Treating Gum Disease Without the Scalpels

Posted on December 6, 2018

It’s true: many patients are afraid of dentists and periodontists (gum specialists). They don’t like the bright lights, the noises, and the scalpels – especially the scalpels! This can probably explain why many people tend to visit the dentist when things have really gotten bad. Fortunately, dental technology has advanced to such a point that there are ways to treat oral health problems as painlessly as possible.

One of the most common gum surgery procedures is known as osseous surgery. Sometimes pockets form in the gum tissue around your teeth, allowing for bacteria to infect the gums, which poses a serious threat to your dental health. Osseous surgery helps by making incisions in the gums so that the surgeon can access the roots of the teeth and clean the tartar off of them.  Afterwards, they stitch the gums back together to form a tighter, more snug fit around your teeth that’s easier for you to keep clean. This procedure is extremely invasive and many patients might not feel particularly comfortable with the idea of small scalpels and sharp instruments digging around in their mouth. However, there is an alternative that is proven effective, cleared by the FDA, and minimally-invasive!

Dr. Gordon Wilson was one of the first dentists in the world licensed to perform LANAP (laser gum surgery). It works without making any scalpel incisions and it doesn’t require stitches. This allows for less trauma, less bleeding, less swelling, a shorter recovery time, and of course little-to-no pain. A tiny dental laser (about the thickness of three human hairs) is inserted between the tooth and gums , and any infected gum tissue is separated from the healthy gum tissue. The roots of the teeth are cleaned before the laser is used again to form a blood clot that seals the gap formed by the laser. It heals quickly and patients report a recovery period of less than 24 hours. Traditional gum disease surgery would require recovery of two to four weeks and restrictions including a liquid diet.

As someone on the forefront of dental technological advancements, Dr. Wilson has been an early adopter of LANAP surgery, with more operation time under his belt than almost anyone else in the world.  Book a consultation today to learn more about whether laser gum surgery is right for you.

All About Extractions

Posted on October 31, 2018

When all else fails with your damaged, decayed, or weakened teeth, sometimes we have to resort to drastic measures: an extraction. At TLC 4 Gums, we try to save your teeth where possible, but sometimes there are cases where the safest and healthiest thing to do for you and your teeth is by extracting the affected tooth to stop the problem from spreading and posing a risk.

There are many reasons why an extraction is needed:

·      Removing wisdom teeth when they cause problems

·      Baby teeth that aren’t falling out when they should

·      Decayed, damaged, or weak teeth that cannot be saved through other means

Since extractions will remove the affected tooth in question, pain relief is essentially immediate as the ‘root’ cause of the pain is physically eliminated!

Some patients may feel that an extraction is unnecessary or are afraid to undergo it. However, a single damaged tooth can spread to other teeth if it’s not taken care of as soon as possible. Where infection is the cause, it can cause other teeth to become decayed or damaged. If it’s not dealt with soon, you might be seeing multiple tooth extractions rather than just one!

When a tooth is extracted, Dr Wilson will discuss options for what comes next, such as a dental implant.  This is a type of socket that can accommodate a replacement tooth where the removed tooth used to be, allowing for full dental function to be restored when possible.  Another option is a dental bridge to “bridge the gap” so to speak.

It goes without saying that just because teeth can be removed and replaced doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about dental care anymore. Extractions are still serious and maintaining dental hygiene is crucial to protecting teeth and staying out of the dentist’s office as much as possible.

At TLC 4 Gums, Dr Gordon Wilson provides dental extractions as well as general dentistry services, helping you prevent issues from getting worse and offering comprehensive dental care. Contact us to book an appointment today at (480) 630-4655.

What Is a Root Canal, Really?

Posted on October 16, 2018

A common saying is that something is ‘as fun as a root canal’. We immediately recoil as we imagine someone making holes in your teeth with power tools. But is that really what it’s like? What do you really know about root canals? Let’s go into some more detail about this important procedure.

More than 15 million root canal procedures are performed each year on people with an infected or decaying tooth. When this decay takes hold, it spreads everywhere in your tooth, including the pulp, the nerves, and even the bone and surrounding teeth if you’re not careful.

If you experience:

·      Pain when biting or chewing

·      Darkening of the tooth compared to the surrounding teeth

·      Sensitivity from hot or cold

·      Fractures in the tooth

It may very well be due to an infected tooth. The last thing anyone would want is a tooth extraction, so if these signs are caught early on, Dr Wilson is able to perform root canal therarpy, keeping the tooth firmly ‘rooted’ in your mouth!

Root canal therapy consists of administering local anesthesia to the mouth, making an opening in the top of your tooth, and then carefully cleaning out any sign of infected pulp from the tooth. This then reveals a gap within that needs to be filled. Later, a filling compound, such as a special type of resin, is used to fill the space. This filling compound will harden once applied, restoring the integrity of the tooth. Dr Wilson is then able to place a crown on top, restoring function and saving your tooth from an extraction.

Root canals may seem scary and sound painful, but they are an essential procedure for many patients who are able to catch dental problems before they become complications. Indeed, the pain from a root canal is nothing compared to the pain an infected tooth can cause without any intervention.

Dr Gordon Wilson is an experienced dental professional in the Maricopa County area. His skill, knowledge, and experience will help you achieve improved dental health no matter your dental needs. Contact TLC for Gums at (480) 630-4655 to book an appointment today.

The Truth About Flossing

Posted on October 9, 2018

We are often told to floss our teeth on a daily basis. Flossing is meant to remove plaque in the hard-to-reach areas of your teeth before it becomes tartar, which is a harder substance that can damage your gums and cause serious issues to your dental and overall health down the road. But really, how effective is flossing, and are there other ways to protect your teeth?

Flossing is known as tartar control, and its aim is to remove plaque before it becomes tartar. It takes about 12 to 72 hours for plaque to start to harden into tartar.

However, there is something that you may not be aware of: flossing only reaches 1 to 2 mm into a sulcus or periodontal pocket, so a deeper pocket will lead to you missing 60 to 80% of the plaque on the roots of your teeth. Once it hardens, the chances for gum disease increase significantly. The effectiveness of flossing to protect against gum disease is severely reduced by this issue.

At TLC 4 Gums, we promote plaque control instead of tartar control. We want to prevent the formation of tartar by preventing the formation plaque; which is extremely effective. We offer revolutionary, minimally-invasive, and effective treatments for gum disease in addition to comprehensive cosmetic and general dental care.

If you are in the Phoenix or Peoria, AZ areas, come and book a consultation with Dr. Wilson to find out the best ways to protect and treat your teeth for your specific needs.

What Is Composite Filling?

Posted on September 25, 2018

If you want to take the next step in optimising your smile, a cosmetic dental procedure might be the right way to go. But which procedure is best? This week, we’ll take a look at composites.

Fillingis a dental procedure that can often be completed in one visit. If your teeth are chipped or there are gaps that you feel are detracting from your smile, composite bonding may be your best bet. Composite filling works by using composite resin, which hardens after light exposure. Your dentist will locate the chipped or gap tooth and apply a chemical that enables the resin to stick to the tooth. Afterwards, the resin is applied and refined until it is consistent in both smoothness and colour with the rest of your teeth. Composite filling can restore and hide any gaps or chips with ease.

The resin used is durable but not as strong as natural teeth, so it’s recommended to be careful when biting or chewing on hard food. Try not to bite your fingernails or anything that could potentially chip the bonded resin. To maintain the bond, regular brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups are all you need.

Composite filling is an alternative to veneers for those who do not want to have their enamel removed or prefer a non-permanent solution. Come visit us at TLC4Gums to learn more about our cosmetic dental procedures and find out which treatment is the best for your smile.