What Are Dental Implants

What Are Dental Implants?

 

Yes, that’s right, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman are Denver’s specialists in dental implants, and if you are reading this, then you are in the right place.  But what are dental implants, who needs them, and how are they placed?

What are implants?

Dental implants are prosthetic replacements for missing teeth.  A natural tooth is comprised of a crown and a root.  The crown is the large and white section of the tooth that is visible when a mouth is open.  The root is underneath the gums as it extends to the jawbone and provides support.  Dental implants mimic this same structure.  The implant replaces the root in which a crown is placed.

Dental implants are made of three parts.  The first is the implant itself which is inserted to the bone.  The second is the abutment.  The abutment is the piece that connects the implant to the crown.  Which bring me to the third part, the crown itself.  Most of the implants are made of titanium as it is durable and compatible to fuse with bone.

Do you need dental implants?

First thing first, if you are questioning the need for dental implants, be sure to make an appointment to consult with Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman, and they will be sure comprise a personalized treatment plan.  Dental implants are great for those who have a single missing tooth, several missing teeth, or need a full replacement set.  Dental implants are great replacements for dentures or bridges.  Implants are strong and durable to help you eat normally.  They also have the look and feel of natural teeth.  So, yes it’s true, you can get your beautiful smile back.  If you do not believe, look at these testimonials from our Denver patients. 

 How are they placed?

The word ‘implant’ can make the procedure sound complicated and intimidating, but most implant surgeries are performed safely within a dentist’s office, like here at Periodontal Associates.  Dental implants are placed during a simple outpatient procedure.  For some procedures, forms of patient sedation may be used, such as nitrous oxide.  Every treatment is different depending on the situation, preferences, or patient, but all are safe and with a high percent of success rate. (Especially if your doctor is Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, or Dr. Beckman).

Now that you have learned about dental implants, you may have realized that there is a way to improve your quality of life, and it is not difficult. Even if you have lost just one tooth – whether it is a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.

Drs. Versman and Heller were one of the first U.S. dentists to study directly with the inventors of today’s implants. They have educated dentists, periodontists and dental students about dental implants and implant procedures for many years, and have lectured on the subject in the Denver/Aurora, Colorado area, nationally and internationally! At Periodontal AssociatesThe Dental Implant Team, we are the market leader and we are driving the development of new dental implant standards and protocols. We wish to share this exciting information with you and answer all of your questions.

For an improved quality of life please call us at 303-755-4500 or schedule a free consultation today!

Artificial Enamel

Artificial Tooth Enamel Prevents Cavities and Tooth Decay

 

Success! It is official; artificial tooth enamel has been manufactured by researchers in Japan.  Say farewell to cavities, decaying teeth, and yellowing smiles.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman do not have access to this technology here in Denver, CO yet as it is still going through approval, but the technology presents an exciting and positive future.

Shigeki Hontsu, a professor at Kinki University’s Faculty of Biology-Oriented Science and Technology in Japan, says this can be applied over existing teeth, and can prevent decay, making teeth appear whiter or even lessen the sensation of sensitive teeth.

The artificial enamel is made out of hydroxyapatite, which allows for flexibility and durability. “This is the world’s first flexible apatite sheet, which we hope to use to protect teeth and repair damaged enamel,” states Hontsu. “Dentists used to think an all-apatite sheet was just a dream, but we are aiming to create artificial enamel.”

The technology has not yet been implemented in regular dental practices like here at Periodontal Associates, and it may be another 5 years before this is approved and perfected.  It is a highly anticipated product as it will cover the exposed dentin, which causes sensitive teeth, but it can also be used for cosmetic purposes.  Currently, the film is transparent, but the researchers hope to make it white in color to help safely whiten teeth.

“The moment you put it on a tooth surface, it becomes invisible.  You can barely see it if you examine it under a light,” confirmed Hontsu.

When created, the researchers were able to make it as then as 0.00016 inches with lasers in order to make it a comfortable and unnoticeable fit for the patient.   The one problem with making and applying this product is the time it takes to adhere to a tooth. It takes almost a full day for the film to stick firmly.

Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman pride themselves on staying updated on the latest research and technology so whenever this artificial enamel is available, Periodontal Associates will know about it.  For now, be sure to schedule your bi-annual cleanings for deep periodontal scaling.  These cleanings and check-ups can also help decrease tooth decay, decrease teeth sensitivity, and prevent staining.  For more information, please visit our website at www.periodontalhealth.com.  We are located in Aurora, CO and serve patients all around the Denver metro area.  Call Periodontal Associates at (303) 755-4500 for any questions or to schedule a free dental implant consultation.

Coffee and Cancer

Coffee may Lower your Risk for Oral Cancer

Periodontal Associates has good news for a 100 million Americans out there. Your daily coffee drinking habit may not be as bad as you once thought! The University of Milan published findings that suggested coffee could help decrease the chances of developing mouth and throat cancers.

In fact, coffee drinkers have 39% less risk if drinking less than five cups of caffeinated coffee a day.  400,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year, and it is the sixth most common cancer.   This new finding could prevent 156,000 people from oral cancer.

In Denver, CO this news is very important as the cool weather makes snuggling up to a warm cup of coffee so inviting, especially since over half of the American population over the age of 18 drinks coffee every day.  For all of these great reasons, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman always keep a hot and fresh pot of coffee on hand at the Aurora office.

The study was published in the Cancer and Epidemiology Biomarks and Prevention journal.  The researches reviewed nine other oral cancer studies comparing 5,139 people with head and neck cancer to 9,028 people without cancer, and they found a common variable.  Coffee contains 1,000 different chemical and anti-oxidants that were also found in decreasing the risk of cancer in former studies.  These anti-oxidants have cancer fighting properties.

Between all the contents, Professor André van Zyl said it was not yet known which specific substances provided anti-carcinogenic properties in coffee. ”Which of these substances actually protect against cancer in humans is a question for future studies,” he said.

It was also not clear which type of coffee was more beneficial, “but espresso is regarded as more concentrated beverage than percolated coffee – up to a factor of three”, said Van Zyl.  However, researchers do know that it is not the caffeine component as green tea drinkers did not experience the same effect.

The cancer fighting properties in coffee and certain foods does not stop at oral cancer, but coffee has also been linking to lowering the risk of womb and colon cancers while also helping cardiac disease.

Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman hope these studies can better promote the important of early detection and prevention instead of focusing on treatment. Visiting us at Periodontal Associates is a huge step in the right direction as each doctor completes a full oral exam designed for cancer screening. Patients need to be educated about the danger signs and how they may play a role in ensuring earlier diagnosis and, consequently, better survival rates.

Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman are specialists in oral health, and are prime fighters of not only oral cancer but gum disease as well.  Periodontal Associates works closely with each of our patients and their general dentist to give them individual treatment plans and optimum health! You cannot have a healthy body without a health mouth. If you have any questions or have not been in to see a dentist in over 6 months, give us a call at (303) 755-4500 and Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman will be sure to give you a through exam.  You can also schedule an appointment by clicking here or visiting us at www.periodontalhealth.com.

Dog Kisses May Promote Gum Disease

Puppy Smooches and Gum Disease

 

Hello to all dog lovers!  Periodontal Associates knows how special pets can be to their owners as they provide love and affection, and for some hugging and kissing your furry ones are normal ways to show love.  However, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman would encourage their patients to be careful about their affections as smooching up to pets could increase the risks of gum disease.

Exchanging kisses or allowing a pet to lick an owner’s mouth could allow pets to pass along gum disease. Dogs’ mouths contain various forms and great numbers of bacteria that are easily transferred through saliva.

This alarming warning became relevant after researchers in Japan examined the dental health of dog owners.  These researchers found bacteria, normally only in dogs, present in 16 percent of owners’ mouths.  Based on questionnaires, most of these 16 percent had a close relationship with their animals.

And if you really love your furry friend, you should know that bacteria can also be passed from owner to pet, too! Researchers also found ten different human gum disease related bacteria in their pets.  Many pets suffer from periodontitis; so yes, dogs need regular hygiene cleanings too!

Infectivity can occur from a one-time occurrence or with frequent interaction. Obviously, the more regular the contact the higher the chances are for cross-contamination, but the likelihood of bacteria exchange can decrease if dental hygiene habits for man and his best friend is maintained well.

Dr. Paul Maza from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University told America’s Fox News, ‘Many of the different types of bacteria in dogs and cats are the same type of bacteria as in humans. If owners practice oral hygiene on their pets, such as brushing their teeth, a pet’s mouth can actually be even cleaner than a human mouth.’

Periodontal Associates wants you to make yourself and your furry friend a priority when it comes to good oral hygiene.  It is a good habit to brush, floss, and use mouthwash on a daily basis for humans and brushing your pet’s teeth often.

Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman only take care of owners here in our Aurora, CO office, but most veterinary clinics can do thorough cleanings.  Also, just like you can pick up brushes and supplies at the store, many pet stores offer at home care products for your pup.

Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman do not discourage love towards animals, but they do ask everyone to take caution with certain types of contact.  Especially if you are at higher risk for gum disease, like dealing with old age, diabetes, or pregnancy, it is even more important to keep kissing to a minimum.

For more information about how to symptoms of gum disease, risks, and treatments, please come in to visit with Drs. Versman, Heller, Beckman and our hygiene team.  You can click here for an appointment or simply give us a call at (303) 755-4500.  We look forward to helping you and your gums stay strong, healthy, and pink!

Whiten Teeth Naturally

Look in the Kitchen for Whiter Teeth

Periodontal Associates strives to give you a life changing smile by helping you understanding how to properly care for your teeth.  However, instead of focusing on what not to do, we want to share some helpful hints that may promote a sparkling smile.  It is no surprise that there are plenty of food and drink products out there that will stain your teeth. Some of those stainers are red wine, coffee, tea, or even soft drinks. However, there may be foods that can help reverse that damage and may brighten your smile. Here are a few foods to choose from:

  1. ‘Say Cheese’: Cheese is a product that contains lactic acid.  Lactic acid is believed to help prevent teeth from building decay.  Hard cheeses, like cheddar or parmesan, are better for this than soft cheeses, like goat and feta.

 

  1. You have a ‘berry’ nice smile: Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries galore! You may think, how these could brighten your smile when they stain your clothes and get seeds stuck in your teeth, but these also contain acidic juices to brighten your grin.  The acid in berries is called malic acid.  These are best used when eaten and left in and around the teeth for 5 minutes followed by a regular brushing. If you are patient, you may see the effects after a couple of months.

natural-teeth-whiteners

  1. Chomp on the crunch: Strive for crunchy foods, especially fruits and vegetables with this texture.  Not only do some of these raw foods contain more acids, these foods are slightly abrasive.  The benefits of this are to keep the teeth clean and the enamel strong.  Look for foods like carrots, celery, and pears.

 

  1.  Bobbing for apples: An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right?  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman are not suggesting that bi-annual visits are allowed to be postponed, but eating right may prevent or postpone the need for serious dental work. Apples are great as they provide acid and a slightly rough texture, but they also help to increase saliva production.  By doing that, apples can fight off cavity producing bacteria.

Natural-Teeth-Whitening

  1. Sour foods for a sweet smile:  Lemons often make people frown and pucker, but if you can get through the taste, the acidity with lemon juice mixed with salt or baking soda can help whiten your smile.  The caution with this suggestion is that you do not want to over use it as it can cause some sensitivity.

As great as it sounds to whiten teeth inexpensively, naturally, and quickly, we would suggest discussing your home care with them before you get started.  Periodontal Associates can help create an individual plan to best help your health and aesthetic needs.

We are happy to schedule a free dental implant consultation or appointments for any other dental needs like cleanings.  We are located in Aurora, CO, but our clients come from near and far all over Colorado to see our specialists. Please click to schedule an appointment or call us at (303) 755-4500.

Mouthwash: Pros & Cons

Mouthwash: Pros & Cons

“Brush and floss, brush and floss!”  Those are the words that are murmured over and over again by our hygienists here at Periodontal Associates, and in conjunction with that advice, Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman always make a point to remind their Aurora patients about the benefits of using mouthwash regularly, especially for our patients who complete gum graft treatment.

Let’s first explore the plethora of positive outcomes that occur from mouthwash use. Mouthwash is not used in replacement of brushing and flossing, but the ingredients found in mouthwash help prevent and break away tartar and plaque, freshen breath, reduce gingivitis, and prevent tooth decay.  This liquid is able to flow through hard to reach surfaces as an extra safety barrier against bacteria as brushing cleans only the cheek, tongue, and biting surfaces of the teeth.  Periodontal disease starts and does its greatest damage between the teeth so mouthwash is best when combined with regular brushing and flossing to reach those most neglected places.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman rely on such mouth rinses for their periodontal patients to fight inflammation, and many patients with gum grafts will use mouthwash multiple times a day to keep it clean as directly brushing around gum grafts is delayed during healing.

Are there cons to using this mouth rinse?  The problems with mouth rinses are very few. The only concern to be aware of is for those with allergies.  As we age allergies can dissipate, but allergies can also first appear later in adult life as researchers believe it can be triggered by some sort of virus or infection.   Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman warn their Aurora patients to be proactive about their health and allergies as some patients can be allergic to antiseptic chlorhexidine and must be cautious about mouthwash.  Symptoms of mouthwash allergies can be the presence of a rash, itching or more severe reaction s can cause patients to faint or feel light headed due to a drop in blood pressure.  If you suffer from these allergies, please contact Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman at Periodontal Associates so they can help you find the best products to safely enhance your oral health.

 

As you have read, there are many more positive notions about using mouthwash regularly versus not at all, and researchers strive to only increase the benefits of this refreshing mouth rinse.  A new iodine mouthwash has been discovered to safely fight gingivitiswhile also lowering LDL cholesterol.  The Biomedical Development Corporation has already run a successful three month trial.  The center for Oral Health Research at the University of Kentucky will also continue to follow this new rinse in their own trials. The iodine mouthwash is hoped to be used once a day for a 30 second time period.  The iodine helps the thyroid function which then boosts the body’s immune response system. The mouthwash will not only fight bacteria in the mouth and gums, but it will also increase defenses again bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the entire body.   This is good news for Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman as many of our patients in the Denver metro area are at risk for other system disease due to their moderate to severe gum disease. Research studies have shown that there is a strong association between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetesheart diseasepregnancy complications, and respiratory disease.
More effective oral hygiene products like mouthwashes will lessen the concern for gum disease and correlated diseases, but it is important to also visit your hygienists and doctors like Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman regularly for check-ups and cleanings.  At Periodontal Associates, we are specialists in treating and preventing gum disease, and we welcome questions or concerns regarding your oral health.  Please contact us at (303) 755-4500 or click here for an appointment.  For more information, you can also visit our website at www.periodontalhealth.com. Until then, please do not forget to brush and floss and, of course, rinse!

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer and Poor Hygiene
When visiting the dentist, it is easy to ignore the warnings from doctors and hygienists about the importance of brushing, flossing, and bi-annual visits.  Often patients disregard these concerns, but Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman want you to know that home oral care is more than just keeping a clean mouth. Oral health is closely connected with the entire body as it is a gateway to the blood stream and to new diseases.  Periodontal Associates is constantly educating patients about the secondary effects on health and the progression of dangerous bacteria in the mouth.  In fact, gum disease resulting from poor oral hygiene and gum disease has been linked to the development of pancreatic cancer in men.
A study conducted out of Boston correlated the unnoticeable disease of periodontitis and pancreatic cancer after reviewing health related data from 51,000 men starting from 1986.  The study found men with history of gum disease have a 64% increased risk for developing pancreatic cancer versus men with great oral health.  (Maybe this is why there are so many male doctors like Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman in the Periodontal field.)  Furthermore, the more severe the gum disease is the higher the risk.  For example, gum disease can progress to the extent of recession, pocketing, and tooth loss.  These patients not only need to visit our Aurora, CO office for dental implants, but they now have higher chances of forming cancer in the pancreas.
This study has not been the only link between these two seemingly different diseases.  Former studies have also found links between tooth loss and risk of cancers like pancreatic.  Those suffering from gum disease have a higher level of C reactive protein (CPR) in their blood.  These are inflammatory markers responsible for the first response to inflammation in the gums caused by infection and have been specifically noticed in persons with pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer, versus other cancers, has the highest fatality rate among American men and women where less than 5% of patients survive longer than 5 years after diagnosis.  These numbers can be scary, and although it is not confirmed that gum disease is a cause or a direct link to pancreatic cancer, it is important to preserve your health as best as possible to fight off any chance of this and other diseases.

At Periodontal Associates, Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman are experts and professionally trained to diagnose and treat gum disease. Many of our Denver metro patients are sent by their general dentist as only Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman are specialists in curing the infections of the mouth.  Don’t hesitate to visit our Aurora office for your next exam.  This visit could save your life and your smile.  Call us at (303) 755-4500 to schedule your comprehensive oral exam today.

How Much Bacteria is in Your Mouth?

Bacteria can be found everywhere: on your hands, when you touch a doorknob, at a restaurant, in the bathroom, etc.  We sometimes get so caught up worrying about not touching things that carry bacteria that we forget that more than a large cup of bacteria can be found inside you!

More specifically, at any one time there can be up to 6 million bacteria found in your mouth; your mouth is a huge carries for bacteria.  GROSS!  The presence of bacteria in your mouth can cause bad breath and, more importantly, can eat away at your teeth causing cavities, dental infections, and gingivitis.  Even worse, some mouth bacteria can cause heart disease and kidney disease.

Here at Periodontal Associates, we stress the importance of controlling how much bacteria is in you mouth and not letting it get out of hand.  While we understand that bacteria can always be found in your mouth, and some bacteria is even good for you, it is important to maintain a strict hygiene regimen so that you don’t have painful and potentially costly dental issues.   Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Douglas Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman  can teach you the proper techniques so that you are knowledgeable.  In addition, it is important to schedule routine dental check-ups with your dentist so that any serious damage can be noticed and prevented.

Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Douglas Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman can help you keep your mouth healthy before bacteria does any serious harm.  To schedule your appointment, do not hesitate to call us at (303) 755-4500, clickhere for an appointment, or visit our website at www.periodontalhealth.com.