Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Learn When You Should See a Sleep Dentist

Sleep Dentist
A sleep dentist is the dentist you should see if you are one of the many people that is terrified of spending time in a dentist’s chair. For many people, the idea of getting dental work done bring about extreme anxiety, bordering on terror. Sedation dentistry, also known as sleep dentistry, has risen to the challenge of giving these people the best dental treatment they can get while reducing, or eliminating altogether, the fear of being treated by a dentist. Before you consider getting dental work done, you should know that most dentists have been trained, and are extremely adept at using psychological measures to help put your mind at ease so that you can get through the most dental procedures without the need for sedation. 

If sleep dentistry is an option you choose, you should make sure that you do so for the right reasons. Like with most things, there are good reasons for getting sedation dentistry and there are reasons to not get sedation. What we ask is that you take stock of your levels of anxiety and decide if you can tolerate the treatment with an empathetic dentist and calming measures or if you feel like it is intolerable and will need sedation administered by a certified sleep dentist

Here are some of the reasons you should work with a sleep dentist to receive sedation – 

You are going to be undergoing an extremely invasive procedure that could take time and is extremely complex. If you may be unable to hold still and remain calm for the duration of the procedure, going to sleep may be the best option for you.  In cases like this, it may be better for the patient to be asleep during the procedure. 

You know that despite the best efforts of the dentist and despite having an extremely empathetic dental team, you will need a little bit more. In a case like this, you may be able to have a lower level of sedation like nitrous, also known as laughing gas. If you need more than laughing gas, discuss this with us as a sleep dentist. 

If you believe that the only way, you can get through the procedure, is by being completely out of it, then you will want to discuss this with your dentist. For some people being out of it and completely unaware of what is going on during the procedure is the only way to get through it, in which case having a general anesthesia may be the best option for you. 

Finally, if you have extreme fear associated with a particular part of the procedure, you may want to consider working with a sleep dentist. For example, if you have an extreme fear of needles or a dental drill, sedation is probably the best option for you and the if necessary, you can even go to sleep during the procedure. 

In our office, we want to ensure that every patient is completely comfortable during their dental treatments.  Let us know about any anxieties or fears you have so that we can create a sedation plan to help you. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pinhole Surgical Rejuvenation Is An Easy Treatment for Your Gums

Pinhole Surgical Rejuvenation
Occasionally new procedures, like pinhole surgical rejuvenation, are invented by doctors who have a passion for less invasive and less painful methods of resolving common problems. Most surgeries are painful processes, with dental surgery being no exception. The very nature of surgery makes it invasive as we strive to correct challenging health problems. From root canals to gum grafting, oral surgery has long been high on the list of things people fear. Many of these concerns are caused by overinflated stories or the use of antiquated methods from years ago. Additionally, many patients are concerned about there being a great deal of time needed for recovery after having a surgery like a gum grafting. 

Pinhole surgical rejuvenation was invented by Dr. Chao in order to treat gum recession in a way that was more comfortable and less invasive. Almost all humans have some level of gum recession, making it an extremely common condition. Most people are unaware that their gums are excessively receding because of the length of time it takes to occur. The first sign, which a patient may notice, is tooth sensitivity or a tooth that looks longer than the ones surrounding it. It is important that you get gum recession checked out and treated by, a dentist to avoid further damage to the gums. As far back as most dentists can remember, gum recession has been treated with a gum grafting surgery which is extremely invasive and requires a long time for healing. This has changed with the non-invasive, quick, and revolutionary pinhole surgical rejuvenation procedure. 

The question is why does gum recession occur in the first place? 

Insufficient dental care is one of the major factors that influence the loss of gum tissue. When a person does not brush and floss their teeth adequately, or does not make at least bi-annual trips to the dentist for a checkup and a professional cleaning, there is always a chance that the gums could start to recede. Repeated treatments, to remove built up plaque, could lead to gum recession as well. 

A recent study found that more than 30% of people are more susceptible to gum diseases, which could lead to the recession of the gums and, eventually, the need for pinhole surgical rejuvenation. For these people, regardless of how much they care for their teeth they may end up with serious gum problems including the gums starting to recede. 

Periodontal disease is perhaps the most obvious reason a person’s gums might start to recede. A bacterial infection that directly attacks the gums, periodontal disease also affects the bone that holds your teeth in place. It is the main cause of gum recession. Other factors including hormonal changes, found most frequently in pregnant women, the use of tobacco products, and grinding or clenching your teeth have also been found to lead to the gums receding. Additionally crooked teeth or a misaligned bite can place excessive force on the gums which could cause them to recede. One final cause of gum recession, worth noting because of fashion trends today, are lip and tongue piercings which can rub against the gums causing irritation and wear.

Fortunately, regardless of what has caused your gums to recede, pinhole surgical rejuvenation can improve your gum health in a non-invasive and comfortable way.

Monday, November 24, 2014

What Oral Surgery and a Cosmetic Dentist Can Do For You

Cosmetic Dentist
As a cosmetic dentist and oral surgeon we can provide our patients with greater options in what they can achieve in regards to their oral health and appearance.  A traditional dentist typically focusses on preventative care and general dentistry procedures. We handle more complicated cases in order to solve oral health concerns. 

Our first objective is to ensure that our patients are in excellent oral health. With this in mind, we regularly perform procedures like gum grafts and deep cleanings in order to remove bacteria and treat gum disease.  As bacteria cause the gums to become irritated, they will start to recede or pull away from the tooth.  This creates pockets in the gum tissue and the need for a gum graft to be completed in order to seal up the pockets and secure the gums around the tooth.  This type of treatment helps a patient’s appearance and health. 

For those that don’t have a problem with the health of their gums but don’t like how they look, we can help with that as well.  As a cosmetic dentist and oral surgeon, we can remove excessive gum tissue that makes a smile look “gummy”.  This is a common condition that can make teeth appear too small.  We can remove this extra tissue and contour the gums so that they appear more normal in size and shape. 

We can also use our cosmetic dentistry skills to craft an entirely new smile. Those that don’t like the appearance of their teeth or are missing several natural teeth can benefit from having dental implants.  This procedure is becoming wildly popular as a way to create the perfect looking smile.  As a surgeon, we implant a metal post under the gums and secure it to the jawbone.  This is done for every tooth that is being replaced.  The bone and metal will fuse together over the course of several months and by doing so a new root system will be created.  This synthetic root system is just as strong as a natural one, and it allows the new tooth to remain independent of the surrounding teeth.  This promotes long term oral health.

As a cosmetic dentist, we find that our patients love their implants because they look like natural teeth.  It is difficult, if not impossible to tell the difference between an implant and natural tooth because the crown used to replace the natural one, will be created in the size, shape, and shade of the surrounding teeth.  Since the crown is attached to a new root system, it is also durable enough for you to eat all of your favorite foods, run a marathon, sing your heart out and stay active without fear of it falling out.  

When it comes time to replacing teeth or restoring damaged ones, visiting a cosmetic dentist that is also an oral surgeon will provide you with the most options for doing so.  Our expertise allows our patients to love their smile every day. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Here are Some Common Risks With Oral Surgery That We Help to Prevent

Oral Surgery
Whenever you have surgery, even oral surgery, there are certain inherent risks that go along with such a procedure. Modern medicine has decreased the likelihood that there will be a complication and the careful care of your oral surgeon diminish it even further. For the vast number of patients, surgeries are carried out without a hiccup and working with an experienced surgeon helps to make that possible.  However, surgery still involves an invasion into the normal functions of the mouth, and as such there are some risks involved. 
It is a good idea to understand some of the underlying risks as you prepare for your procedure. We will be there each step of the way to make sure you understand not only any risks, but also a detailed perspective on the procedure itself. This understanding allows you to make the best, most informed decision about your own personal oral health. Here are a few of the more common risks with an oral procedure. 
  • Bleeding: Anytime you have oral surgery, there is going to be some level of bleeding. This is normally controlled easily and typically only lasts for the day of the surgery itself. If, however, you have excessive or prolonged bleeding after a surgery, we want to know so that we can ensure there hasn't been a complication. Similarly, if you have a condition like hemophilia, which cause uncontrolled bleeding, you should let us know before the surgery.
  • Infection: Whenever there is an open wound, as in the case of an oral surgery, there is a risk of infection. Fever, swelling, heat, chills, and redness should immediately be reported. If you find yourself experiencing general malaise, this may also be a sign of an infection and should be reported. The good news is that it is very easy to deal with an infection by simply using an antibiotic. 
  • Surrounding teeth: Oral surgery puts pressure, not only on the tooth itself, but also on the surrounding teeth. If the tooth or teeth next to the site of the surgery are weakened they could break, immediately or in the near future. A weakened filling could also crack or fall out under the pressure of the surgery. These are not serious complications as your dentist can repair the tooth or replace the filling that has been lost.  If a bone breaks, this is slightly more complicated and could require additional surgical correction. 
  • Paresthesia: Pressure on or around the site of the surgery can cause permanent or temporary changes in the sensations of the nerves. Paresthesia can cause a sensation of burning, prickling, numbness, or itching. This is caused by the local area anesthesia and can be a serious condition. If you have any of these feelings, you should call us immediately.
When performing oral surgery, we learn everything we can about our patient's health in order to minimize any risk associated with the procedure.  By understanding what issues could arise, we can plan for how to prevent them so that patients can recover quickly without complications.  Prior to each procedure, we go over everything in detail so that our patients can make plans for how to remain comfortable during their recovery and ensure the ultimate success of the procedure.  To learn more about our methods, call and schedule a consultation. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why You Should Get Dental Implants from a Specialist in Periodontics and Implantology

Dental Implants
Dr. Pechak is a local periodontist that is an expert at dental implants. What many people don’t understand is that while many dentists conduct the dental implants procedure, they are not experts at it.  A regular dentist is not trained in matters of oral surgery.  They have graduated from dental school and are skilled in many types of procedures, but the majority of surgical training they have would come from on the job experience rather than from dental school.

In order to gain the knowledge and additional skills necessary to become an expert at installing dental implants, the dentist needs to have an additional three years of schooling.  This takes a desire and commitment to become a true expert at performing oral surgeries.  Just like a doctor goes to medical school in order to practice medicine, they don’t perform surgeries until they have gone through additional training.  Most people wouldn’t allow a general doctor to operate on them and in the same way we recommend that you don’t get your gums operated on by someone that hasn’t gone through the additional schooling.

Becoming certified as a periodontist and implant specialist requires completing the three years of schooling and going through the licensing process, something Dr. Pechak has done.  If your dentist suggests that you use dental implants in order to replace your missing teeth, we recommend that you speak with a periodontist prior to scheduling the procedure.  This way you can consult with an expert and make an informed decision about which provider you want to complete the procedure.

Only around five percent of general dentists have had the additional training and experience to make them as good as a prosthodontist.  This means that your procedure is more likely to have complications or an increased recovery time than if you go to an expert to have the process completed.

When you get dental implants, there are several stages to the process.  An impression of your mouth will be taken so that the new tooth can be created in a dental lab to match the size and shape of your other teeth.  This way it will blend in and look natural.  Before getting started, we will make sure that your gums are healthy enough for the procedure.  If not, we can treat your gums in order to remove any infection.

Next, we will implant a metal post under the gums and secure it to the jawbone.  This is the surgical step in the process and must be done carefully to ensure that the gums can heal quickly.  Over the course of a couple of months, the metal post and jawbone will fuse together. This creates a strong synthetic root system that is as sturdy as a natural tooth would be.  Once ready, we will then secure the new synthetic tooth to the metal post.  The result is a tooth that looks and feels natural.  The process uses advance dental techniques and as a periodontist, Dr. Pechak can ensure that your dental implants will look and feel amazing. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How Does Laser Dentistry Make a Difference?

Laser Dentistry
If you have sensitive teeth, laser dentistry is an excellent option for getting dental treatments done.  It can also be used to help anyone that is having dental work performed and wants to minimize their recovery time and stay comfortable during treatment.

In our office, we use lasers primarily to treat gum disease.  Typically, patients with gum disease need to have the bacteria removed from underneath their gums.  Most dentists will do this by using a traditional metal dental tool to scrape away the bacteria.  This can irritate already sensitive gums and create a high level of discomfort.  By using lasers, we can zap the bacteria to kill it and do so without irritating the gum tissue.  The lasers won't burn the gum tissue or increase how sensitive they are.  This means that our patients can leave the office feeling better instead of worse off.

Another benefit to laser dentistry is that the lasers can be used to help stop the bleeding.  It is common for gums to bleed during dental procedures because of how easy it is to irritate them.  Dental lasers can stop the bleeding during treatment so that patients don’t have to wear uncomfortable gauze for hours, and the recovery time can be sped up.  It is easier to get dental work done when you know that your recovery time will be fast, and there will be minimal disruption to your life.

The recovery time is also reduced because as the laser cuts it also sterilizes the area.  This means that the overall risk of infection is diminished.  This is important for patients that struggle from a low immune system or are diabetic and have difficulty fighting infection. This reduces the risk of complications after the procedure is over.

Patients that are worried about going to the dentist also like the fact that lasers are quieter than a metal drill or other tools would be.  For people that have dental anxiety, the quietness of the procedure can help to ease some of the common dental fears.  When you combine this with the fact that the procedures are completed faster than they are with traditional dental tools, it makes it much easier to schedule a dental appointment.

If you have visited your normal dentist and found out that you have gum disease, you should schedule a consultation with our office prior to undergoing treatment.  We always recommend that patients understand what their options are and learn as much as possible about their condition and how to solve it before going forward.  It is important to compare the treatment methods offered by a traditional dentist and those provided by laser dentistry.
Ask questions and compare the process, recovery time, and risks associated with each prior to making a decision.  We are confident that you will find laser gum treatments are far more effective and more comfortable.  Once you are ready, schedule a procedure so that we can treat your gum disease and help you to start feeling better quickly. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Can Drinking Coffee Help to Prevent Gum Recession?

Gum Recession
We specialize in treating people with gum recession and are often asked questions about what they could have done to prevent gum disease in the first place.  As such, we regularly read medical studies addressing this common health issue. Some people have a genetic predisposition to getting gum disease while other people suffer from poor oral hygiene and a lack of health care.  Additionally, people with diabetes and pregnant women are at an increased risk for the condition.  

While some people are more likely to struggle with their gums than others, a recent study out of the University of Boston indicates that there may be a natural way to help your gums stay healthier.  Researchers wanted to find out if coffee had any positive or negative effect on gum health.  In order to find the answer, they turned to the Department of Veteran Affairs and data they had collected over thirty years.  During this time, the VA collected dental exam records and food intake surveys from over 1,100 men in the Boston area.  This is a significant amount of data and provided researchers with the information they needed to determine the long-term effects of coffee.

While analyzing the data, they found that men who drank a cup of coffee or more per day had fewer teeth with bone loss.  This led lead author, Raul Garcia, D.M.D. to conclude that drinking coffee is good for the health of your gums.  In order to understand why coffee could be good for your gums or prevent gum recession, it is important to understand how gum disease works. 

Gum disease typically starts because bacteria has gathered on the surface of the gums and got in between the gums and teeth.  People that have restricted blood flow to their gums are at a greater risk for the disease spreading because restricted blood flow can make gums swell.  The bacteria can also make gums swell, and this is typically the first sign of the disease.  If it is caught in these early stages, a dentist can perform a deep cleaning to remove the bacteria so that the gums can start to heal naturally.  If, however, the disease is allowed to continue, gum recession will start to occur.  When gums recede, pockets are created in the tissue and bacteria will often gather there.  Since the tooth structure is exposed, the bacteria will then attack the tooth and can lead to bone loss inside of the tooth.  In many cases, teeth fall out as a result. 

Coffee is an anti-inflammatory, so researchers concluded that the men who drank it regularly were preventing their gums from swelling.  Since this is the first sign of gum disease, by preventing or reducing swelling, they could have been preventing or reducing their risk of gum disease in general.  It stands to reason that people with less gum disease would also have fewer teeth with bone loss.  We would like to see additional research conducted but for now it appears that drinking a cup of coffee every day could reduce your risk for gum disease and gum recession

Monday, September 1, 2014

Learn How Laser Dentistry Makes Dental Procedures Easier and Painless

Laser Dentistry
We use laser dentistry to improve the oral health of our patients and to make their recovery time faster if a procedure needs to be performed.  Laser is the modern alternative to the traditional metal tools used by dentists.  These same metal tools have been used for decades with the process and results being the same.  We live in the technology world where you can access the Internet from virtually anywhere, cook food in seconds, and find information with the click of a button.  In this day and age there is no reason to visit a dentist that uses the same tools that were used on your parents. 

In our office, we leverage technology to help our patients to have a more enjoyable dental experience that is free from pain and discomfort.  Dr. Pechak likes using lasers because there is no cutting involved no stiches, and less bleeding.  This makes it easy for patients to recover from a dental procedure.

Laser dentistry can be used for a variety of procedures.  One of the ways that Dr. Pechak uses a laser light is to remove bacteria from the gum pockets.  Typically, the bacteria would need to be scraped out which can be very uncomfortable.  With lasers, the bacteria are eliminated without any discomfort or heat.  Since our procedure doesn’t use heat, there is no risk to the healthy gum tissue either.  Eliminating the bacteria is the first step in treating gum disease because it allows the body to naturally heal itself and the damage to be reversed.  If the bacteria are left alone, any other treatments will not be effective.

After the bacteria have been eliminated using laser light, an ultrasonic scaler is used.  With this device sound waves break up tartar and plaque that are on and around the teeth. This is far more comfortable than using a metal dental tool to scrape off the plaque.  This step is also important for allowing the gums to heal.  Once the plaque has been broken up, we use the laser again to finish the cleaning process.  The benefit to our clients is that we never physically touch the teeth and gums with a tool.  The laser light and ultrasonic scaler can complete the entire treatment and do so in a non-invasive way that is entirely comfortable.  The results are a healthy set of teeth and gums which will allow for new bone growth.

If you want a non-invasive, painless gum treatment – visit Dr. Pechak.  He is the only Periodontist in the area that has an FDA approved laser for gum treatment.  He has been voted as a local favorite for gum treatment and specializes in these procedures.  This increases the likelihood of you receiving the results that you want, and your gums healing faster than if you visit a less experienced dentist.  Keep in mind that when you experience laser dentistry, you can have your gum disease treated but done so in a way that doesn’t hurt, and there is no recovery time.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oral Surgery Can Be Used in Treating Gum Disease

Oral Surgery
Gum disease is a serious condition, and oral surgery is often needed in order to correct it.  Gum disease starts as gingivitis and can make gums red, swollen, and bleed slightly.  It is uncomfortable but not particularly painful.  When caught early, it can be treated by conducting a deep cleaning on and underneath the gums.  If it is left untreated, the gums can start to recede and expose more of the tooth and root structure. This can be painful and create complications.

Patients with severe gum disease may start to have pockets form in the gum tissue.  These pockets can look like little holes in the gums.  Bacteria will often gather here and can start to attack the tooth and root structure which puts teeth at risk.  If untreated, teeth can start to fall out or require additional procedures in order to save them.

Many dentists will treat the beginning stages of gum disease by performing cleanings but are not experts at treating severe gum disease.  This typically requires oral surgery and a gum graft.  In this procedure, tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth and grafted to the receding gums in order to close up the pocket and secure the gums back in place around the tooth.  This is essential for protecting teeth and preventing any additional complications like a dental abscess.  At the Perio & Implant Center we specialize in this procedure and will ensure that it goes smoothly so that patients can start to feel better quickly.

The Risks of Gum Disease

There are many risks associated with gum disease that go far beyond oral health.  This is the primary concern as gum disease can lead to teeth falling out.  There are, however, other complications to consider.  Pregnant women are in particular danger as gum disease can force pre-term labor and even make babies born at a low birth weight.  Just as regular trips to the OBGYN are essential during pregnancy, so are trips to the dentist and having any gum disease treated right away. This is a simple step that can make a big difference in the health of the child.

Every adult should be concerned with the health of their gums since scientists have found a link between gum disease and heart disease.  Statistically, 91 % of people with heart disease also have unhealthy gums.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both women and men with 33% of female deaths and 25% of male deaths caused by heart disease. The current thought is that inflamed gums are the primary issue, but ongoing studies are being conducted to further research how the two are connected.  What is clear is that leaving gum disease untreated is not an option for people wanting to stay in good health.

If you need oral surgery to treat your gum disease, the staff at the Perio & Implant Center is a team of experts.  Call (650) 327-4464 for your consultation or to learn more about our services.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Perio & Implant Center Provides Dental Implants for Busy Lifestyles

Dental Implants
At the Perio & Implant Center we provide dental implants for patients that are looking to replace one or several teeth and want to maintain their active and busy lifestyle. Tooth loss is incredibly common.  It impacts around 70% of the U.S. adult population, leaving many people to look for both temporary and permanent solutions for replacing missing teeth.

Dentures have been a common solution for hundreds of years.  Even George Washington wore dentures and thankfully they have improved over time.  They are more comfortable than ever before, but the challenge is that dentures do not feel like natural teeth.  No matter how comfortable they are, it is still a foreign object being put inside of your mouth and will often feel heavy and make it difficult to speak like normal.  A partial set can be used to replace one or several teeth instead of all of them.  Still, they are not permanently attached and could become loose.  This is not conducive for people with an active and busy lifestyle that want to maintain it.

Dental implants have made it possible to replace a missing tooth and have it feel completely natural after the fact.  This is a major improvement and the latest in dental technology.  Here is how the procedure works:
  1. A metal post is implanted.  The oral surgeon places the post underneath the gums and secures it to the jawbone.  This step makes it possible for the new tooth to stand on its own without requiring support from the surrounding teeth.  Once the metal post and jawbone have fused together, it will create a synthetic root system that is as strong as a natural one.
  2. The new tooth is created.  A mold is made of a patient’s mouth so that the lab can create a new-synthetic tooth in the right size, color, and shape. This ensures that the new tooth will blend in with the surrounding ones.  The goal is for the new tooth or teeth to look completely natural.
  3. Tooth is attached.  After the healing process is complete, the new tooth will be secured to the metal post and positioned perfectly so that it is straight and beautiful.
The entire process takes longer than many other types of procedures because dental implants are a permanent solution to replacing missing teeth, not a temporary one.  By building in a root system, the Perio & Implant Center provides patients with new teeth that are as durable and secure as the ones they were born with.  This allows patients to enjoy life fully and without constraint.  Since the new tooth is strong, patients can eat all of their favorite foods without fear of it becoming loose or falling out.  Additionally, it is easy to speak clearly and naturally since there are no foreign objects to get used to.  This is important for people that have a busy lifestyle and no time to retrain their speech to accommodate a pair of dentures.

To learn more about this procedure, call and schedule an appointment today.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tissue Grafting Can Treat Gum Recession

Gum Recession
The Perio & Implant Center by Stanford Medical Center treats gum recession using a variety of modern techniques.  Dr. Pechak is an expert cosmetic dentist and oral surgeon that helps improve the health of his patients using procedures that are customized to address their specific health issues. If you feel that your gums may be receding, schedule an appointment for an examination and to discuss treatment options. 

One of the first treatment options is found in laser dentistry.  Dr. Pechak uses a dental laser to clean the gums and gum pockets in order to remove harmful bacteria.  When bacteria are left on and around the gums it can spread, making the problem worst.  Killing the bacteria is an important first step in allowing the body to start the healing process.  The laser light kills the bacteria without damaging the healthy gum tissue.  If necessary, Dr. Pechak can use an ultrasonic scaler to break up and loosen tartar that has formed around the teeth as well.  This procedure will help the gums to be in better health overall.  When gums have started to recede, simply cleaning them and keeping them bacteria free can help to stop the damage.

Gums that have receded significantly may need more in-depth treatment like tissue grafting.  This is also known as a gum graft or gum plastic surgery.  This procedure is necessary when the gum recession has become so bad that the roots of the tooth are exposed. In order to cover it, tissue is typically taken from the roof of the mouth and grafted to the existing gums.  This helps to stop the pain created by exposed roots, prevent bacteria from getting into gum pockets, and promotes overall oral health.  An experienced Periodontist should perform this procedure as it is highly specialized.  Dr. Pechak is a Board Certified Periodontist that produces superior results for patients in need of gum plastic surgery. 

He also performs a procedure called Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation.  This is the latest treatment option for gum recession and is known for addressing the problem in one easy visit without extended recovery times. In fact, it can be completed over the lunch hour and patients can head back to work immediately afterwards. This is not a traditional surgery as no scalpels are used, and there are no stitches.  The results are stunning with gums being restored to their youthful smile without pain or discomfort.  Dr. Pechak is one of the few dentists that offer this new procedure. 

Gum recession can be painful and pose a serious threat to the patient’s health.  Pregnant women, for example, need to be careful not to get infected gums because it can lead to premature delivery. Diabetics are naturally at a greater risk for gum disease and gum recession can expedite the process while increasing the risk.  It is far better to receive treatment to address gum recession and reverse its course before it can cause pain or additional health issues.  To learn more call the Perio & Implant Center by Stanford Medical Center today.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How an Implant Dentist Helps Seniors

Implant Dentist
If you are a senior, visiting an implant dentist will provide you with more options for replacing your teeth.  Many seniors make the mistake of thinking that they have to wear dentures after losing a tooth or teeth. This is a common solution that has been used for centuries.  While effective at restoring appearance and the ability to eat and speak, they can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Fortunately, there is a better way. 

Dental implants are a permanent solution to dentures that are far superior in both appearance and functionality.  They look and feel completely natural and do not rely on the strength of any existing teeth to stay in place.  Once implanted, the new tooth or teeth will stay there permanently.  This means that they do not need to be taken out, nor do they require any additional maintenance steps. Simply brush and floss like normal along with regular teeth cleanings to keep your implants looking perfect and new. 

An implant dentist has multiple ways to replace teeth.  The traditional way is to implant each tooth individually.  This is done by placing a metal piece underneath the gum line and attaching it to the jawbone.  A metal post is used in place of a natural root system and enables each tooth to stand on their own without depending on the teeth around it.  This is ideal for people that need to replace a few teeth or want to enjoy the long term stability of implanted teeth. The key is that the jawbone needs to be strong enough to support the procedure. 

Those who want a faster way to replace all of their teeth will benefit from a mini-implant procedure.  In this scenario, an implant dentist will place four to six metal posts in the upper and lower gums.  The new teeth will be created as a single piece that can be secured into place. This combines the best of implant and denture technology because the new set of teeth is created similarly to how dentures would with natural looking, synthetic teeth.  The major difference is that mini-implants take less time to install and the recovery time is reduced since there are fewer posts to implant.   They are still completely sturdy and will not move out of place, like dentures can. 

There are pros and cons to both types of procedures.  Traditional implants create a level of flexibility and durability that cannot be achieved otherwise.  Each tooth can be moved into place individually and if needed, be replaced in the future without impacting the other teeth.  With mini-implants, the teeth function as a unit so damage to one, means damage to everything as the entire unit would need to be removed and repaired.  
An implant dentist makes it possible to have a natural looking smile that functions like natural teeth.  That is by far the largest benefit. Instead of worrying about maintaining false teeth or having them become loose, seniors can enjoy an active lifestyle that does not involve thinking about their teeth.  To learn more call and schedule an appointment with the Perio & Implant Center today.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Facts About Gum Recession

Gum Recession
Many people suffer from gum recession.  It is a fairly common condition that impacts the majority of adults.  Similar to how more people lose teeth as they age, more people suffer from this condition as they age.  By the time someone is 65 they have an 88 percent likelihood of dealing with receding gums.  Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent and treat it.

What is it?
This condition occurs when the gum tissue starts to pull back or wear away from the tooth.  When this happens, more of the tooth is exposed and in severe cases the roots can be exposed, as well.  During this time, a gap can form in-between the tooth and the gums, creating the perfect spot for bacteria to hide and plaque to build up.  This can lead to gum disease and tooth infections. If that bacteria isn’t removed it can start to eat away at the tooth, roots, and even bone structure, causing major oral health problems.

What causes gum recession?
There are multiple triggers for this condition, many of which can be avoided.  Gum disease is a common medical reason for gums to recede.  When bacteria are left along the gum line, it can create gum disease.  As the bacteria spreads, it will go underneath the gum line and start to cause additional issues.  This can be prevented with regular trips to the dentist where we can remove the bacteria and reverse the signs of gum disease. 
Other triggers include: aggressive brushing with a hard toothbrush, hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause, using tobacco products, and genetics.  Hormones and genetics are natural risk factors that cannot be prevented.  It is, however, easy to switch to a soft toothbrush and quit smoking.  Reducing risk factors is important for people that don’t want to become one of the 88 percent. 

How is it treated?   
The first step is to thoroughly remove the bacteria and plaque that has formed on your teeth, along your gum line, and inside of the exposed pockets.  The bacteria and any infection needs to be removed in order for the body to stay in good oral health and not deteriorate. Deep cleaning is often called tooth scaling and root planning because the dentist has to clean underneath the gum line.  Antibiotics are often given, in addition to removing the bacteria, just in case there are any bacteria left.

Patients with severe gum recession will require more than a simple cleaning.  In this case, various surgical procedures may need to be performed. Pocket depth reduction is completed when the dentist wants to remove the bacteria than place the gum securely over the tooth in order to keep it snuggly in place and eliminate the pockets where bacteria is gathering.  Soft tissue grafts take place when there isn’t enough natural gum tissue left to do this procedure.  Skin is cut from the roof of your mouth and grafted to your gum tissue to create new gums, then secured into place. 

An experienced dentist can perform these procedures and will use anesthesia to keep the patient comfortable. Once completed, it is important to maintain good oral health habits at home in order to prevent further gum recession or additional oral health issues. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What an Implant Dentist Can Do for You

Implant Dentist
An experienced implant dentist can help to restore your smile.  The majority of adults experience some form of tooth loss over the course of their life.  The percentages start small, with only around thirty percent of adults in their thirties and forties losing a tooth or teeth.  By the time people become senior citizens, seventy percent will have lost at least one tooth.  These are staggering statistics. For the majority of US citizens the question isn’t if they will lose a tooth, rather it is when they will lose a tooth.

When a tooth falls out, or is pulled due to infection, it can cause a variety of other problems.  For example, a missing tooth can make it difficult to speak or sing clearly.  It can also make it harder to eat your favorite foods.  This is in addition to changing your appearance and being embarrassing.  People that lose too many teeth can start to have a sunken appearance as the jaw and face structures start to change.

Fortunately, an implant dentist can help to restore the full functionality and appearance of your teeth.  This is done with a permanent procedure that does not require any additional maintenance or at home care.  Once the implant is installed, simply brush and floss like normal, in addition to having regular dental, exams and teeth cleanings.

The Process
Before an implant can be installed, the dentist will conduct a thorough examination to determine if the gums are healthy enough to support it.  Any infections or cavities will need to be treated before the procedure can begin.  This is important, as the mouth needs to be in good health in order to heal quickly after the metal piece is implanted. 

A mold will be taken of your mouth so that the new tooth can be created in the lab that is the correct size and shape for your mouth.  This tooth will also be made to match the color of the surrounding teeth.  If you want to whiten your smile, do so prior to having this new tooth created since synthetic materials don’t bleach well.
On the day of the procedure, the implant dentist will give you anesthesia in order to make your comfortable and keep you pain free.  A metal piece will then be implanted underneath the gum line.  Over time, it will fuse with the jawbone to create a durable synthetic root system.  Patients will typically go home after this in order to recover.  The gum tissue needs to heal prior to continuing.  In the meantime, the dentist can provide you with a temporary denture to wear so that no one will know you are missing a tooth.

Once your gums have healed, the second metal piece will be attached the first.  This is what the new tooth attaches to.  The implant dentist will secure the new tooth into place and ensure it is perfectly straight and beautiful.  After the procedure is done there may be some minor recovery time before you can eat like normal.  This is a permanent solution that will give you the functionality and appearance of someone with a full set of natural teeth.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Gum Recession Treatment Options

Gum Recession
We treat patients suffering from both gum recession and gum disease.  Healthy gums are extremely important for maintaining good oral health.  When gums start to recede the space between the gum line and the teeth retracts and can create pockets for bacteria to gather.  As more of your tooth and roots become exposed the entire area may become painful, and bacteria build up can lead to tooth decay, root infection, and gum disease.  If left untreated, patients can end up in pain and even losing their teeth.

We specialize in helping patients to prevent oral health issues and correct them once started.  There are several ways you can keep your gums healthy including brushing twice a day with a soft toothbrush, flossing daily, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash.  Additionally, you should visit the dentist twice a year for a thorough teeth cleaning.  Smokers are at greater risk for gum disease and cavities so if you are currently smoking – stop.

During your dental examination, we will determine if your gums are starting to recede or if you are at risk for this condition.  It is important to treat gum recession immediately so that your gums can be restored to good health.  Here are some of the treatment options we suggest:

·         Tooth Scaling and Root Planing.  This is a deep cleaning technique where plaque and tartar are removed from the gum line and below the gum line by the roots.  The entire area is cleaned thoroughly to remove the cause of your gum recession.  After cleaning, the roots are smoothed down again.  This should correct most minor gum recession problems.
·         Antibiotics.  Once cleaned, antibiotics may be used to eliminate any lingering bacteria.
·         Pocket Depth Reduction.  If your gums have receded to the point that there are pockets or gaps in the gum line, you may need surgery to correct it.  With pocket depth reduction, your gums are folded down; the bacteria and plaque are removed, then they are placed snugly over your tooth to eliminate most or all of the gap.  This will prevent bacteria from gathering in that area again.
·         Soft Tissue Graft.  If you don’t have enough gum tissue left, you may need a soft tissue graft.  Skin from the roof of your mouth is taken and attached to your gums in the area where roots are exposed. Once healed this new gum tissue should protect your teeth and gums.

Fortunately, there are multiple options for treating gum recession.  They key is to identify the problem early on so that it can be corrected before you need any type of surgery.  This can be difficult to do without visiting the dentist because gum recession typically won’t start hurting until too much of the tooth or the roots are exposed.  It will, however, make your teeth appear longer, and you may experience some tooth sensitivity when brushing or eating.  If you notice these signs schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.  By keeping your teeth and gum line clean and free from bacteria, you decrease your risk of developing full blown gum recession and other oral health issues.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

An Implant Dentist and Emergency Dental Work

Implant Dentist
You may need an Implant Dentist if you have a dental emergency.  It is common for people to have their teeth knocked out during an automobile accident, while playing sports, are simply rough housing.  When this happens it may hurt and more importantly, leave you with a gaping hole in your mouth. 

In the past, the only option after tooth loss was to wear partial dentures or live with the gap.  This can look awkward and feel uncomfortable.  Not replacing your missing tooth can cause problems with speech, eating, and your appearance.  Fortunately, dental technology has changed, and we can now offer a permanent solution to correct missing teeth.

As an Implant Dentist, we can replace missing teeth permanently.  An implanted tooth will look completely natural and won’t require any additional maintenance steps.  You simply brush and floss like normal to keep your natural and synthetic teeth in good health.  If you play sports, we do recommend wearing a mouth guard so you can prevent tooth loss in the future.

The Implant Process
Call our office to schedule a teeth cleaning, examination, and consultation.  It is important to clean your teeth in order to remove any bacteria or plaque that has built up around the gum line.  Your gums need to be in good health in order to perform this procedure so we will recommend any additional work that needs to be done in preparation for implants.  If your gums appear healthy enough for the procedure, we will schedule a time to begin and take a mold of your teeth.

The first step is to implant a metal piece underneath your gum line.  This piece will be secured to your jaw bone and, over time, they will fuse together.  This creates an extremely strong and durable synthetic root system.  Since the root itself is synthetic, it also ensures that your new tooth is perfectly straight.

While you are healing from the first phase of the procedure, your new teeth will be created in the dental lab.  Your new teeth will be perfectly sized to match your existing ones and the shape of your mouth.  The color will also be matched to your existing teeth in order to keep in natural looking.

Once your gums have healed from the initial procedure, we will attach a second metal piece to the first one. This will be at the surface of your gum line and your new tooth will be secured to it.  We will position your new tooth perfectly and once completed; no one will be able to tell that it is not natural.

As an Implant Dentist, we recommend this procedure for anyone that has lost a tooth in an emergency accident or has suffered from tooth loss due to old age.  Dentures are a viable option, but they require additional care, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to not feel them in your mouth.  With implants, once they are set you won’t even notice that you had dental work done.  Call our office and schedule an appointment to learn more. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Facts About Gum Recession

Gum Recession
People of all ages can suffer from gum recession.  It is a fairly common phenomenon but can cause discomfort none the less.  Many patients don’t even realize that they have receding gums until they start to experience more tooth sensitivity. 
We treat patients with this and other oral health concerns.  Our goal is to educate patients so that they can practice preventative care at home and in between visits.  By properly caring for your teeth, you can slow the symptoms down and start to feel better.
What is gum recession?
When the gum tissue surrounding your teeth wears away, they are receding.  At first, it may not be very noticeable but over time you will see more of your tooth and may eventually start to see your roots.  Gaps can appear between the gum line and your tooth.  This is the perfect spot for bacteria together, which will cause further problems.
What will happen if I don’t treat this?
You could lose your teeth.  If gums recede too far, bacteria will build up and start to attack your teeth and root system.  This will weaken them and can lead to tooth loss.  It is far better to treat your gums and avoid this scenario.
Why does this happen?
Gum disease is a major cause, but there are multiple other reasons for your gums to recede.  This includes genetics, brushing too hard, not getting dental care, smoking, hormonal changes, grinding your teeth, crooked teeth, and piercing your tongue or lip.  Some of these things, like genetics, cannot be avoided.  You can, however, quit smoking or take out a piercing.  If grinding your teeth is the problem we can create a mouth guard that will protect your teeth at night. 
How do I prevent this?
Start by using the right toothbrush at home.  We recommend an electric one that provides excellent brushing without a lot of pressure.  Heavy, aggressive pressure can cause hurt your gums so this is the easiest way to clean your teeth.  You should brush your teeth a minimum of twice per day and floss daily.  This will help to prevent bacteria build up.  It is also important to rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash.  If your gums have already started to recede the mouthwash can attack bacteria in the more exposed areas.
Twice a year you should visit the dentist for a proper teeth cleaning so that we can remove built up plaque, tartar, and bacteria.
What are my treatment options?
We can deep clean your gums by carefully removing any bacteria or plaque that has built up underneath the gum line.  This is also called tooth scaling and root planning.  Antibiotics are also prescribed to eliminate any lingering bacteria.  If the recession is severe you may need to have gum surgery to eliminate the pockets, regenerate your gum tissue, or to create more tissue with a skin graft. 

In order to determine the best course of treatment, it is important to schedule an appointment where we can inspect your gums and discuss a treatment plan.  Working together we can help to improve your oral health and eliminate any discomfort you may be feeling. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An Implant Dentist Restores Your Teeth

Implant Dentist
If you have lost a tooth, turn to an implant dentist for a permanent solution.  Teeth can be lost for a variety of reasons including injury, accident, tooth decay, and old age.  Dentures are a viable solution, but they do not have the ease of use that implants have.  Once installed, implants function like natural teeth, making them easy to care for.
Here is how the process works.

1.       Consultation Appointment.  In order to determine if you qualify for implants, schedule an appointment with the Perio and Implant Center.  We will review your overall oral health to determine if you are a good candidate. 
2.       Correct Oral Health Concerns.  If you have cavities in existing teeth, need a root canal, or other dental procedure this must be done before starting the process.  It is important for your teeth and gums to be in the best health possible.
3.       Teeth Created.  Your new teeth will be created in a lab.  They will be perfectly sized and colored to match your existing teeth.  We recommend having a teeth whitening procedure completed before your new teeth are made.  This way the synthetic teeth will be made brighter and whiter to match your new sparkling teeth.
4.       Oral Surgery.  A metal piece is inserted under the gum line where your new tooth, or teeth will go.  This metal piece is secured to your jaw bone.  Over time, it will fuse to the bone, which creates a completely sturdy root system.  How long this process takes is based on how your body responds but it is safe to plan for a few months.
5.       Root System Completed.  Once the inserted metal piece has fused to the bone, a second metal piece will be attached at the base of your gum line.  This is what your new tooth attaches to.
6.       Tooth Attached.  Your new tooth, or teeth, will be attached and positioned perfectly.  The dentist will typically make any last minute corrections prior to finally securing the tooth in place.  This is to ensure that each tooth is a perfect match for you face.
7.       Rest.  It will probably take a few days for you to feel comfortable and any swelling to go down.  Use ice and eat soft foods during the healing process. 
8.       Caring for your teeth.  The best thing about your new teeth is that once your implant dentist has completed the procedure they will look amazing.  Your new teeth will be bright, white, and straight.  They are very easy to take care of because they function like natural teeth.  This means that you can brush and floss like you normally would, without taking any extra steps.

If you are ready to transform your smile, we can help.  Implant dentistry has come a long way and is continuing to provide relief for patients that want a natural beautiful smile.  The process takes time but is completely worth it because once done, you won’t have to worry about your teeth anymore. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Look into Laser Dentistry Palo Alto

laser dentistry Palo Alto
Medical technology is always changing, just like the new laser dentistry Palo Alto. A fascinating idea developed using modern technology to enhance a patient’s visit to the dentist’s office, and leaving them feeling much better than they did when they arrived, and possibly before laser dentistry ever made its debut. But what it is? Just like laser eye surgery, or cosmetic laser surgery, it is dental surgery using specially designed lasers that produce beams of light to come in contact with tissue that make up a person’s mouth. Since 1990, doctor’s having been using laser dentistry to help alleviate a host of tooth troubles. It may still not be an option for everyone, but we highly suggest you look into the latest on laser dentistry and its newest updates.

But why would you want your dentist to use a high powered beam of light on your mouth? The same reason people may opt to get laser eye surgery, it enhances their site, but with laser dentistry, the variety of its uses cannot only enhance someone’s mouth, but correct problem areas, as well. Dental lasers can be used for a host of things. If you are looking to enhance the features of your mouth, laser instruments are used for the teeth whitening process. Throw away those over the counter strips, or the promise of your brand toothpaste making your teeth white and go for the laser treatment- it’s not as complicated, and its much, faster too!

Our laser dentistry Palo Alto location offers this cutting edge technology to our patients.  The technology has also come a long way because of what it can do for patients suffering other types of oral ailments. While there are many options a patient has in treating or curing oral disease, or problematic tooth, once again the laser option is a faster option, and less invasive to. So if you frequently suffer from cold sores, have to constantly get your crowns readjusted, or are prone to infections after a root canal, laser dentistry may be the way to go. Less common, but still rather problematic dental disasters that laser dentistry can fix include helping to expose wisdom teeth that are erupting, helping overgrown tissue in the mouth that may be a side effect from certain medications, perform biopsies on the mouth to aiding in the treatment of gum disease.

Laser technology in medicine did not stop in the aid of oral care. Dentists can use laser dentistry as quicker or less stressful option in curing all types of dental ailments. Though laser dentistry is not for everyone, if you’re someone who is looking to have those wisdom teeth looked, tired of cold sores that keep coming back, to just wanting to pretty up your smile, this could be the option you have been needing. And there are no better experts when it comes to laser dentistry than the division at Laser Dentistry Palo Alto located at the Perio & Implant Center by Stanford Medical Center. Our team will help access your eligibility for laser treatment and will recommend the best course of action for you. So give us  call today and see what laser treatment can do for you!