Advancements in Periodontics
What does a periodontist do?
Traditionally a periodontist treats disease related to gum tissue and bone around the teeth, but the specialty has evolved over the years. Today, my practice is about 70 percent dental implant and related procedures. Often when a tooth is removed because of periodontal disease or tooth-related infections, there will be a defect in the bone that will need to be regenerated either at the same time or before implant placement. Regenerating bone and soft tissues is a special concentration within the field of periodontics.
Why can’t my general dentist place my implant?
Some general dentists do offer these services and there are a lot of great general dentists in this area. But many of them prefer to refer their patient to a specialist for implant placement and that’s where we come in. Periodontics is a recognized specialty of American Dental Association requiring an additional three-year residency program concentrated on periodontal regeneration, implants, bone grafting, tissue grafting, and other advanced procedures needed to place an implant.
How can periodontal disease affect my overall health?
Several research studies have linked heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic inflammatory conditions to gum disease. Because the mouth is attached to the rest of the body, gum and periodontal infections can release inflammatory markers which can travel to your heart and other systems. If you have heart disease or diabetes, controlling inflammation from gum disease can contribute to your overall health.
What other services do you routinely perform?
Periodontists also correct gum recession and cover up exposed root surfaces which can be unsightly as well as sensitive to hot and cold. You can also have too much gum tissue and bone causing you to have a “gummy smile.” We can reduce your tissue around these teeth giving you a fuller and more beautiful smile. These procedures are often used to lay the foundation for cosmetic procedures or smile makeovers. In addition, we receive many referrals to help diagnose and treat unusual abnormalities and lesions in the oral cavity in which biopsy or special testing is needed. If there are unexplained changes in your mouth, teeth, and gums, consult a periodontist.
What new technology has you excited?
Imaging has greatly advanced with cone beam CT scans (CBCT) enabling us to see exactly what’s going on underneath the tissue with precise 3D images of the entire mouth. Images are much clearer making diagnosis more accurate. The X-ray beam can be used to target very small areas and offers us a full, three dimensional view we can turn and see from all sides. This allows us to diagnose lesions located in the bone much sooner, including cancer. Also, through the use of CBCT scans and improved software, implant dentistry has become more precise, including guided implant surgery. We know exactly what we’re going to find before we open the tissue. We know the condition of the bone before we go in allowing us to be more adept.
About the Expert
David Philofsky, DDS, MS
McKinney Periodontics & Implant Dentistry
Dr. Philofsky graduated with honors from Baylor College of Dentistry where he received his DDS, MS, and certificate in Periodontics. He’s served as adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Periodontics at Texas A&M College of Dentistry and travels on medical/dental mission trips to Zambia. Dr. Philofsky is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. He and his family are proud to call McKinney home.
Get in Touch
McKinneyPeriodontics.com // (972) 569-8448