Category Archives: Gum Disease

How Deep Cleanings Can Save Your Smile

How scaling and root planing procedures can help treat gum diseaseThe human mouth is filled with bacteria.  These bacteria, along with mucous and other particles form a sticky film called plaque is constantly forming and which adheres to the teeth.  This plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing.  When the plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth, the bacteria involved become more harmful, and more difficult to remove, creating an environment that is more toxic to the tissue.  The plaque itself can harden creating a cement like substance (calculus) that cannot be removed with brushing and flossing alone.

Your gum tissue does not attach directly to your teeth. There is a space or pocket between the gum and the tooth before it attaches. The pocket gets deeper when plaque, tartar and inflammation are present. This leads to inflammation and gum disease. The gums become irritated and begin to separate from the tooth, creating a periodontal pocket.

The bacteria and infection causing the detachment needs to be addressed.

Scaling and Root Planing

Non Surgical Periodontal Therapy includes a very important option known as scaling and root planing or “a deep cleaning” This is often recommended as the first step in periodontal therapy. Treatment is usually done by one of our hygienists using local anesthesia to provide comfort for the patient as the root surfaces in deep periodontal pockets are debrided to remove calculus or “tartar” and to smooth the root surfaces to remove bacterial toxins. This may take more than one visit with the hygienist and is followed up with a visit with Dr. Britten in four to six weeks to evaluate the periodontal tissues.

 

If you have any questions about gum disease or its treatments, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.

727-586-2681

http://www.brittenperio.com

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Why Healthy Gums and Braces Go Together

If you have crooked teeth, you should schedule a visit to your dentist and ask about braces. Your dentist will likely send you to an orthodontist who will explain you in detail all the benefits of the treatment, the risks and the costs involved.

The number one reason people want braces is to have a beautiful smile. But crooked teeth are not only a cosmetic problem. It is also often a health problem.

Misaligned or crooked teeth can cause problems with your bite. Over time, a bad bite can hurt your teeth and gums by causing wear to the enamel, fractured or broken teeth, and contribute to periodontal disease. A bad bite can also  the jaw bone and the TMJ joint. sometimes leading to lots of other medical problems such as headaches or migraines.

In addition, when your teeth are positioned in the correctly in your mouth, this provides the comfort and the ease of being able to clean your teeth properly.

Make sure your gums are as healthy as they can be before orthodontic treament! Your gums are the tissue that help hold your teeth in place. If your gums are not in good shape, the stress of moving your teeth with braces cause him recession, bone loss and also impact tooth stability.

Dr. Todd Britten works cohesively with the orthodontists and general dentists to provide you with the best care possible. This way, you can be seen by a team of dentists that focuses on the area that they are trained and most skilled at and work together to provide the best care.

Please contact us today with any aspect of dentistry that concerns you. Our very knowledgeable staff would be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today 727-586-2681 or visit http://www.brittenperio.com

Clearwater Periodontist Holds 3rd Annual Veteran’s Day Event

Dr. Todd M. Britten and the team at Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry had an early start on Veteran’s Day which is Friday, November 11th. They held their 3rd annual Free Dental Day for Veterans on Friday, November 3rd, 2017. Britten Periodontics once again had overwhelming offers to help from many dental professionals in the community willing to donate their time and resources to provide free dental care. Patients were directed to the event this year from The Homeless Emergency Project in Clearwater, as well as local V.A. Branches from Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties.

“Once again, we have had an incredible response from the community and were able to get skilled and compassionate local restorative dentists involved.” For the third year in a row, Clearwater Dental Associates, Dr. Jim Hayslett and Dr. Keith Kiskadden and their staff are on board to help out with our event, seeing patients for fillings, crowns and even dentures. New to this year’s event, Dr. Michael Podlusky in Seminole, Florida, also reached out to Dr. Britten to also help, making upper and lower dentures at no-cost for one of the patients. “Many thanks to Dr. Britten for organizing the Veteran’s Day Event and graciously offering me the opportunity to help treat a patient. So glad to help at least one of our honored Vets. One person can’t do everything, but all of us working together surely can!” Said Dr. Mike Podlusky.

Dr. Britten’s dental specialty, periodontics, often involves managing and treating advanced gum disease. A periodontist is often able to help a patient in danger of losing teeth or with active oral infection to turn their health around. “Having Clearwater Dental Associates involved again this year, and the gracious help of Dr. Mike Podlusky and his team 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 involved helps us to treat the whole mouth and really deliver comprehensive care to these veterans.” Dr. Britten sees most patients for a comprehensive evaluation, radiographs and treatment consult prior to the event in order to determine what services he as the gum specialist can provide in his office, and make appropriate referral for restorative care from local dentists who have volunteered to help with the event.

Britten says being able to offer two different forms of sedation to Veterans for this event in his Clearwater, FL practice has helped for patients who have PTSD, dental anxiety, or may require extensive surgical treatment. Dr. Britten expressed his concern. “Most of the time, periodontal disease is not painful until it gets to be very advanced. Some of the veterans had been dealing with painful teeth for a long time.”

For Britten and his team this event is something they look forward to all year long. They keep in touch with veterans from previous events and this year they were able to provide follow up exams, x-rays and periodontal maintenance procedures, which help prevent reinfection of the gums following treatment. “This year we were able to invite Veterans from previous events to receive follow up maintenance care at this year’s event,” said one dental hygienist at Britten Periodontics who helped organize this year’s event. “It was great to see them again and the progress they have made in their oral health. It is touching to be a part of something that has changed someone’s life in such a positive way.”

One patient returning this year received treatment at the inaugural event was John Smith, who served in the US Navy in Vietnam from 1965-1969. Dr. Britten explained that he was honored to be able to help Mr. Smith and to continue in his care since the 2014 event. The VFW Post 2473 in Clearwater where Mr. Smith serves as canteen manager does much to help local veterans.
When asked what this event meant to him in 2014, Smith had stated, “I get to keep my teeth and I can’t believe it’s free.” A patient new to this year’s event, Yvette said, “This was the most amazing dental cleaning I have had in my whole life!”

Dr. Todd Britten explained how glad he is to be doing this the third year in a row and would like to do it annually for the entirety of his career. When asked why this is a cause so near and dear to his heart he stated that his grandfathers and uncles served in the military and giving back to veterans in need is a top priority for him. Dr. Britten said, “The entire staff at Britten Periodontics is so grateful to the men and women in the military that make so many sacrifices for our freedom.”

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.

Todd M. Britten, D.M.D., M.S.
1472 Jordan Hills Court
Clearwater, Florida 33756
727-586-2681 (Phone)
727-582-9396 (Fax)

Our Website: http://www.brittenperio.com

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClearwaterPeriodontist?ref=hl

 

Clearwater FL Periodontist Holding 3rd Annual Veteran’s Day Event

Dr. Todd M. Britten and the team at Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is holding their 3rd annual Free Dental Day for Veterans on Friday, November 3rd, 2017. “The sacrifices made by veterans and their families are truly astounding. I am aware that dental coverage for veterans is very hard to attain, so each year, we have hit the ground running trying to deliver periodontal care to as many veterans as we could.” Britten Periodontics once again had overwhelming offers to help from many dental professionals in the community willing to donate their time and resources to provide free dental care. Patients were directed to the event this year from The Homeless Emergency Project in Clearwater, as well as local V.A. Branches from Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties.

“Once again, we have had an incredible response from the community and were able to get skilled and compassionate local restorative dentists involved.”  For the third year in a row, Clearwater Dental Associates, Dr. Jim Hayslett and Dr. Keith Kiskadden and their staff are on board to help out with our event, seeing patients for fillings, crowns and even dentures. New to this year’s event, Dr. Michael Podlusky in Seminole, Florida, also reached out to Dr. Britten to also help, making upper and lower dentures at no-cost for one of the patients.

Dr. Britten’s dental specialty, periodontics, often involves managing and treating advanced gum disease. A periodontist is often able to help a patient in danger of losing teeth or with active oral infection to turn their health around. “Having Clearwater Dental Associates involved again this year, and the gracious help of Dr. Mike Podlusky and his team 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 involved helps us to treat the whole mouth and really deliver comprehensive care to these veterans.”  “Most of the time, periodontal disease is not painful until it gets to be very advanced. Some of the veterans had been dealing with painful teeth for a long time,” Dr. Britten expressed his concern. “Even though we sometimes have to remove some teeth we felt better knowing these veterans do not have to be in discomfort anymore.” Britten says being able to offer two different forms of sedation to Veterans for this event in his Clearwater, FL practice has helped for patients who have PTSD, dental anxiety, or need extensive surgical treatment.

For Britten and his team this event is something they look forward to all year long. They keep in touch and have provided follow up care for many of the veterans. “This year we were able to invite Veterans from previous events to receive follow up maintenance care at this year’s event,” said one dental hygienist at Britten Periodontics who helped organize this year’s event.

Dr. Todd Britten explained how glad he is to be doing this the third year in a row and would like to do it annually for the entirety of his career. When asked why this is a cause so near and dear to his heart he stated that his grandfathers and uncles served in the military and giving back to veterans in need is a top priority for him. Dr. Britten said, “The entire staff at Britten Periodontics is so grateful to the men and women in the military that make so many sacrifices for our freedom.”

One patient returning this year received treatment at the inaugural event was John Smith, who served in the US Navy in Vietnam from 1965-1969. Dr. Britten explained that he was honored to be able to help Mr. Smith and to continue in his care since the 2014 event. The VFW Post 2473 in Clearwater where Mr. Smith serves as canteen manager does much to help local veterans. Mr. Smith stated that his local branch recently fed over 100 VA patients and raised over $15,000 for homeless veterans and participated in additional fundraising for Cancer Research.

When asked what this event meant to him in 2014, Smith had stated, “I get to keep my teeth and I can’t believe it’s free.”

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 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