Dental tooth dentistry student learning teaching model showing teeth, roots, gums, gum disease, tooth decay and plaque.

Dental Implants vs. Dentures

At some point in our lives, we unfortunately may come across a time when we need some periodontal work.  Periodontology is the study of dentistry that deals with the inner structures of teeth.  This study includes looking at the diseases that may affect this area and cause disruption within the structure.  If disease and disruption is the case, and it hasn’t been treated for some time, it’s possible that dental implants or dentures may be required.  But, which do you choose?  For years there has been much controversy over which dental treatment is better.  In either case, visiting a periodontist in Los Angeles will help to determine the state of your teeth’s structure and which option is best for you.  Below, we dive into the pros and cons of both.

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Detail of an old Dentist’s Chair

A Brief History of Dentistry and Endodontics

Dentistry, the study, prevention, and treatment of diseases in the oral cavity, has a long, winding history, almost as long as mankind’s. The earliest hint of dentistry dates as far back as 7000 B.C., making it one of the earliest specializations in the medical field. Beyond general dentistry arrived more specializations within the field, including periodontal and endodontic dentistry. With these specializations, dentistry and treatment options have grown immensely.

For more information from your periodontal dentist in Los Angeles, get in touch with Dr. Kao today!

The First Dentistry School

On February 21st, 1828, the first dental school was opened in Bainbridge, Ohio. Started by Dr. John M. Harris, the school put dentistry on the map as a top health profession. Today, the school remains open as a museum of dentistry history.

Beyond Bainbridge, a second school, and the first official dentistry college, was opened in 1840 in Baltimore – the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, and a third in Philadelphia in 1852 — the Philadelphia College of Dental Surgery.

These schools aided in dentistry being seen as a serious career choice. It also aided in providing the effective and attentive education that one needed going into the profession. Not only was dentistry separating itself as an important sector of the medical field, it was claiming its needs as a highly regarded and unique profession.

Specialized Dentistry

Within the dentistry field grew specialized positions meant to target certain aspects of dentistry that required further education. While general dentists handle most common dental needs, these certain specialized professions are able to focus on a minute detail or issue with the oral cavity and provide the most effective treatment. Endoodontics and periodontics are the two most common.

Dentist Vs. Endodontist

The difference between a dentist and an endodontist is that a dentist provides all general dentist care — preventive care, and dental hygiene, while an endodontist specializes in treatment of the dental pulp. A general dentist will focus on cleaning the patients’ teeth by general hygiene treatment of teeth and gums, fill cavities, and determine whether or not a patient needs more specialized work, like a root canal. That’s where an endodontist comes in. An endodontist takes care of more serious matter regarding the nerves and inner workings of a tooth. While endodontists have the same education and are able to perform everything a general dentist would, they are required to complete an additional two years of education in order to be certified as a specialist.

What Is A Periodontist?

A periodontal dentist, or a periodontist, is a dentist that specializes in the treatment of gum disease. A periodontal dentist in Los Angeles will also look at the structure of teeth and their surrounding conditions (as mentioned, namely gum disease) and can determine whether or not an implant is necessary within your oral cavity. Periodontists are highly adept at determining and treating oral inflammation as well, such as gingivitis. Another gum infection that periodontists treat is periodontitis. Similar to gingivitis, there may be signs of inflammation such as redness and swelling, but this gum disease can also go so far as to cause tooth loss or increase heart attack. When gingivitis goes untreated, it may lead to periodontitis and cause damage to the soft tissue and any supportive bone that your teeth need to thrive.

Periodontal Dentist in Los Angeles

Taking care of your teeth may seem more cosmetic than health concerning, but there is certainly more to it than meets the eye. If periodontitis goes untreated, it can even take your life, which is why it is important to pay a visit to a periodontal dentist. In Los Angeles, Dr. David S. Kao DDS has you covered on the best periodontal treatment. If you believe you are suffering from gum disease and would like to learn more about your treatment options or schedule a consultation, give us a call at 213-250-7554 or visit us on our website. Soon you’ll be in the hands of the best periodontal dentist in Los Angeles. Read more

strong healthy straight white perfect teeth

How Laser Gum Therapy Works

It is important in any industry to be on the forefront of the latest technology, and although lasers have been a common word in the modern vernacular for some time, they are still making many improvements for periodontists. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the effectiveness of lasers on gum disease is still up for debate, but with many more studies being done in the future, hopefully a more conclusive answer will be found. One thing is certain: Dr. Kao is always on the cutting edge of the periodontal industry and keeps up with the latest trends and most effective procedures. If you are looking for a periodontist in downtown Los Angeles, look no further than Dr. Kao.

Contact your periodontal dentist 90017 here!

How does laser gum therapy work?

The benefit of using lasers to treat the gums is that minimal tissue is removed to fix the problem. Traditionally, the process to repair gum disease, or periodontitis, was called scaling and root planing, which is where a hand tool is used to clean out the infected area below the gum line and then smooth the rough areas at the root of the teeth to prevent further bacteria buildup and infection. The same process has become much more effective and involved much less tissue removal with the incorporation of lasers into the scaling and root planing method. Now, periodontists can use lasers to kill the infected tissue and bacteria in a certain area, and also use an ultrasonic root cleaner in place of scraping. The laser can also be used in the recovery process by warming the stem cells once the procedure is completed to create sealed tissue at the root. Ultimately, lasers are intended to streamline the process of fixing periodontitis with minimal damage to the tooth and root.

What are the benefits and disadvantages?

With this new technological advancement in the treatment of gum disease, there are many benefits:

  • Because the use of hand tools is mitigated with lasers, there is much less gum bleeding when a periodontitis procedure is performed. There is also much less chance of bacterial infections because fewer tools are coming into direct contact with the gums.
  • By allowing periodontists to have more control over the wavelengths used for each specific patient, each procedure can be tailor made to fit the patient’s level of severity. It also allows dentists to focus more accurately on the infected area, and not have any collateral damage to the surrounding teeth.
  • There is less trauma to the gums when using lasers, so the recovery time is significantly less, and the procedure has become less invasive.
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    Senior woman studio portrait

    Eating with Dentures

    Adjusting to dentures can be a trying time in your life, especially as you get used to new changes in your mouth. The way you eat, smile, and even sleep may be different than you have been used to before. Dentures are an advanced treatment solution that can allow you the freedom of eating and functioning independently, the way you deserve. But getting used to the feeling can take a bit of time.

    Here at the office of David S. Kao, trusted periodontist in Los Angeles, we want you to be as comfortable with your new installations as possible. Your dentures should feel like natural teeth in no time. This means that there are certain ways to eat that may help you live comfortably and happily.

    1. Don’t Bite Too Much

    It’s best to start out slow. You may be tempted to bite down on your favorite food items, even if they are hard, tough, or chewy. But remember that your dentures need to get used to you just as much as you need to get used to them. While the dentures are still settling in, try not to bite using the front of your mouth. This can cause an imbalance during this sensitive period.

    2. Brush and Floss Regularly

    You may not ever regain 100% of that feeling of eating with natural teeth. However, dentures can come close, allowing you to chew and navigate comfortably with your mouth. Soon, they will be just as much a part of your natural body as the rest of you.

    This means that you should take extra time and care to engage in healthy dental hygiene, just as you would with your natural teeth. A daily routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing out your mouth can really go a long way. Remember to wash your dentures when you take them out at night. Take this as an opportunity to brush your gums and tongue as well.

    3. Know What Damages Dentures

    Dr. Kao wants you to be aware of certain types and substances of foods that can be damaging to your dentures, even if you have been wearing them for years. As you grow used to them, you will find it easier to eat pretty much anything, but that doesn’t mean it’s always good for your implants.

    Stay away from foods that continue to be super sticky or chewy. This can damage the dentures, costing you an expensive repair job.

    4. What to Avoid

    When you’re first starting out, there are several things you may want to avoid in order to make the transition into denture life a bit easier. As you adjust, you will find your confidence growing and your ability to eat more diverse foods increasing.

    At the beginning, however, try to stay away from hot and chewy foods. You’ll also want to avoid chewing gum, as this can severely damage the dentures. Lastly, if any of your food contains sharp bones or sharp objects, try to stay away from it until you are an experienced denture veteran.

    Periodontist in Los Angeles

    Trouble eating? Teeth falling out? Hurting gums? Dr. Kao, your periodontist in Los Angeles can help get you fitted with the right treatment solution that will build your confidence back up and help you live a more comfortable life. For more information about eating with dentures and other dental implants procedures, you can get in touch with our friendly staff members today. Simply contact us online or give us a call at (213) 250-7554 today. Read more