Ancient Beeswax Filling

The World’s Oldest Dental Filling… From Beeswax?

The discovery of a 6,500-year-old piece of beeswax shines new light on ancient dentistry.

When you think about fillings, more times than not, the last thing to come to mind is beeswax (unless Dr. Heller is telling you one of his clever jokes).  However, there was a recent discovery revealing the oldest filling was composed of beeswax about 6,500 years ago. This is a prime example of just how necessary proper dental care maintenance is with proof that dentistry has been practiced long before we were born.

PLoS One, a peer review journal, published this discovery, detailing how a group of theoretical physics researchers in Italy analyzed this human jaw bone from over a century ago.  Unfortunately, Denver, CO cannot use this as a claim to fame as it was unearthed in Slovenia. This cracked Neolithic tooth is the earliest case of fillings in history!

Researchers believe this jawbone belonged to a man around his late twenties.  As seen in some of these photos, the man experienced a crack on his left canine that exposed dentin.  Dentin is the inner enamel and tissues inside the tooth.  As you can imagine, a damaged tooth of this degree had to be quite painful and a job Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, or Dr. Beckman could handle with caress.   Due to the physical discomfort, researchers believe the beeswax was coated around and inside the damaged tooth to relieve the tenderness.  However, it is ultimately unknown if the procedure was done before or after the man died.

Examples of ancient dentistry are rare finds, and it is startling to realize that this jawbone was first discovered 100 years ago without detection of this filling.  It was not until recently researchers found the dental work.  Once noticed, carbon dating was used to discover exactly how old this specimen of beeswax was.  Then, voilà!

As exciting as it is to discover great ancient history, Periodontal Associates does not want you to take care of your teeth like a caveman.  It is important to come in for bi-annual check-ups at a minimum to keep your teeth and gums in the healthiest shape possible.

Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman specialize in helping those with gum disease and dental implants.  The best way to reduce the need for gum graftsbone grafts, or dental implants is by allowing true professionals to care for your oral health.  Our hygienists are specially trained to give cleanings to reduce gum irritation.  Don’t need implants or don’t have gum disease? Well preventative care can help keep it that way!

Stop by our office in Aurora, CO, and Periodontal Associates will help you be proactive about your health.  For more information, browse our website at www.periodontalhealth.com.  Also feel free to call us at (303) 755-4500 or click here for an appointment.  We look forward to seeing you and making good oral hygiene your ‘beesiness’.

Dads, Be Brave!

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Want your kids to be friendly and fear free at the dentist? It is up to you, Dads!  A new study reveals that parent’s attitude towards oral health and dental visits predict how their children will react in the same situations.  It is a good thing Dr. Doug Heller is a periodontist, his two kids will have some bright oral health futures.

The University of Madrid conducted a study comparing the views of children versus their parents when it comes to visiting dental offices like Periodontal Associates. Participants included 183 children between the ages of 7 and 12.  Forty-three experimental studies from across six continents were also included in this review.

The majority of studies confirmed a relationship between parental and child dental fear. This relationship is most evident in children aged 8 and under.  The study then concluded that, yes, there is an association between parental and child dental fear.  This is good to know as many people have anxiety and negative thoughts about dental work, and if we know where it begins, then Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman and others can put a stop to the fear.

América Lara Sacido, one of the authors of the study, said that “along with the presence of emotional transmission of dentist fear amongst family members, we have identified the relevant role that fathers play in transmission of this phobia in comparison to the mother.”

More so than mothers, fathers sway their children in how to react to the dentist.  In fact, the reaction from their dad will often over shadow the mother’s regardless if it is negative or positive.

 “Although the results should be interpreted with due caution, children seem to mainly pay attention to the emotional reactions of the fathers when deciding if situations at the dentist are potentially stressful,” said Lara Sacido.

1c170-dadTo help this cycle, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman strongly suggest finding a steady, primary dental provider that the entire family can bond with and trust like Periodontal Associates.  Then, both parents should be active in the children’s dental appointments to assure they will be in good hands. Anxiety is a strong consequence of trips to the dentist office; however, as the industry advances routine dental procedures are becoming more and more comfortable.

 “Through the positive emotional contagion route in the family, the right attitude can be achieved in the child so that attending the dentist is not a problem.”

Need a dentist to trust? Call Periodontal Associates today as Dr. Versman, Dr.Heller, and Dr. Beckman are the best doctors in Denver! We provide dental implantsgum grafts, bone grafts, treat gum disease, and even provide regular hygiene cleaning appointments. Our patients travel from all over Denver, CO to see our specialists here in Aurora,CO, and some of our patients have even been with us for over 35 years!  We can be reached by call (303) 755-4500 or by clicking this link.  Visit our website for more information about common dental practices and more about Periodontal Associates.

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!

Sporty Smiles

Shocking Sport Smiles
Most missing teeth occur from the progression of severe periodontal or gum disease.  However, there are plenty of athletes walking around sporting gap-tooth grins like trophies.  Physical trauma is the likely cause to missing teeth in sport participants as blows to the mouth can kill roots of teeth, crack teeth, or completely remove them.  Let’s first take a look at some memorable sport smiles before learning how these blunders can be avoided or fixed by dental implant professionals likes Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman.
Bobby Clarke
It is no shock to learn that hockey players are the most victimized with gaping holes in their mouths.  With 6 ounces of frozen rubber flying 100 mph at someone’s face, shattering a smile is to be expected.  One of the most recognized grins in hockey would be of Bobby Clarke.  In the 1970’s, Bobby was photographed lifting the Stanley Cup for the Flyers.  His image solidified the cool reputation of having a toothless smile. (I am hopeful this moment will happen next year but for our Denver’s own, Colorado Avalanche!)
Another remarkable hockey player to overcome the pain of physical trauma would have to be Duncan Keith.  This defenseman lost SEVEN teeth during the 2010 Western Conference Final.  His winning mentality propelled him to block a shot on goal with his face.  The wildest part was the fact that he then returned to play only minutes after the blow.
Duncan Keith

The list of toothless grins in hockey is never ending.  The sport is built for oral consequences, but hockey is not the only athletic event to cause dental harm. Sliding, kicking, and head balls are a recipe for disaster in soccer.  Soccer players are not required to wear mouth guards, but unless you want to have a visit with Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman for dental implants, you better opt yes to this smile saving protection.  A cringe worthy moment in soccer occurred with Paulo Jorge.  Playing a heartfelt game against Madrid, he leapt for an interception, but instead of the ball, he was met with the solid force of the opposing player’s head.  Paulo had two teeth shot out from his mouth.  Then on the sidelines, the blunt force killed the root of another tooth allowing Paulo to horridly and casually pluck another tooth from his gums.

Paulo Jorge

 

Gareth Thomas

A sport not well integrated into the American culture, but large in Europe, known as rugby is another full contact sport with little hopes to avoid injuries, including oral injuries. Gareth Thomas is a great example of a smile gone wrong.  He was the captain for Wales, and he has a wicked reputation on the field as his grin is an example of his fearless interaction. Luckily, mouth guards are now required for all rugby games.

Balls and pucks are nothing compared to the furry of fists. Mike Tyson knows this all too well. Boxing brings not only the need for future dental implants but periodontal work as well.  The mouth and gums get so bruised and cut that the gums experience recession and inflammation.  Although this happens to most boxers in the ring, Mike Tyson lost a fight in his Tiger’s cage. Kiki Tyson told the Review-Journal that Tyson lost his famous gold tooth “when his tiger, Kenya, head-butted him.” Whatever the cause of missing teeth or whoever the culprit for its demise, Periodontal Associates is the place to have it corrected.

Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman are the leading dental implant providers in Denver, CO.  Their office in Aurora is a central location to help out athletes and patients all surrounding the Denver metro area. Although basketball players were not highlighted, they are not spared the need for dental implants caused from hard play.  Nuggets Basketball team members have been given brand new smiles at Periodontal Associates because no one other than Drs. Ken Versman, Doug Heller, and Eric Beckman are trusted to handle such precious idols in Denver.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding sports injuries or how to protect against them just call our Aurora office at (303) 755-4500.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman advise that all participants of sports take proper precaution by using mouth guards, especially if you have no reservations on the field. Also, teeth and gums can only be a strong and healthy as you allow them.  The better the oral hygiene, the stronger the gums and their ability to hang on to your teeth.

If you have already become a victim of missing teeth, Periodontal Associates is here to help.  Our patients come from different age ranges and with different origins of tooth loss.  Dental implants are a permanent and lifelong lasting fix to feeling complete again.  Let us transform your smile so that your reputation is only about your athletics and not your grin.

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

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Have you ever taken a bite of something very cold or a sip of something very hot and recoiled in pain? Do you ever wince with discomfort when brushing or flossing? If you answered yes to any of those questions you may have what’s commonly known as “sensitive teeth”. Around 40 million adults in the United States experience tooth sensitivity, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

Why do my teeth feel sensitive?

The inside of your tooth is made up of a material called dentin. This dentin contains microscopic tubules filed with nerve endings. A hard outer layer of enamel protects the crown portion of the tooth, while a layer of cementum protects the root. When this dentin becomes hypersensitive it usually means that it’s lost its protective covering of enamel or cementum, and the nerve endings are left exposed to hot, cold, and acidic foods.

What dental issues cause this?

A bevy of things can cause the enamel and cementum to be worn down, including:

  • Brushing too hard or aggressively, or using a hard bristle toothbrush.
  • Tooth erosion from acidic foods or beverages.
  • Gum Recession
  • And Grinding your teeth

Periodontal disease- an infection of the gums and bones supporting the teeth-may also be to blame. If left untreated, gum tissues can separate from the teeth and form pockets that can house a plethora of bacteria. This can continue until the bone and other supporting structures are destroyed, exposing the root surfaces of the teeth.

How do I treat my sensitive teeth?

Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman of Periodontal Associates in the Denver and Aurora, CO area recommend that at the point of Periodontal Disease, you should immediately schedule an appointment with your periodontist to take measures to combat it. If not, you could suffer from many other complications that could arise. However, if your teeth are just experiencing sensitivity, other measures may be:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste
  • A fluoride gel or special desensitizing agents
  • A filling, crown, inlay, or bonding, depending on the cause of sensitivity.

If gum tissue has been lost, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman say they might recommend a surgical gum graft to cover the root and reduce sensitivity. In severe cases of sensitivity that can’t be treated by other means, your periodontist might recommend a root canal to eliminate the issue.

Dr. Douglas A. Heller named a Colorado Parent Magazine 2016 Top Dentist

dr-hellerDr. Douglas A. Heller has been named a Colorado Parent magazine Top Dentist for 2016. “In partnership with the national firm Top Dentists, Colorado Parent has assembled a comprehensive list of Colorado’s best dentists. The 2016 Top Dentists were chosen by Colorado’s ADA-recognized dentists who were asked who they believe are the very best in their field” (coloradoparent.com).

The list of Top Dentists will be published in the February 2017 issue of Colorado Parent. In addition to this honor,  Dr. Heller was named one of Colorado’s 2016 Top Periodontists by 5280 Magazine for the 8th year in a row.

Have you seen Dr. Doug Heller on TV?

Here’s Dr. Heller on The Wellness Hour talking about replacing missing teeth with dental implants. In this clip he speaks on how Periodontal Associates – The Dental Implant Team is on the the cutting edge of dental implants and overall periodontal health treatment. He also shares how drastically his patients’ lives have changed after getting dental implants.

Dr. Heller has been practicing periodontics in Aurora, Colorado for over 20 years at Periodontal Associates – The Dental Implant Team. If you have questions about dental implants call 303-755-4500 or request an appointment


Did you know this about dental implants?

  • Dental implants have the same look, feel, and function of natural teeth.
  • Dental implants can provide you with comfort, convenience and confidence. Dr. Heller says, “dental implants are the 8th wonder of the world” because dental implants are matched exactly to your own teeth, and restore your smile to its optimal state. Dental implants can renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.
  • Drs. Ken Versman, Doug Heller, and Eric Beckman are uniquely qualified to provide a full range of implant dentistry procedures.They have been performing a full range of implant dentistry for more than 20 years in the Denver/Aurora, Colorado area.
  • 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 Associates – The Dental Implant Team,  we are the market leader and we are driving the development of new dental implant standards and protocols. Give us a call at 303-755-4500 or request an appointment today!