Our Pledge To You
My staff and I will do all we can to provide you the most
up-to-date treatment procedures in a safe and compassionate environment.
Infection control and sterilization are a primary concern in our office. Diseases, such as AIDS and hepatitis, are concerns to both patients and healthcare workers alike. We take this aspect of our practice very seriously and use ADA approved guidelines for both barrier techniques (gloves, masks, gowns), surface decontamination and water line disinfection. All instruments are autoclaved (steam heat sterilized) and our sterilizer is checked regularly for effectiveness as well.
My staff and I are committed to keeping you as comfortable as possible during your time in the office. Anti-anxiety medication is available to assist your comfort during treatment with us. Very successful relief from the anxiety of dental treatment can be obtained with oral medication. This will be discussed at your initial visit.
Local Dental Anesthesia
Dental anesthetic injections are provided by both
Dr. Diederich and our registered dental hygienists in order to make your treatment more comfortable, as well as more effective. Knowing this is the least favorite part of a patients' treatment, we all use great care in administering your anesthesia. Topical anesthetic is used to numb the tissue surface, then slow careful administration of the anesthetic limits any discomfort greatly.
Scaling & Root Planing ("deep cleaning")
Many periodontal patients begin their treatment with this phase. Since periodontal disease results from plaque and tartar loosening the gum and being deposited on the root surfaces, the first step towards returning to a healthy mouth is removing these deposits so the tissues can begin healing. This is a non-surgical procedure provided by a skilled dental hygienist who carefully cleans the root below the gumline. This therapy is usually performed in two sessions, one appointment for each side of the mouth. Once this has been completed and the patient instructed in home care, the patient returns 4-6 weeks later to be re-evaluated. At that time, it is decided whether his/her periodontal disease has been brought under control or whether additional treatment is needed.
Occlusal ("bite") Therapy
Two kinds of bite related therapy may be part of periodontal treatment:
Occlusal or bite adjustment. When the contact relationship between teeth (how they bite together) is injuring the supporting tissues, the teeth are carefully adjusted or reshaped to contact and slide more evenly. This facilitates healing and helps loose teeth become firm again.
Bite splint or night guard therapy. If a patient has many loose teeth and appears to clench or grind at night, a retainer-like appliance is fabricated to protect the teeth from trauma and excess wear. The appliance is adjusted so that it contacts the opposing teeth evenly and they slide smoothly against it. This type of appliance is also used to treat sore jaw muscles and joints.
The need for "surgical cleaning" will be explained at your initial visit. The need is determined by both the initial severity of your disease as well as the response found at the re-evaluation after the scaling and root planing phase has been completed. This procedure is performed in order to gain access to areas that scaling simply cannot reach. The access is obtained by relaxing the gumline after it is numb and replacing it when the procedure is complete. It also affords access to place materials that can help regenerate lost bone support.
Laser Periodontal Therapy
Laser periodontal therapy is a new alternative to conventional periodontal surgery. The laser targets and destroys disease-causing bacteria as well as diseased tissue. While it is considered a surgical prodedure, no incisions or sutures (stitches) are used. Laser therapy is part of an established protocol for the treatment of moderate to advanced periodontal disease which includes occlusal (bite) therapy.
Maintenance (recare) Procedures
The recare phase is the most important phase of periodontal therapy. It involves periodontal cleaning by a dental hygienist, both in our office and at your general dentist, at an interval consistent with keeping our patients healthy. Typically, this is every 3-4 months.
Crown lengthening– In preparing a tooth for a crown, sufficient tooth structure is needed to help hold the crown in place. Sometimes, due to decay or fracture, the dentist will request "crown lengthening" for a tooth so the crown can be properly contoured and to ensure the crown will not irritate the adjacent tissues. The procedure is done under local anesthesia to reposition the tissue so more tooth structure is made available for the crown. This procedure can also be used to help a "gummy smile" where the anterior teeth appear too short.
Soft Tissue Grafting– To heal recession, roots can be covered with soft tissue grafts. Any tooth with progressive (increasing) recession, thermal sensitivity or one that compromises esthetics is a potential candidate for soft tissue grafting. The procedure is done under local anesthesia and involves transplanting tissue to the area of recession.
Bone Grafting– Bone grafts can be used to repair bone loss from periodontal disease or to enhance a site in preparation for a dental implant. Bone graft materials can be obtained from tissue banks or the patients own bone can be used. The procedure is done under local anesthesia, after the gumline has been relaxed and the graft site properly prepared.
Dental Implants– Dental implants are explained in their own section. Click here to learn more.