In an ideal Universe, jaw bones and gums should fit tightly together. A good analogy would be the way a turtleneck sweater fits snugly around a persons neck.
However, gum disease can cause periodontal pockets to form that can destroy supporting tissue and bones if they not detected early enough. These supporting tissues are vital to maintaining the presence of the gumline and the bone together, and to ensure that teeth are firmly rooted in both.
The formation of periodontal pockets does not happen overnight. Periodontitis is a disease that occurs in stages. The first of these stages--gingivitis is minor and completely reversibleif you do something about it. However, neglecting to do so will lead to mild Periodontitis, then moderate Periodontitis, and then finally to severe Periodontitis.
Periodontal pockets start forming during mild Periodontitis. From here, they grow increasingly deep as gum disease worsens. As they increase in size, bacteria gain more breeding ground and begin to multiply and thrive.
Over time, these bacteria accumulate in the periodontal pocket and work their way deep beneath the gums--attacking the deeper tissues beneath the surface. They become so strong at this point that they can now turn their attention to the jawbone itself and start destroying it.
People find it difficult to believe that bacteria can do this to bone, but it is a fact that they can. The resulting bone loss will then precipitate eventual tooth loss because the supporting structure of the bone recedes from tooth roots. People begin to feel sensitivity and pain at this point as their teeth get looser and looser in their mouth.
At this point, most dentists will simply extract the teeth and recommend some type of tooth replacement. Often people opt for cheaper dentures, but these never really work well as more advanced tooth replacements.
Fortunately, our skilled and experienced Houston cosmetic dentists can do a great deal for patients who apparently have no choice but to have teeth extracted. Our team routinely saves teeth that a lot of dentists may otherwise extract.
We are able to do so because of ultra-sophisticated laser technology, and a procedure known as LANAP that has done as much for dentistry as LASIK has done for eye surgery.
LANAP saves as much healthy tissue as possible and is much more sterile than surgery with knives. It also maximizes patient healing time and thereby creates more opportunity for periodontal pockets to heal on their own.
LANAP not only cuts away tissue, but it also addresses the problem of periodontal pockets. A calibrated probe called a periodontal probe. It measures the depth of periodontal pockets and produces data that helps guide the laser treatment of diseased gum tissue. No other procedure offers this much precision in periodontal surgery.
If we do face the unpleasant scenario of tooth extraction, we can still reconstruct a mouth by natural teeth in combination with dental implants. This will keep a patient from losing all of their teeth and having to resort to the unpleasant alternative of dentures.
Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont Midland and Houston, Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic dentistry services.