Gum Disease and Tooth Loss
Gum disease, in its advanced forms, is perhaps the most devastating and destructive of all adult dental conditions.Practically a painless and “quiet symptom” condition, there are no glaring day to day reminders that we, as patients, have a nasty disease process operating, except perhaps a bad taste in our mouths or a funny odor.
Essentially no discomfort, no fleeting pain events or bite problems. Those minor inconveniences of being told that calculus and tartar are accumulating and perhaps minor, occasional bleeding gums is usually overlooked or discounted by most of us.
After all…… there is no pain.
Is pain an indicator of Gum Disease?
If there is any one dental condition that “proves” pain is the most unreliable indicator of anything…. it is advanced gum disease.
While most of us tend to use pain as a primary stimulus for us to visit our dentist (e.g. tooth aches, cavity pain, cracked tooth pain, etc), it is totally inefficient for monitoring gum health.
When pain associated with bleeding gums and / or loose, moving teeth does occur…. tissue damage is already at the severe level.
Periodontal – Prosthodontic Treatment Options
Technological advances in today’s dentistry are being developed at a rapid pace.
3D imaging, specialized lasers, tissue replacement methods, cutting edge restorative products and an increasing number of treatment protocols offer more choices and options for getting the treatment needed for treating a small area… all the way to an entire set of teeth.
Staged Gum Disease Treatments Keep Life Normal
Adult patients facing the prospect of treatment for advanced gum disease (or any other set of conditions where tooth removal and replacement seems imminent) are nearly routinely concerned about discomfort during treatment and the “expected” result of being toothless… for a certain length of time.
For most patients, however, nothing could be further from the truth.
As graphic and invasive as the adjacent photos appear… our patient achieved removal of all diseased tissue within a few hours with little discomfort and left the office with a new set of teeth (temps) on the same day, looking better than when he first came in.
Conscious sedation services and local anesthetics made the extraction process nearly effortless for the patient with the “bonus” of time collapse. His perception of treatment was in minutes…. not the actual time Dr. Winter needed to make his mouth disease free.
Dr. Winter and his team strategically kept certain teeth in place for temporary bridge attachment while selectively preparing the patient’s jaws for the bone grafts and dental implants desired by the patient that would recreate a solid foundation for all new porcelain teeth.
Dr. Winter’s Prosthodontic Procedures
Dr. Winter’s method for implementing prosthodontic procedures that would “remove and retain” at the same time is a treatment protocol our implant patients enjoy. No one really needs to be toothless or missing teeth while being treated. From one tooth… to several… to an entire arch, Dr. Winter prefers seeing his patients leave the office with no missing teeth.
Hard to believe, but the photo presented here shows new temporary bridges that were placed within minutes of the extractions, bone grafts and initial implant surgeries.
While the patient is able to immediately start enjoying normal eating and showing off his new smile, important tissue regeneration events are operating… protected by his temporary bridgework. Within a few months, more dense bone will enable Dr. Winter and his colleagues to move into the next stage of tissue rehabilitation and implant placements.
Permanent Porcelain Bridgework
Following the completion of the second stage of additional implants for replacing the old anchor teeth, the permanent bridgework was placed.
A custom cosmetic imaging program was used by the patient and Dr. Winter to perfect the precise sizing, shape and color characteristics desired by the patient.
While using the temporary bridge the patient was able to determine what he did and didn’t want for his new smile. The LVI Rule of Golden Proportions was incorporated into the design, which specifies a unique mathematical relationship for tooth shape and size.
The outcome of this extra attention to detail was quite dramatic.
The patient was successful in getting exactly what he wanted, as depicted in the smile design computer program used by the patient and Dr. Winter.
Bite height and normalized occlusion was closely monitored as adjustments were made in the bridge design.
Successful Prosthodontic Reconstruction
Our last full face photo shows the patient holding a color print of the computer generated “model” of what was originally designed by the patient during the planning stages of treatment.
This type of outcome represents what can patients can achieve if treatment planning is complete and followed closely. No short cuts, no mid treatment alterations and no spur of the moment acceptance of final prosthetic design elements.
The patient took the best advantage possible of wearing and assessing the fit, feel, appearance and function of his temporary bridgework.
Dr. Winter and his treatment staff were as astounded as the patient was with the final cosmetic and functional results.
Hampton Dental Associates is proud to offer affordable dentistry programs to help you regain your perfect smile.
Learn more about our affordable dentistry options.