Category Archives: Clearwater Periodontist

Clearwater Periodontist Shares What You Need to Know About Dry Mouth

Have you ever noticed bad breath due to dry mouth?

Do you experience pain or discomfort from dry mouth?

Have you had changes in your oral health – like sudden decay or worsened gum disease?

Do you get sores in your mouth or on your tongue frequently?

Does your dry mouth interfere with your sleep?

Do you avoid certain foods because they are too difficult to eat with dry mouth?

Do you have trouble swallowing due to thick mucus?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, be sure to ask your dentist about dry mouth.  Chronic dry mouth is a condition that can be painful, or even unnoticed by a patient sometimes because they have gotten used to living with the discomfort or incovenience of choronic dry mouth.  It can occur due to medicine, medical conditions, or even lifestyle choices.  It can lead to significant oral health issues like cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, or problems eating or wearing dentures.

We have also found in our practice that different remedies help different patients combat chronic dry mouth. Here are some possible suggestions and options for patients with dry mouth:

 

1. Some patients find comfort from carrying water with them throughout the day and taking small sips.  Cold water may help soothe and calm fiery red tissues. For those without high blood pressure or an adversion to sodium, you can mix a pinch of baking soda in their water and swish and spit this mixture out throughout the day. Baking soda is alkalizing and can protect from decay.

 

2. A combination of over the counter Biotene products (gels, rinses, sprays, lozenges) used 5 times a day (A combination and routine of these products can usually be recommended by your dental health professional).  Many patients find Biotene Gel to be extremely comforting to their dry oral tissues, especially before bed time.  Patients using C-Pap appliances should use an oral gel as these devices often blow air which aggravates this condition greatly.

 

3. There is a product available via prescription called Neutrasal. Neutrasal works like saliva to help restore a healthy mouth. A powder pack is mixed and dissolved in one ounce of water, and swished for 1 minute before spitting.  It can be used 2 to 10 times a day, depending on what your dental health care provider recommends, and you should avoid eating or drinking for at least 15 minutes after use.

 

4. PerioSciences’ Anti-Oxidant Gel can also be helpful for our patients suffering from dry mouth.

 

5. Many patients with dry mouth should be on a strict caries prevention program, which can include prescription toothpaste, rinse, gel, trays, or in-office treatments.  Calcium and phosphate are often included in some of these products, which are minerals that help rebuild weakened enamel.

 

For more information, call us today at 727-586-2681 or visit our website at www.brittenperio.com

 

Dr. Britten, your dentist, or dental hygienist will review the cause of dry mouth, as well as your risks for periodontal disease or tooth decay.

 

Talk to your dentist about your dry mouth symptoms to see which dry mouth treatment is best for you!

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Clearwater FL Periodontal Office Serving Those Who Have Served Our Country

Dr. Todd M. Britten and the team at Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is gearing up for their 3rd annual Free Dental Day for Veterans.  The event is scheduled for November 3rd, 2017.

“We all know someone who has served or is currently serving in the military. We have heard stories, we have seen families living apart during deployments, we have seen veterans with disabilities both physical and emotional, we have seen families devastated by the loss of loved ones.  Veterans make the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” said Dr. Todd Britten.  “Many of us ask ourselves, ‘What can we do?’, ‘How can we make a difference?’”

Dr. Britten said that is exactly what he asked himself in 2015. He and his team were brainstorming idea for how they could use their skill set to pay it forward to others in the Clearwater community.  “Both of my grandfathers served in World War II and I remember hearing stories both from them and my grandmothers about what life was like during those times.  The sacrifices made by veterans and their families are truly astounding.  I was aware that dental coverage for veterans was very hard to attain, so we hit the ground running trying to deliver periodontal care to as many veterans as we could.”

Jennifer Daly, a surgical assistant at the practice served in the Airforce, “I am very proud of my service to my country and I am even more proud of this dental work that we are doing for my fellow veterans.”

The inaugural year the Clearwater, FL based periodontal practice provided over $10,000 worth of comprehensive dental treatment to a group of veterans, the following year over $15,000, “As word has gotten out, we have had an incredible response from the community and even were able to get the skilled and compassionate restorative dentists at Clearwater Dental Associates, Dr. Jim Hayslett, Dr. Keith Kiskadden and Dr. Matt Burton on board to help out with our event.” Stated Britten. “Having the Dentists and staff at CDA involved enables us to provide more comprehensive care to our veterans.  Being a periodontist, my specialty is really the surrounding structures of the teeth; roots, gum and bone.  My job is to help with the foundation.  Having the restorative specialists at CDA involved helps us to treat the whole mouth and really deliver comprehensive care to these veterans.”

For Britten and his team this event is something they look forward to all year long. They even keep in touch with many of the veterans.  “What I’ve enjoyed the most about this event over the past two years is the friends that we have made. My respect for servicemen and women has simply increased. Hearing their stories and getting to be a part of their health journey has been a very rewarding experience.”

This sentiment was mirrored by everyone on Britten’s team, “This is such a feel good event. I really enjoy getting to know all of the veterans. Their stories will bring tears to your eyes, and we are all so grateful to be able to pay it forward,” stated Ellen Byrd, a registered dental hygienist who has been in charge of scheduling and planning the event. “We have been working closely with the Community Dental Clinic, the Homeless Emergency Project, and social workers from local V.A. Branches.

Britten Periodontics and Implant Dentistry is currently doing initial exams on veterans to get them scheduled for treatment. “If you know of any veteran in serious need of dental care, please get in touch with their office right away, as these spaces are filling up quickly,” Ellen Byrd said. To reach them, you can call 727-586-2681, visit their website at http://www.brittenperio.com, or email ellen@brittenperio.com.

Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is a periodontal practice offering patients personalized dental care in implant dentistry in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Todd Britten received his Bachelor of Science & Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Florida, a Master’s Degree and Certificate in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry; and completed extensive training at the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry. He is one of the only board-certified periodontists in Pinellas County. He is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Florida Association of Periodontists, Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Research Association and Florida West Coast Dental Association.

 

 

 

 

Clearwater FL Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten: Why We Are So Concerned About Patients Who Smoke

Dr. Britten is highly concerned about his patients who smoke. The likelihood of developing advanced periodontal disease or gum disease can be up to six times higher in smokers. Periodontal disease is an extremely serious condition affecting not only the gums, but also the membranes and ligaments and bone supporting the teeth.

Many studies on smoking and periodontal disease have concluded that smokers have:

  • Deeper probing depths and a larger number of deep pockets in the gums.

probe

  • More attachment loss including more gingival recession

recession

  • More alveolar boneloss & tooth loss

jaw-bone-loss

 

  • Less gingivitis and less bleeding on probing

One of the major problems with smoking is that it tends to mask the damage being caused to teeth and gums. This damage can be difficult to detect, producing very few early warning signs of advanced periodontal disease. For years it was thought that nicotine being a vasoconstrictor was causing less blood flow to the gums, causing less infection-fighting white blood cells to reach the area.  Newer studies are showing that smoking appears to have a long-term affect the inflammatory lesions, or diseased gums of smokers, which have less blood vessels in them than in non-smokers.

 

  • More teeth with furcation involvement (where the bone levels have been destroyed below the area where the roots of the teeth meet, leaving this area exposed, making it prone to further destruction as well as decay.

gum-disease-bone-loss-furcations

  • Additionally, nicotine affects saliva, causing it to become thicker so it is less able to wash away acid created after eating. As a result heavy smokers can be more likely to suffer from tooth decay than non-smokers, even though they may practice good oral hygiene.

Smoking has a profound effect on the immune and inflammatory system. Smokers have more infection-fighting cells in their body, but fewer of these helpful cells make it into the gingival pocket. Studies also show that these good cells have a decreased ability to accomplish their function, which is to destroy harmful periodontal bacteria. Adhesion molecules are being found within smoker’s tissues, in the white blood cells, in the inflammatory lesions, and even in the supporting gingival tissues. Studies have shown impairment in defensive functions of other defensive blood cells, even those using smokeless tobacco due to the high concentrations of nicotine.

Smoking also impairs the healing of dental implants and even in the healing from all other aspects of periodontal treatment including non-surgical treatments (including scaling and root planing or “deep cleaning”), surgical treatment, bone grafting and tissue grafting. Studies have shown that tobacco smoke and nicotine affect blood vessels in the gums, healthy bone-building cells, connective tissue matrix, the jaw bone and even the root surface itself. Tooth root surfaces in smokers have actually been shown to be contaminated by products of smoking such as nicotine, cotinine, acrolein and acetaldehyde, which may inhibit the gum tissue from healing around the roots of teeth as they should.  Smoking has been shown to affect human bone, and is a risk factor for osteoporosis, which is also a risk factor for periodontal disease.

As a periodontist, Dr. Britten is a specialist in treating advanced periodontal disease and is able to provide patients with the very latest techniques and treatments to help slow down this condition. Where teeth are lost then one option is to replace them with dental implants, but smoking is not advisable during this treatment because it does slow down healing.

If you do currently smoke and value your smile, it’s worth thinking about quitting.

Please contact our Clearwater office at 727-586-2681 or visit our website at http://www.brittenperio.com for more information.

 

Clearwater FL Periodontist Shares: Why Do I have to take Antibiotics to See the Dentist?

What is antibiotic prophylaxis or “premedication” for a dental procedure? How do I know if it applies to me?

Antibiotic prophylaxis, or premedication, refers to giving a patient a loading dose of antibiotics in preparation for a dental surgical procedure, dental hygiene visit or other dental treatment dealing with the teeth or gums. During some dental treatments, bacteria your mouth can enter your bloodstream. In most people, the immune system kills these bacteria. But in some patients, bacteria from the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and cause an infection somewhere else in the body. Antibiotic prophylaxis, or dental premedication may offer these patients extra protection. Patients that normally require antibiotic prophylaxis have fallen under 2 categories: those with joint replacements or certain heart conditions. Some other health issues such as breast implants, brittle diabetics or organ transplant patients may require dental premedication, based on a physician’s recommendations.

Up until 2012, antibiotics were recommended for two years after joint replacement surgery or for a lifetime. Since that time, physicians and dentists have become more concerned about the potential harm of antibiotics including risk for anaphylaxis (allergic reaction), antibiotic resistance, and opportunistic infections such as Clostridium difficile (C-diff) were included in creating the new recommendation.

The 2015 American Dental Association stated that “In general, for patients with prosthetic joint implants, prophylactic antibiotics are NOT recommended prior to dental procedures to prevent prosthetic joint infection.” However, many orthopedic surgeons are still recommended premedication with antibiotics for their patients for 2 years or a lifetime.  In patients with a history of complications associated with their joint replacement surgery, prophylactic antibiotics or premedication with antibiotics should be considered after consultation with the patient and orthopedic surgeon.

If you have a joint replacement and are unsure whether you should premedicate for your dental appointments or not, it is best to contact your orthopedic surgeon to determine what is best for you.

In patients with certain heart conditions, dental premedication is recommended to avoid infective endocarditis.  Infective endocarditis (IE), also called bacterial endocarditis (BE), is defined as an inflammation of the endocardial surface of the heart. Endocarditis generally occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of the body enter and spread through the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart. If left untreated, endocarditis can damage or destroy the heart valves and can lead to life-threatening complications.

The American Heart Association says that premedication for dental procedures is required for the following conditions:

  • “A prosthetic heart valve or who have had a heart valve repaired with prosthetic material.
  • A history of endocarditis.
  • A heart transplant with abnormal heart valve function.
  • Certain congenital heart defects including:
    • Cyanotic congenital heart disease (birth defects with oxygen levels lower than normal) that has not been fully repaired, including children who have had a surgical shunt and conduits.
    • A congenital heart defect that’s been completely repaired with prosthetic material or a device for the first six months after the repair procedure.
    • Repaired congenital heart disease with residual defects, such as persisting leaks or abnormal flow at or adjacent to a prosthetic patch or prosthetic device.”

Patients that have had stents placed in their hearts or a history of coronary artery bypass surgery no longer require to premedicate with antibiotics prior to dental procedures under the American Heart Association’s guidelines. Numerous scientific evidence concluded that the risk of adverse reactions to antibiotics generally outweighs the benefits of prophylaxis for many patients who would have been considered eligible for prophylaxis in previous guidelines. Concern about the development of drug-resistant bacteria also was a factor for the simplified guidelines.

The 2014 American Dental Association & American College of Cardiology guidelines add that optimal oral health is maintained through regular professional dental care and the use of appropriate dental products, such as manual, powered, and ultrasonic toothbrushes; dental floss; and other plaque-removal devices.

Antibiotic dosage and schedule

  • 1 hour before the procedure to allows the antibiotic to reach adequate blood levels. However, if the dosage of antibiotic is inadvertently not administered before the procedure, the dosage may be administered up to 2 hours after the procedure.
  • Patients not allergic to penicillin: oral amoxicillin 2g (50 mg/kg for children)
  • Patients allergic to penicillin or ampicillin: oral cephalexin 2g (50 mg/kg for children) or clindamycin 600 mg (20 mg/kg for children)

If you have questions about whether you need to premedicate for your dental procedures, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. It is best to carefully consider this matter with both you and your physician or surgeon and we are always happy to communicate with both.  Contact us today 727-586-2681 with any questions or visit our website at http://www.brittenperio.com.

Dental Implants Clearwater, Florida Dr. Todd Britten hosts seminar

Clearwater FL Dental Implants Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten
Periodontal Maintenance Dental Implants Clearwater

On February 16th, we had the pleasure of hosting a seminar “Periodontal Maintenance of Dental Implants” with many local dental professionals. Dental implants have become the standard of excellence in tooth replacement. As is the case with natural teeth, patients and their dental professionals must work as a team to ensure the longevity of their dental implant.

Our educational seminar discussed the latest techniques and technologies available to help dental professionals monitor maintain the health of their patients’ dental implants. The seminar reviewed how dental professionals can help their patients achieve long-term implant health through state of the art monitoring techniques, regular professional dental hygiene care and patient oral hygiene education. It also reviewed fixtures of the many different implant systems (old and new) that exist as well as the most accepted and current methods of patient and professional maintenance.

Dental professionals realize that there are many variations of dental implant designs available, and an ever-increasing population of patients living with dental implants. As an expert in dental implant placement and dental implant health, Dr. Britten felt was important to share with his colleagues and their teams a continuing education course specific to dental implant care. “Dental implants are complex, sophisticated dental devices, and it is important that we as implant experts continuously stay educated on modern monitoring methods.” – Dr. Todd Britten

Dr. Gregory Oxford, a periodontist of 34 years and one of Dr. Britten’s professors at University of Florida and Dentsply-Sirona, a leader in dental products and the dental implant system Ankylos, partnered with Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry to provide a great continuing education course. The event was catered by Stephanie and Allie with Empamamas Food Truck. The food and service were spectacular! The Sweet Life Bakery even provided dental themed cookies for the event. So as always, we partnered learning with some food and some good food!

http://www.brittenperio.com

 

 

Clearwater FL Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten Shares: What happens when a baby tooth does not erupt properly?

Most people have heard of wisdom teeth that become impacted, however the upper canines, or eye teeth are the second most common impacted adult teeth. If a canine tooth does not erupt spontaneously, your orthodontist and periodontist or oral surgeon will work together to get these unerupted canine to erupt. Each case must be evaluated on an individual basis but treatment will usually involve a combined effort. The most common scenario will call for the orthodontist to place braces on the teeth (at least the upper arch). A space will be opened to provide room for the impacted tooth to be moved into its proper position in the dental arch. If the baby canine has not fallen out already, it is usually left in place until the space for the adult canine is ready. Once the space is ready, the orthodontist will refer the patient to the oral surgeon to have the impacted canine exposed and bracketed.

In a simple surgical procedure performed in the surgeon’s office, the gum on top of the impacted tooth will be lifted up to expose the hidden tooth underneath. If there is a baby tooth present, it will be removed at the same time. Once the tooth is exposed, your oral surgeon or periodontist will bond an orthodontic bracket to the exposed tooth. The bracket will have a miniature gold chain attached to it. The surgeon will guide the chain back to the orthodontic arch wire where it will be temporarily attached. Sometimes the surgeon will leave the exposed impacted tooth completely uncovered by suturing the gum up high above the tooth or making a window in the gum covering the tooth (on selected cases located on the roof of the mouth). Most of the time, the gum will be returned to its original location and sutured back with only the chain remaining visible as it exits a small hole in the gum.

Shortly after surgery (1-14 days) the patient will return to the orthodontist. A rubber band will be attached to the chain to put a light eruptive pulling force on the impacted tooth. This will begin the process of moving the tooth into its proper place in the dental arch. This is a carefully controlled, slow process that may take up to a full year to complete. Remember, the goal is to erupt the impacted tooth and not to extract it! Once the tooth is moved into the arch in its final position, the gum around it will be evaluated to make sure it is sufficiently strong and healthy to last for a lifetime of chewing and tooth brushing. In some circumstances, especially those where the tooth had to be moved a long distance, there may be some minor gum surgery required to add bulk to the gum tissue over the relocated tooth so it remains healthy during normal function. Your dentist or orthodontist will explain this situation to you if it applies to your specific situation.

 

Dr. Britten works with excellent pediatric dentists, general dentists and orthodontists in our area to surgically intervene in case of an impacted tooth.  Call us today if you have any questions!  727-586-2681 or visit our website at http://www.brittenperio.com

Clearwater Periodontist Shares Information on Screening Patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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Dentists are becoming more and more aware of the importance of screening patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  

From the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine:

“Approximately 25 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can cause them to stop breathing hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute.

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, repeated breathing pauses occur, which often reduce your oxygen levels. These breathing pauses are followed by brief awakenings that disturb your sleep.

Common signs of sleep apnea include snoring and gasping or choking sounds during sleep. Like snoring, sleep apnea is more common in men, but it can occur in women too, especially during and after menopause. Having excess body weight, a narrow airway or misaligned jaw all increase the risk of sleep apnea.”

The AADSM (The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine) recommends dentists evaluate patients for the following conditions as possible indicators of Sleep Apnea:

• A thick neck (greater than 16 inches in a woman or 17 inches in a man)

• A short neck

• Lower-face abnormalities, which may include:

        * A large tongue

• A crowded posterior airway (such as caused by an enlarged, floppy uvula or enlarged tonsils)

• An enlarged soft palate that rests on the base of the tongue

• Obesity

• Complaints of being overly tired during the day, low on energy, depressed, or moody

• Falling asleep in dental chair

• Trouble opening mouth wide during dental examination


The most successful treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a CPA appliance, however, 60% to 83% percent of users cannot tolerate this device.

With the high rejection rate of the CPAP, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine designated dental sleep oral appliances as the No. 1 nonsurgical alternative for the CPAP intolerant. Numerous sleep appliances are available to the public and distributed through dentists.

Your dental professional can help you identify if a sleep appliance may help you. If you have any questions about OSA or dental sleep medicine, contact our office today at 727-586-2681 or visit our website at http://www.brittenperio.com

 

Clearwater Periodontist Shares Information on Screening Patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Clearwater Florida Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten using New Green Technology in Practice

Clearwater Florida Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten using New Green Technology in Practice

In the past, traditional dental x-rays were only able to provide limited information about the condition of a patient’s teeth and jaw bone. Advances in technology now allow Clearwater Florida Periodontist Dr. Britten to see fine detailed tooth and jaw anatomy to diagnose conditions that may have been previously hard to detect. Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is now offering the only dental 3D CT Scan that is FDA approved for use on pediatric patients as it delivers the lowest dose of radiation possible on both children and adults. The VATECH PAX-i3D GREEN cone beam CT Scanner offers fantastic imaging detail and is the only cone beam system considered a “Green CT” due to its extremely low dose, equivalent to only a short time out in the sun. This technology also assists in the digital planning of dental implants for precise accuracy, safety and optimal results. It can also assist in planning for bone grafting, tooth extractions, particularly third molars (wisdom teeth) and suspected pathology such as infected cracked teeth or impacted teeth.

 

The Green CBCT scanner by VA Tech America provides innovative technology for ultra-low-dose x-rays in 5.9 seconds and minimizes radiation to both patient and operator.

“I am excited about not only the excellent image quality for diagnostic purposes, but also the increased protection for the health and safety of our patients. The VA Tech Cone Beam CT scanner is perfect for claustrophobic patients.

Periodontal and Implant Specialist Dr. Todd Britten recently began using the latest in Cone Beam CT technology, an open Green CBCT scanner, in his Clearwater office. He says the goal with this cutting-edge technology is obtaining a high quality 3-D image, using the lowest possible radiation dose. Dr. Britten states that this new technology allows him to not only take routine x-rays but also uses it for ConeBeam CT scan technology to take very accurate 3D images which typically require a higher dose of radiation.

The Green CBCT scanner by VA Tech America provides innovative technology for ultra-low-dose x-rays in 5.9 seconds and minimizes radiation to both patient and operator. Dr. Britten says the Green CBCT scanner protects both his patient and the x-ray technician while delivering a high quality 3-D imaging. “I am excited about not only the excellent image quality for diagnostic purposes, but also the increased protection for the health and safety of our patients. The VA Tech Cone Beam CT scanner is perfect for claustrophobic patients, as it is an ‘open air’ scanner. Patients are positioned and stand very still, and in less than six seconds, the scan is done.”

Dentists and dental specialists are using ConeBeam 3-D CT scans more and more frequently as a diagnostic tool for ultimate treatment efficiency and precision, particularly for dental implants, however, they can provide information for full mouth treatment when needed or localized to third molars or even the Temporomandibular Joint. New Green CBCT technology allows your dentist or x-ray technician to select specifically the desired scan while managing radiation dosage to their patients.

“This is a very powerful treatment tool in our practice,” says Dr. Britten. “With it, we can work together with our referring dentists to more confidently map our surgical and restorative treatment plans and place and restore implants with accuracy, while protecting our patients and our staff with lower radiation. I have read thousands of CT scans of the jaws but am still amazed at the fine details that I am now able to see in our VA Tech scans. We often see hairline cracks in people’s teeth that were previously unclear on traditional x-rays, yet causing them discomfort.”

Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is a periodontal practice offering patients personalized dental care in implant dentistry in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Todd Britten received his Bachelor of Science & Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Florida, a Master’s Degree and Certificate in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry; and completed extensive training at the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry. He is one of the only board-certified periodontists in Pinellas County. He is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Florida Association of Periodontists, Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Research Association and Florida West Coast Dental Association.

To learn more about Dr. Britten and his dental services visit his website at:http://www.clearwaterperiodontist.com or http://www.brittenperio.com or call (727) 586-2681.

Clearwater FL Periodontist Shares What is Peri-Implantitis

Dental implants are fantastic, but like anything biologic or placed in or on the human body can NOT always be completely predictable or guaranteed all the time. One of the long-term risks associated with dental implants is a condition called Peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is an infectious disease that causes inflammation of the surrounding gum and bone of a dental implant, and can lead to the loss of supporting bone. This condition is very difficult to treat. Fortunately, most patients receiving dental implants never develop this condition.
Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, bone can be lost around a dental implant. This will often occur without a patient ever being aware of it. Some dental implants will develop bone loss very early after having the implant crown is placed or it can happen many years down the road. Most patients are unaware that they have bone loss around the dental implant. Peri-implantitis generally begins painlessly and without symptoms. Once peri-implantitis becomes advanced, symptoms can develop and the patient will notice. There are several risk factors for peri-implantitis, especially smoking. Smoking definitely causes constriction of blood vessels which leads to bone loss. Medical issues such as Diabetes, Osteoporosis and a weakened immune system are more at risk for developing bone loss around dental implants. Those with a history of gum disease are more at risk. Good home care is critical. Brushing twice a day for 2 minutes or more with an electric toothbrush, flossing once a day and using adjuncts such as a rubber tip or implant floss every day!
Grinding your teeth is another risk factor for dental implant bone loss. Factors related to the surgical procedure can also cause peri-implantitis to later occur: Soft bone, lack of tightness when the dental implant is placed, bone that was grafted in a vertical fashion, implant size too big, overheated bone, and many others.
Signs of Peri-implantitis
• Deep periodontal pockets around the implant • Pus comes out from the implants and gums • Bleeding at the gumline • Appearance – Gum tissue may appear red, or slightly purplish bluish, and tartar/plaque build up is noted • Progressive loss of supporting bone on x-rays • Metal thread exposure • Long tooth
Again, peri-implantitis is not always symptomatic and typically there is no pain. Some patients will complain of a dull ache or tenderness when they brush or touch the area. A bad taste can develop if infection or pus has developed around the implant. If this infection around the implant becomes very severe, the glands in your neck may become swollen and the dental implants may begin to be noticeably loose. The first thing an implant specialist will usually check around the implant is to make sure the crown or bridge was made properly. An x-ray, or sometimes a 3-D Cone Beam CT scan is necessary to see the inside surface. Extra cement can often be the cause of peri-implantitis. The cement oozes beyond the abutment and gets down below the gum near the bone and becomes an irritant. There is often good reason to make crowns held in by screws rather than cement in some cases. The technique of cementation and choice of cement used is a big factor on implant success! This is why it is important to work with an experience implant specialist and restorative dentist in implant placement. Occasionally a loose abutment screw may be present which may not have been torqued properly or it has broken, sometimes due to a patient’s heavy bite. Patients with heavy bites need to have their crowns designed to protect the implants.
How an implant crown is made is critical for the longevity of the dental implant in the bone. Low-budget implants have poorly designed screws or may move (even microscopically) when you chew. Sometimes gum disease on nearby teeth can stimulate peri-implantitis to start on the implant. Generally some type of exploratory surgery needs to be done to find out the cause of peri-implantitis along with a simultaneous bone graft to save the implant. Not all implants that have developed peri-implantitis can be saved.
Treatment The long-term goals are to stop the progression of bone loss and maintain your dental implants! Generally speaking the area will need to be cleaned thoroughly using dental instruments. Sometimes antibiotics will be prescribed or special antibacterial agents will need to be applied to the implants itself such as iodine or tetracycline. Sometimes a laser procedure can be performed around the implant, called LAPIP, to sterilize the implant. Most peri-implantitis dental implants require surgery and bone grafting. This means that the dental implant surgeon has to open the gum tissue in order to detoxify the implant. All of the bacteria will be killed in order to have bone re-grafted onto the implants. The physiology and the type of bone that is used is critical. Sometimes your implant surgeon will recommend using your body’s own helpful blood products such as PRF/ PRP. The best way to prevent peri-impantitis is to have the implant properly placed by a specialist and restored by a highly experienced restorative dentist. Oral surgeons and periodontists have extensive training and have also developed more predictable implant placement technique.
When an implant has had too much bone loss, a success rate can be as low as 35 to 50%. Some severe cases of peri-implantitis are better off removing the implant and placing a new one if detoxifying and regrafting do not seem to have a good long-term prognosis. If one implant fails or develops bone loss, it doesn’t mean the second one will. Time will tell if the procedure works. There are no guarantees on grafting around implants that have pre-existing bone loss. It is far more successful if the bone missing is in the shape of a moat rather than an entire wall missing.
Correction of dental implants with problems should be performed by an implant specialist and highly trained restorative dentist who routinely performs this procedure. Dr. Todd Britten is a periodontist and implant specialist practicing in Clearwater, Florida. As periodontist, Dr. Britten specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, the placement of dental implants and bone grafts, and treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists also perform cosmetic periodontal surgery. Dr. Britten has received an additional three years of specialty education and surgical training beyond dental school and has experience in treating this very difficult condition. If you have any questions regarding implant placement, contact us at 727-586-2681 or email us at healthysmiles@brittenperio.com.periimpalntitis

Clearwater FL Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten, Offers Laser Dental Surgery As a Successful Treatment for Periodontal Disease

Dr. Todd Britten is offering patients at Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry surgical treatment utilizing the PerioLase and LANAP® protocol for treatment of periodontal disease. LANAP, or the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, is an alternative to traditional periodontal surgery for the treatment of gum disease. Dr. Britten also offers LAPIP®, the Laser Assisted Peri-Implantitis Procedure, to treat infected and/or save failing dental implants.

Dr. Todd Britten, DMD, M.S. , a board-certified periodontist, provides LANAP therapy as an option to traditional surgery for patients who suffer from gum or periodontal disease. Dr. Britten received special training on the procedure, which uses the PerioLase MVP-7 laser for periodontal disease treatment. This procedure kills harmful bacteria and removes unhealthy gum tissue without harming bone or healthy tissue.

At Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, Dr. Todd Britten and his staff care about their patients’ total oral and systemic health and are concerned that nearly half of American adults have some form of gum disease and many don’t even know it.  Gum disease can cause serious oral health problems, and has been connected to a number of other major health issues, such as heart disease and Diabetes. The uses a laser instead of scalpel, so it is minimally invasive. Patients who have undergone this periodontal disease treatment have reported little, if any, discomfort or pain and a shorter recovery period.

The laser dental surgery procedure begins with Dr. Britten using a periodontal probe to determine the depth of the pockets between the teeth and gums that contain bacteria.  He then uses the PerioLase laser to eliminate those harmful bacteria, tartar and diseased gum tissue in the pockets.   The healthy tissue is compressed and stimulated to attach to the tooth and bone regeneration may also stimulated by the laser.

The LANAP procedure is fully cleared by the FDA for periodontal disease treatment and has been shown to be quite effective. Patients who suffer from gum disease can now be evaluated to determine whether they are candidates for this new treatment procedure. For additional information on the LANAP procedure, visit http://www.clearwaterperiodontist.com or www.brittenperio.com

Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is a periodontal practice offering patients personalized dental care in implant dentistry in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Todd Britten received his Bachelor of Science & Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Florida, a Master’s Degree and Certificate in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry; and completed extensive training at the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry. He is one of the only board-certified periodontists in Pinellas County.  He is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Florida Association of Periodontists, Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Research Association and Florida West Coast Dental Association

Dr. Todd Britten is now offering this FDA-cleared laser procedure for gum disease and periodontal treatment. To learn more about Dr. Britten and his dental services visit his website at:http://www.clearwaterperiodontist.com or www.brittenperio.com or call (727) 586-2681.
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