And is much cheaper in the long run!
Dental disease fits in one of three categories:
- Bacterial infections in the gum tissue (Part 1)
- Bacterial infections in the teeth (Part 2)
- Dysfunction in the structure and bite (Part 3)
Each of them can be treated by standard dental care and treated completely incorrectly. On the other hand, in a dental office with the right training, the comprehensive plan can be completed relatively quickly and with long-lasting benefits! The key is to invest in the treatment options that get you to your goals quickest and will have the most predictable longevity afterward. In this blog, we will outline the gum health and the best ways to keep your teeth for a lifetime!
Insurance Standards don’t create health!
Insurance companies have made some ‘guidelines’ in care, but they are not only wrong, but they are also dangerous! The level of care or ‘standard’ dental insurance provides the discount or rebate for is based on out of date or made up criterion! Like the food pyramid we all grew up on, the 6-month cleaning standard was completely fabricated and has little to do with what really matters. In fact, the 6-month cleaning standard was made for a TV commercial back when we still used tooth powders to brush our teeth! The reality is everyone is different. If your goals are to keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime, your cleaning interval should be one day shorter than however long you can go without any re-infection or damage. At Aesthetic Dentistry of Georgetown, we find that some people’s interval is much more frequent, maybe even monthly. On the other hand, there are healthy mouths that can go six months and stay healthy. The real key to keeping tissues healthy is exceptional daily home care and our team of hygienists is always looking for tips and tools for you to be able to more easily keep your mouth as healthy as possible!
Bacterial infections in the gums (Periodontal Diseases) are contagious between areas of the mouth as well as other mouths in your family. As your gums get more infected, the bacteria involved become increasingly aggressive and resistant to treatment. In fact, there are as many as 500 different kinds of bacteria or bugs involved in gum disease! Once the infection has reached the bone, it causes a loss of the bone that holds your teeth in. The bacteria should be eliminated and that can’t be accomplished by the insurance company standard of four quadrants of Scale and Root Plane and a 6-week re-evaluation. If you were washing your car, that might work, but with gum tissue infection, the dirty part is a very different thing indeed!
Biofilm is the cause of your gum disease
The bacteria has created a biofilm made up of multiple large colonies of microscopic bacteria that actually have defense mechanisms and can chemically communicate between the various areas. As this biofilm sits between the teeth and gums, it seeps into the gum tissue and marinates into your body. Just like marinating your meat before you cook it changes the meat, this bacterial biofilm changes the tissue. Worse, just like you can’t take the marinade out of the meat, you can’t scrape the teeth and get the bacteria out of the gums. That concept has been out of date since the 1960s, but unfortunately, the 1960s are when insurance companies set their standards and they have no reason to change it. Their interest is purely financial and has little to do with actual health and health care. Frustratingly, the traditional Scale and Root Plane insurance policy not only hurts to go through, it also doesn’t work well! At the 6-week reevaluation, the measurements are almost always about as bad as they were before treatment was started!
Your Immune System is your answer!
At Aesthetic Dentistry of Georgetown, if your gums have gotten infected, the treatment is designed to support your body’s natural immune system and to eliminate the pathologic biofilm that is causing all the damage. The first step is to jump-start your immune system and that is aimed completely at getting the ship turned around and improving the overall condition of the gums. This is sort of a pre-wash cycle as it will dramatically decrease the bioload or amount of bugs and get rid of a lot of the easier to kill disease. What will be left can be targeted on a schedule that allows your body to get ahead of the game and heal from the inside out.
Advanced tools make all the difference!
With tools like a periodontal detoxifying laser specifically tuned to destroy the bugs but not damage your tissue, we can denature bacteria and detoxify the gums to break up a lot of the bacterial colonies, then a micro-ultrasonic cleaning system can be used to flush out those bugs and allow your body to start to heal. What we know is the longer the biofilm has been there, the longer it will take for your body to get caught up and healthy. The next step is to work together with you to create a treatment interval specifically timed to the infection in your mouth and design a plan of attack using repetitive laser-perio-therapy sessions to return your mouth to a healthy state. Then it’s a simple matter of dialing in your home care, and your mouth can once again be healthy and stable! What our patients tell us is that the gums are dramatically better, their mouth feels better, their breath smells better, the treatment was easy, and often they feel better overall!!
Homecare is critical!
Research still hasn’t found a way to regrow the tissue that was lost from the infection, but with the right approach, the mouth can stay healthy. This will often include a power toothbrush and a Waterpik for daily home use. At Aesthetic Dentistry of Georgetown, we have always provided your choice of either a power toothbrush or Waterpik as a gift to new patients in the practice because we know how valuable these tools are! We may recommend a specific mouthwash or toothpaste to help keep your mouth healthy and protected. With tissue loss, we will almost always recommend a tighter interval between your cleanings because we know the health/disease balance point between is shorter putting you more at risk. Today we have a lot of tools to stop the progression of periodontal disease so you don’t have to stay infected and continue to get worse.
Non-surgical gum therapy is faster and cheaper in the long run!
Although insurance companies have lots of ways to deny your payment and not help with your care, we will always work to maximize whatever help you can get from them. All of the steps in a therapy program at Aesthetic Dentistry will fit into some insurance code and we will fight with you to be sure you get whatever rebate is due to you according to the particular plan you have. Proper care is a little bigger investment on the front end, but it saves you a lot more over the long term… it saves you money and your teeth!
Your hygiene team is your ace up your sleeve!
At Aesthetic Dentistry of Georgetown, your entire hygiene team is an incredible blend of care and compassion with the latest clinical training and systems. Each of them is committed to ensuring a simple and comfortable experience whether it is a routine cleaning or non-surgical periodontal therapy. Their years of experience, world-class training, and team approach to being a resource for you ensures that whatever your needs are, one of our team is always ready to help you to regain or protect the health of your mouth! Teeth were meant to last a lifetime, and with the unique education and experience of your hygienists, you can expect them to help you to make that a reality!
If you are new to the practice, the best step to long-term health is a New Patient Experience where all aspects of the health of your mouth will be evaluated and a customized care plan will be developed with you to achieve your goals. If you aren’t new to the practice, you already know how amazing your team is and know they are in your corner for optimal oral health!