What is periodontal disease?

It is a disease that affects the gums and the rest of the structures that support the teeth. In its two main forms, gingivitis and periodontitis, it affects 90% of the population over 35 years of age and is the leading cause of tooth loss in the world population.

What are the causes of Periodontal Diseases?

It is due to bacteria that we all have in the mouth, around the teeth, and if we do not eliminate them correctly, they gain access to the space between the tooth and the gum and can colonize this space, growing in number and causing the inflammatory and destructive reaction that defines these diseases.

Bacteria by themselves are not capable of causing the consequences of these diseases, but need a susceptible individual (genetic predisposition) and a suitable environment (factors such as smoking and stress). These are considered very important risk factors in the colonization of these bacteria).

What symptoms can we notice?

Sometimes periodontal disease can progress without any symptoms or pain. During a regular dental checkup, the dentist looks for signs of periodontal disease, so undetected disease can be treated before it progresses.

  • Red and swollen gums.
  • Spontaneous bleeding, brushing or flossing.
  • Gums that detach from the teeth, soft.
  • Loose or separated teeth.
  • Continuous bad breath.
  • Increased dental sensitivity, especially to cold.
  • Change in the way the teeth fit together when biting and interdental spaces.
  • Change in the adjustment of partial dentures.
  • Pus between the gum and the tooth, abscesses and phlegmons.

What happens if periodontal disease is not treated?

Gingivitis not only causes gum inflammation and bleeding, especially when brushing, but in some individuals it evolves into periodontitis. Periodontitis, when the bone that supports the teeth in the jaws is destroyed, causes mobility and separation of the teeth.

Eventually the teeth will be lost, either because of the need to extract them due to their instability or because they fall out practically by themselves.

Are periodontitis or gingivitis contagious?

Periodontal disease (periodontitis and gingivitis) can be transmitted between partners. But for this to occur, the recipient must be sensitive to the bacteria.

Studies suggest that periodontal disease-causing bacteria can be transmitted through saliva among genetically susceptible individuals. This implies that when a family member or partner comes in contact with contaminated saliva, for a period of time, there is a risk of contracting periodontal disease.

Therefore, it is not uncommon for entire families to undergo periodontal treatment. It is recommended that when a person is diagnosed with the disease, family members should be screened.

How long can implants last?

Dental implant treatment has been shown to have a much longer durability than other dental replacement treatments. Implantology research has been successfully conducted since the 1950s and has shown that a patient can live up to 30 years with implants without any problems. However, as with other dental treatments, the permanence of implants in the mouth will depend on the care and physiological and anatomical characteristics of the patient.

What care do dental implants require?

With dental implants we need to be as careful as with natural teeth. In addition to regular brushing at home, it is necessary to use interproximal brushes, dental floss and follow a maintenance program.

This program consists of periodic professional hygiene (every 4 to 6 months). Good habits at home and regular visits with our hygienist will help the implants to last for many years.

Is the dental implant process painful?

Surgical procedures for implant treatment are very well protocolized and are usually performed with minimal or no discomfort.

In the vast majority of cases they are performed under local anesthesia, as in many other dental treatments, and only the noise of the instruments and sensations of pressure or “runrun” in the area are perceived.

In the postoperative period there may be slight discomfort when the anesthesia wears off, although occasionally it may be more intense.

Only in some people with special predisposition, swelling of the operated area and hematoma may occur, usually 24 hours after the intervention. These phenomena do not represent any problem and are a reflection of the reparative reaction of the tissues after the intervention.

In very specific cases, either by medical indication or at the patient’s request, the dental implant placement procedure will be performed under general anesthesia, generally in a hospital.

We will recommend the best way to perform the treatment and help you avoid discomfort after the placement of your implants.

For those patients who are overcome by fear or anxiety and are unable to relax, it is possible to perform the implant placement by conscious sedation, where an anesthesiologist intravenously administers a combination of drugs that produce relaxation and pain blockage in the patient. Recovery from this type of procedure is immediate, so the patient will be able to resume normal activities soon after leaving the hospital.

What are the most frequent dental esthetic treatments?

The most common cosmetic dental treatments are those that affect the anterior front of the mouth. The most frequent are:

  • Composite and porcelain veneers to improve the shape and color of teeth.
  • Orthodontics to improve position.
  • Correction of the gum both covering roots and reducing its volume.

All these treatments will depend on the aesthetic needs of the patient. A good study is necessary to properly meet your needs.

Do I need anesthesia for a dental esthetic treatment?

For whitening, composite veneers and orthodontics, anesthesia is not required.

For porcelain veneers and gingival corrections, local anesthesia is required.

In relation to porcelain veneers, anesthesia is minimal and the patient usually has no pain or discomfort once it wears off.

Is there any risk in bleaching?

The American Dental Association (ADA), after rigorous monitoring over several years, states that there are no harmful effects either to health or from the use of these whitening gels.

The only disadvantage is gum sensitivity during the first few days.

Does teeth whitening work for everyone?

The effectiveness of the treatment is proportional to the degree of staining of the teeth that have been darkened over the years by coloring substances.

Treatment is less effective, and even useless, in teeth darkened by intrinsic alterations, such as the ingestion of tetracyclines during childhood.

Does the treatment have any side effects?

Rarely. Tooth hypersensitivity, soft tissue irritation, minor throat irritation caused by swallowing the bleaching agent. However, the vast majority have had no side effects.

Does tooth whitening work on fillings?

Teeth whitening does not lighten fillings or dental treatments such as veneers or caps that have been previously performed. Therefore, it is necessary to change those that compromise the esthetics; taking into account that it is necessary to wait a month for such change.

Should fluoride be used during and/or after treatment?

During treatment, it should not be applied. At the end of the treatment, it is highly recommended to apply it to close the adamantine tubules and avoid any sensitivity and penetration of dyes that may stain the teeth.

What options do we have when we are only missing one tooth?

If only one piece is missing, we can use a removable partial denture, or “removable”. This option is usually recommended for interim periods. We can also opt for a fixed bridge, reducing a little the enamel of the adjacent teeth to hold it. And finally, we also have implants, which do not need to reduce the enamel of the neighboring teeth. These are currently considered the best option.

Can a dental prosthesis break or become detached?

If the design is not adequate or the patient does not use the prosthesis correctly, it may break or become detached.

A fundamental factor in durability is dental clenching (bruxism). A very high percentage of fractures are due to this reason. Therefore, the patient’s commitment to the correct use of a discharge plate during the night is essential.

Are dentures uncomfortable?

If there is a big change between before and after, the patient must get used to the new design. Even when the change is for the better, it takes time to adjust to the new look and feel. In the case of prostheses that are supported on the gum, discomfort due to friction is more frequent, which will be alleviated by adapting the prosthesis in the necessary revisions.

How long does it take to get used to the prosthesis?

In the case of removable prostheses, they initially feel strange and uncomfortable during the first weeks or months. Eating and speaking with the prosthesis requires practice. It is not uncommon to feel the prosthesis as excessively bulky or, on the contrary, too loose.

Who makes the prostheses?

The prostheses are custom-made in a dental laboratory from the impressions of the mouth that we take in the clinic. Then, we will determine which of the described prosthesis types is the best for the patient.

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