Taking Care of You
Customized and Comprehensive
Periodontal or gum disease happens when bacteria gets below the gum line and the attachment between the gum and tooth is lost. Three out of four Americans have some form of periodontal disease and only 3 out of 100 will ever get treated before its too late.
Gum disease is a silent, chronic, painless and communicable bacterial infection that often goes undetected or ignored until severe gum and bone destruction is unbearable and no longer able to be ignored. Left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss and traditional treatment can hurt.
The latest conservative gum therapy uses a laser. The laser gently disinfects and evaporates diseased tissues from around the tooth and inside the gum pocket. This treatment interrupts the bacterial destruction of the tissues and bone, giving the gum pocket a chance to heal. Systematic repeated visits, generally 2-8, allow the gum pocket to be disease-free and sometimes allow tissues to reattach to the pocket to a normal or near-normal depth. This new laser therapy is gentle, less painful, and has a quick recovery. While surgery may still be indicated for severely advanced periodontal cases, laser therapy is a much more conservative, effective and comfortable option for beginning to moderate periodontal cases.
The Support You Need
At our office, we choose carefully which and when radiographs are taken. There are many guidelines that we follow. Radiographs allow us to see everything we cannot see with our own eyes. Radiographs enable us to detect cavities in between your teeth, determine bone level, and health of bone. We can also examine the roots and nerves of teeth, diagnose lesions such as cysts or tumors, as well as assess damage when trauma occurs.
Dental radiographs are invaluable aids in diagnosing, treating, and maintaining dental health. Exposure time for dental radiographs is extremely minimal. Dr. Pinkerton as well as Dr. Cole, utilize Digital Imaging Technologies within the office. With digital imaging, exposure time is about 50 percent less when compared to traditional radiographs. Digital imaging can also help us retrieve valuable diagnostic information. We may be able to see cavities better.
The advantages of digital imaging also enables us to not only store patient images, but enable us to quickly transfer them to appropriate specialists or insurance companies.
Oral Cancer Screening
Early Detection Saves Lives.
The new face of oral cancer
More people are being diagnosed with oral cancer than ever before. But surprisingly, research shows this increase is not due to the traditional risk factors of drinking, smoking, or using chewing tobacco.
A new reason for concern
Oral cancer is now being found in a younger population of men and women who don't smoke or drink heavily. Once reason for this increase in people under age 40 is due to exposure to the HPV-16 and HPV-18 viruses, know collectively as the human papillomavirus. The HPV virus can spread by intimate contact, including kissing. That is why the Centers for Disease Control recommends that all patients over the age of 17 be screened annually for oral cancer.
The signs and symptoms of oral cancer are often missed by the naked eye, especially in its early stages. The Identafi uses a revolutionary light-wave technology that can help clinicians detect abnormalities that may lead to oral cancer, so that something can be done about it as soon as possible. Early detection means early treatment, and a cure rate of nearly 90%.
Your dental professional, on the front line of detection, has a revolutionary new medical device called Identafi that uses multi-spectral technology to identify biochemical and morphological changes in the cells of your mouth, throat, tongue and tonsils. These changes are subtle, as they happen at the cellular level, and therefore often go undetected by the naked eye. These changes are made visible through the use of Identafi's unique three-wavelength technology, which illuminates possible areas of change that may signal the occurrence or early beginnings of oral cancer.
Here's how it works:
Using the Identafi in the "White Light" mode, your dental professional will first examine the entire oral cavity. The upper portion of the mouth and inner contour of the teeth are examined first, followed by the lower portion of the mouth. The tongue, hard and soft palate, and the pharynx are then examined.
Next, the instrument is switched to the patented 405-nanometer "Fluorescent Violet Light" to identify any areas of abnormal tissue growth, which may be benign or cancerous.
Finally, the instrument is switched to "Green-Amber Reflectance Light" to examine the blood vessels around the lesions. Areas with increased diffuse vasculature are more likely to become precancerous or cancerous.
Oral cancer signs and symptoms
In its earliest stages, most oral cancer is virtually undetectable by just looking. And when oral cancer begins, it may not always produce pain or discomfort. In other words, it is possible to have oral cancer or pre-cancer without even knowing it.
That is why it is important for everyone to be screened for oral cancer at least once per year. However, if you notice a change in your mouth or throat, such as a sore, or red or white spot that lasts longer than 2 weeks, you should contact our office immediately.