are the causes of Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by dental plaque, a soft almost invisible layer of BACTERIA which forms on the teeth and is present in all mouths. Any irregularity around the teeth will encourage accumulation of plaque by making tooth cleaning more difficult eg. croooked teeth, overhanging edges of fillings, poorly contoured fillings, some types of partial dentures, and calculus.

Calculus or tartar is calcified plaque. It has a rough surface which is impossible to clean thoroughly. As the condition progresses, the natural shallow crevice between the gum margin and the tooth enlarges to form a periodontal pocket in which plaque accumulates causing further destruction.

Will I lose my teeth?

Advanced periodontitis, if left untreated, will result in the loosening of the teeth and eventually tooth loss. You should not lose your teeth, and you can keep them for life if treatment is sought in the earlier stages. Bleeding gums, red gums, swollen gums, should not be ignored as the problem will not go away. Please see a periodontist for a thorough periodontal examination and necessary periodontal treatment.

These are signs that all is not well. It is not normal to have bleeding gums. Seek periodontal (gum) treatment.

What is the cost of Periodontal Treatment?

Please feel free to discuss treatment costs with us. Time, and the nature of the treatment, are the major factors in determining the cost. You can expect to spend between $800 - $5,000 during the active treatment where surgery may be required. There are, of course, some cases less severe and less costly: just as others that may require more complicated treatment and are therefore more costly.

What to expect on the first appointment with the periodontist?

A thorough examination is carried out to determine the severity of the periodontal disease. X-rays of the teeth will be taken in addition to the clinical examination where each individual tooth is assessed for pockets, mobility, gingival inflammation, bleeding, gingival recession etc. Only after a complete examination can we make a specific diagnosis, and plan the treatment required.

What is my responsibility as a patient?

Successful periodontal treatment requires your cooperation. Excellent oral hygiene is essential and you will be shown how to achieve this. Studies have shown that poor oral hygiene and maintenance will result in a relapse of the disease.

Following the completion of the active periodontal treatment, regular periodontal maintenance is required at intervals of 2 - 4 months depending on the individual case.

Dental Implants FAQ

Are dental implants painful?

Generally and surprisingly the answer is no. Our patients are pleasantly surprised that they do not experience much pain. This is for the cases where no additional grafts that may be required for patients with insufficient bone.

Are dental implants always possible?

In most cases yes but sometimes they are contraindicated. For example in heavy smokers, uncontrolled diabetics or when there is practically no bone at the upper jaw. A thorough examination requiring a C.T. scan (special x-ray) will be necessary to determine the amount of bone height and width.

What is the success rate of dental implants?

The success rate is very high. From the literature, the success rate is approximately 95%.

How long will my implant last?

Implants have a long history of success. We have patients who had implants placed more than 15 years ago. Like all things, the crowns do wear a little and may need to be replaced over the years.

Do I need regular care after implants are placed?

Regular examination and cleaning is essential in the long term maintenance of implants.

What about mini implants?

Mini implants generally are for stabilising dentures, providing anchorage for orthodontics. Some of these manufacturers make a conventional size implant which is necessary to take heavier biting forces especially for your back teeth (molars). The gold standard of care for the replacement of teeth is still the regular implant which has been successful for more than 30 years.

What is the difference between opting for Dental Implants and Dentures?

Dental Implants are made of titanium and have a long history of success of over 30 years. The titanium implants literally join to your jaw bone - a process called Osseo integration.

Individual implants are then restored with crowns or joined with other implants - implant supported bridge.

Advantages over dentures:

  • Confidence that they will not fall out when speaking or eating
  • Ability to eat like natural teeth
  • Lasts longer than dentures
  • More comfortable - feels like a part of you

Disadvantages:

  • Cost more than dentures

Teeth Whitening FAQ

What are the different kinds of teeth whitening treatment?
  1. Chairside
  2. Home Bleaching - customised trays are made for you
  3. Combination of both chairside and home bleaching