Restorative Dentistry

Gum Disease Treatment

Inflammation around the teeth is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It is reversible with proper treatment. If untreated, gingivitis advances to periodontitis which is loss of the supporting bone structure around the teeth. Periodontitis is not reversible and is permanent. Although periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, its damage can be lessened when treated by a dental professional at an early stage. Gum disease does not heal on its own. It requires professional treatment followed by diligent home care.

It is possible to have gum disease without pain or other symptoms. Often, plaque accumulates beneath the gums and hardens. The hardened plaque is called calculus. Calculus needs to be removed to allow the gums to heal properly. Removal of calculus is called a "deep cleaning" or scaling and root planing.


Fillings are used to replace missing tooth structure caused by either cavities or small chips and fractures. Fillings can be either silver or white colored. Most of the fillings we place are resin composite tooth colored fillings.


Crowns are used to replace large amounts of missing tooth structure or to strengthen a fractured tooth. If the tooth has had a large cavity, the outside parts are often very thin and prone to fractures. Crowns act as a band around the tooth and transmit the biting forces to the root which is often still healthy. We place all-porcelain crowns, porcelain fused to metal, and zirconia tooth colored crowns.

Tooth Replacements

There are several options for replacing missing teeth. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option including time, cost, repair, comfort, and chewing function.


Dentures are used to replace an entire area of missing teeth. Complete dentures replace either all upper or all lower missing teeth. Lower dentures often require implants for additional support and retention.


Partials replace one or more missing teeth. They are often attached to the adjacent teeth to keep them from moving when force is placed on them. Partials have to be removed for cleaning and before bedtime.


Bridges are fixed permanently to healthy adjacent teeth. They are not removable. Bridges are often used to replace one or two missing teeth.


Implants can replace any number of missing teeth. An oral surgeon or a periodontist will place a titanium screw where the root of the missing tooth was located. After a period of healing (called the integration), the implant is evaluated for tightness. A tooth is then fabricated and placed on the intregrated titanium root. Implants are wonderful options for missing teeth. They do not require alterations of adjacent teeth and do not place additional forces on those teeth. They are impervious to decay and with proper care can last many decades.