Thursday, February 20, 2014

What is Gum Recession and How is it Treated?

People that are suffering from gum recession have their gum tissue slowly erode. The amount of gum tissue that surrounds the teeth slowly disappears or recedes back toward the root of the tooth.  This can be a sign of gum disease and become painful over time.

The main danger with a receding gum line is that the area between your teeth and gums will become exposed for bacteria to gather and cause infection or disease.  People with receding gums are at greater risk for losing their teeth.


Many people suffer from gum recession.  This regularly occurring phenomenon often goes untreated because it happens gradually, without causing an alarm.  By the time some people notice the problem an infection has already set in.

Signs of gum recession:
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Teeth looking longer than they used to
  • Feeling a notch near the gum line.

What causes gums to recede in the first place?

It is possible for gums to recede without provocation.  There are, however, risk factors you can avoid.

  • Aggressive tooth brushing.  Try using a toothbrush with soft bristles and go gently around your gum line.  An electronic toothbrush is your best option.
  • Hormonal changes.  Women are more susceptible to having receding gums after periods of hormonal changes like pregnancy and menopause.
  • Tobacco.  Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can leave plaque on teeth, increasing the risk of all oral health problems.
  • Periodontal disease.  This is a bacterial infection that can destroy gum tissue.
  • Genes.  According to several studies, over 30 percent of the population is predisposed to receding gums.
  • Poor dental care.  People that don’t visit the dentist for teeth cleanings and checkups are more likely to experience all types of dental problems.

Treatment Options

If you are suffering from gum recession there are various ways to treat it. A laser dentist, like Dr. Pechak, is able to provide the least painful treatment options by using modern laser technology.

Treatment includes:
  • Tooth scaling and root planning.  This involves a deep cleaning of the teeth and gum area.  The dentist will take a tool and place it underneath the gum line to remove plaque.  Dr. Pechak uses a laser to remove the plaque under the gum line, so the patient doesn’t have the pain, swelling, or bleeding usually associated with this procedure.
  • Pocket depth reduction.  In this procedure, a dentist folds the gum tissue back, removes bacteria, and secures the gum tissue over the root line which eliminates any pockets or gaps. 
  • Connective tissue graft.  Tissue taken from under the roof of your mouth is stitched to your gum line.  The tissue grafts together to create a new gum line.

Gum recession and subsequent treatment is a serious health concern that should be treated by an expert dentist.  Laser dentistry can provide relief in a minimally invasive way.  Dr. Pechak treats receding gums and provides laser dentistry, making the Perio & Implant Center of the Monterey Bay a destination for patients with all types of oral health concerns.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Should You Get Dental Implants?

To improve your smile, try dental implants.  They can give you the smile you have always wanted, one that is bright and beautiful. Dentists that specialize in this procedure are able to transform smiles using long lasting implants.  Before you decide to have the procedure, it is important to consider all options and discuss with your dentist whether or not implants are right for you.

Why do you want implants?

If you are simply looking to brighten your smile, laser teeth whitening is the first and best solution.  We can perform this treatment in our office in under an hour. Your teeth will instantly be several shades whiter and help you to look younger and more refreshed.

If your teeth have stains that won’t come out, are uneven, or chipped, veneers are an ideal solution.  They are essentially customized fronts to your existing teeth.  The dentist has perfectly shaped, and colored veneers made that are then glued to the front of you teeth.  This is a much faster process than dental implants.
If, however, you suffer from missing teeth, diseased teeth, severely damaged teeth, or crooked teeth, dental implants may be the most effective treatments.  These implants completely replace your existing tooth.  You can replace one, several, or all of your teeth using implants. 

How are dental implants installed?

This is a multi-step process.  Your dentist will remove your existing tooth (unless it has already fallen out) then install a metal piece under your gum line that is attached to your jaw bone.  Over the period of several months, it will become secure enough for a second metal piece to be attached to it that will serve as an anchor for your synthetic tooth. 

The dental lab will create your new teeth, and they will be carefully attached to the metal posts that have been implanted into your mouth.  This process can take up to one year. 

The reason it is so effective is that the metal piece serves as the root structure.  With its being anchored to bone, implants are extremely sturdy, enabling patients to eat and behave like normal.  This is an important treatment option for patients that have lost teeth as implants can restore their speech, ability to eat, and self confidence.

Caring for implants

It is extremely important to take care of your dental implants by practicing good oral hygiene.  Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth will help you to avoid any future infection.  It is also wise to use an antibacterial mouth wash or gargle with a water and baking soda mixture. There is a risk of infection with any procedure and the best way to avoid one is to keep your mouth clean and germ free.

Dental implants give patients the freedom to enjoy life without worrying about their teeth.  Things like dentures will help those that have lost teeth, but they can be uncomfortable to wear, difficult to clean, and lead to additional disease.  This can be avoided with professionally implanted synthetic teeth.  Dr. Pechak is an expert at implant dentistry and able to provide patients with the care and results they are looking for. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Laser Dentistry is the Modern Face of Dentistry

Technology has made laser dentistry possible.  This new and improved approach to solving dental health problems is both less invasive and less painful for dental patients than traditional dentistry.  People can get out of the dental chair and back to their lives faster with this new and improved approach to patient care.

Dental lasers are used for multiple things including:
  • Dental surgery
  • Treating gum disease
  • Removing plaque
  • Enhance tooth bleaching
  • Remove objects infected by tooth disease
  • And more!

Laser dentistry is practiced by dentists that want to offer patients alternatives to traditional dental care.  Dentists must be properly trained in how to use a laser and apply it to each type of dental procedure.  Only select dentists offices offer this alternative to patients, so it is important to ask when making a first time appointment.

What are the benefits of laser dentistry?

The benefits are numerous with the overarching goal being to reduce pain and recovery time while improving the result of a dental procedure.  When lasers are used in dental surgery the need for anesthesia is decreased.  Lasers also prevent or decrease bleeding and swelling.  Dental procedures performed with a laser can also take less time than those conducted with traditional instruments. 

While this is a relatively new technology there are minimal health risks or concerns.  Patients are required to wear protective eye gear, along with anyone else that is watching or helping with the procedure.  A laser is quiet and can barely be felt.

Patients that opt for laser treatment typically experience a much faster recovery time than those undergoing traditional dental surgery or dental procedures.  When a laser is involved there is no need or little need for cutting gums and requiring stitches.  They are also extremely accurate, so only the infected or damaged area is touched by a laser, keeping the nearby gums intact. 

Laser Dentistry at an Office Visit

While lasers have had the greatest and most significant impact on how dental surgeries are completed, they are also used to make routine office visits more comfortable for the patient.  For example, a laser can be used in place of a drill or scalpel.  They can be used to detect cavities and quickly remove infected areas of the tooth.  When a patient needs to have a tooth repaired, a laser can help the material used to bond the tooth set faster.

There is more than one type of laser.  The lasers for soft tissue are used to treat gums, tongue, and cheek tissue.  They will often be used to ease the pain and swelling from surgery by sealing blood vessels.  Hard lasers, on the other hand, are used to treat teeth and bones.  They are most often used in surgery, to repair a filling, and to remove infected parts of the tooth.

The dentist needs to be trained and up to date on the latest laser technology in order to provide patients with the most effective laser dentistry.  This cutting edge technology can revolutionize your visit to the dentist and help you to feel better in no time. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Implant Dentistry Will Restore Your Smile

For people that have lost teeth   implant dentistry is the solution to regaining their beautiful smile while being able to eat like normal.  This is a permanent solution and once the new teeth have been implanted a patient can go about their life without adding extra steps to their daily routine.
People lose teeth for a variety of reasons including:
  • Gum Disease
  • Tooth Decay
  • Cavities
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia

Tooth loss can impact people of all ages, and when a tooth falls out, it can damage a person’s self confidence, desire to interact with others, and cause them to be embarrassed.  Fortunately, there is a solution.  Implant dentistry replaces missing teeth while preserving a patients facial structure and appearance.


How Does Implant Dentistry Work?

Small titanium posts are inserted into the jaw bone where the teeth are missing.  The metal anchors and attached posts act like the roots of the tooth.  An artificial tooth is then secured to the post.  This procedure creates teeth that look completely natural and function like a normal tooth.  Patients can eat whatever they want and care for their artificial teeth like they would their natural ones.

The Process

The entire process normally lasts around six to eight months with two dental surgeries. 
  • Implants are placed under the gum surface, within the jaw bone.
  • Over three to six months these implants bond with the jaw bone.
  • Artificial teeth are made.
  • Surgery is completed to attach a post to an existing implant and secure the new teeth to it.

Patients will often wear dentures while waiting for the process to be completed.  During this time, they will be able to eat softer foods and regain full functionality after the final surgical step is completed.  Though the process lasts for a while, it should not interfere with a patient’s lifestyle.

Once the new teeth have been implanted patients will have their old smile back, and the confidence that goes with it.  Being able to speak clearly, have self-confidence, and eat normal foods are all benefits of having a full set of teeth. Losing even one tooth can disrupt a person’s life style.  Implant dentistry is the best option for regaining that lovely smile.

Caring for Teeth

It is critical that dental patients take care of their new dental implants and the rest of their teeth.  Oral health impacts the entire body.  Ignoring it will only lead to long term pain and health risks.  There are steps everyone can take to improve their oral hygiene and long term health.
  • Brush and floss twice a day.
  • Eat green vegetables and other calcium rich foods.
  • Eat nuts.
  • Visit the dentist every six months.
  • Stop smoking.

It is especially important to practice good habits after having dental implants put in.  If some of your teeth have fallen out this puts you at a higher risk for losing additional teeth in the future.  Caring for them now will keep your teeth healthy and you out of the doctor’s chair.

To learn more about implant dentistry call Dr. Pechak at 831-648-8800.