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Northeast Georgia Periodontics

& Center for Dental Implants

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 Common Questions  


What is a Periodontist?

"Perio" means around, and "dontal" refers to teeth. Therefore, "periodontal"  refers to structures around the teeth. This include the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone.  A periodontist is a dentist who takes additional years of education beyond dental school to specialize in periodontal procedures, the placement of dental implants, cosmetic procedures, and the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. Dr. John B. Taylor received extensive training in these areas and is a highly trained specialist, familiar with the latest techniques for placing implants, performing cosmetic periodontal plastic surgery, and in diagnosing and treating periodontal disease.




When Should I See a Periodontist?
Here are some common examples of important reasons to consult a periodontist:

  • I am interested in replacement tooth options such as a dental implant.
  • I am  dissatisfied with my current bridge or dentures, and am interested in dental implants.
  • I feel that my teeth are too short or that my smile is too "gummy."
  • I have chronic bad breath (No one should have bad breath that won't go away!).
  • I have dentures that are loose or painful and would prefer a more stable or less painful option.
  • My gums appear red or swollen.
  • My gums bleed when I brush my teeth.
  • I have noticed a little blood on my toothbrush when brushing.
  • My teeth seem longer or my gums appear to be receding.
  • I have a sore or irritation in my mouth that has not healed in two weeks.
  • I am considering becoming pregnant. (Pregnant women who have periodontal disease are at much greater risk to have a premature birth or low birthweight baby. In addition, a large percentage of expecting mothers experience "pregnancy gingivitis." Teeth and gums are affected during pregnancy like other tissues in the body. In order to decrease the risk of damaging the gums and tissues surrounding the teeth, expectant mothers are encouraged to schedule an appointment for a periodontal evaluation.)
  • I am missing one or more of my teeth and am interested in a long-lasting replacement option.
  • I have had a family member with periodontal disease. (Research suggests that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can pass through saliva. This means the common contact of saliva in families puts children and couples at risk for contracting the periodontal disease of another family member.)
  • I have heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease or osteoporosis. (Ongoing research is showing that periodontal disease may be linked to these conditions. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease can travel into the blood stream and pose a threat to other parts of the body. Healthy gums may lead to a healthier body.)


What Ages Are Served at Our Office?

Any age.  Doctor Taylor reguarly treats patients from the very young child through the geriatric adult.  However, patients under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.











What Are Dental Implants?
A Dental Implant is an artificial tooth root that a periodontist places to hold a replacement tooth or bridge or dentures. Dental implants are an ideal option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.

Your teeth were designed to last a lifetime, but sometimes they don't! Replacing missing teeth is important to your general health and to the health of your other teeth. Not only do you lose chewing ability when a tooth is lost, but unreplaced teeth can cause other teeth to be lost, tipped or crowded and create subsequent problems.  Also, there are the obvious problems of poor appearance and loss of self-esteem caused by one or more missing teeth. Dental implants should always be considered as an option to replace a failing or missing tooth. Replacement of lost teeth with dental implants has been used for treating missing teeth for more than 50 years and is recognized as an highly effective treatment choice.



What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

While high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework, since implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support. Dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling, you may forget you ever lost a tooth.You know that your confidence about your teeth affects how you feel about yourself, both personally and professionally. Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth. Maybe your dentures don't feel secure. Perhaps you have difficulty chewing. If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence, there is good news! Dental Implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own! Under proper conditions, such as placement by a periodontist and diligent patient maintenance, implants can last a lifetime.   Some of the benefits of dental implants include:

  • Support:  Dental Implants can support a bridge and eliminate the need for a removable partial denture.
  • Comfort:  Dental Implants provide support for a denture, not only helping to make it more secure, but patients resoundingly express that implant-supported dentures are significantly more comfortable.
  • Esthetics:  Dental Implants look and feel like your own teeth!
  • Save Bone:  Dental Implants help prevent bone loss and gum recession that often accompany bridgework and dentures.
  • Less Risk to Neighboring Teeth:  Dental Implants don't sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth like a bridge does because neighboring teeth are not altered to support the implant. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health!
  • Stable:  Dental Implants will allow you to once again speak and eat with comfort and confidence! They are secure and offer freedom from the irksome clicks and wobbles of dentures, partials or bridges. They'll allow you to say goodbye to worries about pastes and glues.
  • Reliable:  The success rate of dental implants is highly predictable. They are considered an excellent option for tooth replacement.


Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.

Dental implants are intimately connected with the gum tissues and underlying bone in the mouth. Since periodontists are the dental experts who specialize in precisely these areas, they are ideal members of your dental implant team. Not only do periodontists have experience working with other dental professionals, they also have the special knowledge, training and facilities that you need to have teeth that look and feel just like your own. Your dentist and periodontist will work together to create a beautiful smile for you.




What Is Dental Implant Treatment Like?
This procedure is a team effort between you, your dentist and your periodontist. Your periodontist and dentist will consult with you to determine where and how your implant should be placed. Depending on your specific condition and the type of implant chosen, your periodontist will create a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs. Click for more information about the treatment options described below.

Replacing a Single Tooth  If you are missing a single tooth, one implant and a crown can replace it. A dental implant replaces both the lost natural tooth and its root.


Replacing Several Teeth  If you are missing several teeth, implant-supported bridges can replace them. Dental implants will replace both your lost natural teeth and some of the roots.

Replacing All of Your Teeth  If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported full bridge or full denture can replace them. Dental implants will replace both your lost natural teeth and some of the roots.

What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?

If you have been told you have periodontal (gum) disease, you're not alone. Research indicates that approximately 30% of adults in the U.S. currently have some form of the disease. With good oral hygiene and regular professional care, your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to advanced destruction of the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal (gum) disease can lead to tooth loss. It is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults 35 and over.


Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection that destroys the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, the periodontal ligaments, and the alveolar bone. Gingivitis is due to the long-term effects of plaque deposits on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky material made of bacteria, mucus, and food debris that develops on the exposed parts of the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth decay. If you do not remove plaque, it turns into a hard deposit called tartar (or calculus) that becomes trapped at the base of the tooth. Plaque and tartar irritate and inflame the gums. Bacteria and the toxins they produce cause the gums to become infected, swollen, and tender.



Is Gum Disease Harmful?

Emerging research links periodontal disease to other health problems including heart and respiratory diseases; preterm, low birthweight babies; stroke; osteoporosis; and diabetes.


How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

Symptoms of gum disease may include any one of the following:

  • Bad breath that won't go away (No one should have chronic bad breath!)
  • Red, blue or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

Any one of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem, which should be checked by a dentist. It is important to note that gum disease is usually painless, giving no warning to the victim. However the disease is progressive and continues to destroy critical bone that holds your teeth in place, as well as other damage. The result is eventual tooth loss if left untreated.


Take Your Personal Gum Disease Risk Assessment Test

Click Here

What Can I Do To Stop Gum Disease?

Doctor Taylor will set up a treatment plan for you to halt the current disease progression. Following treatment, whether your gum disease is stopped, slowed, or gets worse depends a great deal on how well you care for your teeth and gums every day. Doctor Taylor will take you through a special, individualized course to teach you the proper steps to care for your teeth to help contribute to longlasting, lifetime results.


How is Gum Disease Treated?
The main goal of treatment is to control the infection. The number and types of treatment will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease. Treatment may include medications, various dental procedures, or surgery. Any type of treatment requires that the patient keep up good daily care at home. The doctor may also suggest changing certain behaviors, such as quitting smoking, as a way to improve treatment outcome. Periodontal disease is a progressive, painless infection. Delay can cause you further bone loss and more expense, resulting in eventual loss of teeth.


What Causes Gum Disease?

Research proves that up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Despite aggressive oral care habits, these people may be six times more likely to develop periodontal disease. Identifying these people with a genetic test before they even show signs of the disease and getting them into early interventive treatment may help them keep their teeth for a lifetime.


Additionally, our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless "plaque" on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form "tartar" that brushing doesn't clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar. The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums that is called "gingivitis." In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place. When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to "periodontitis" (which means "inflammation around the tooth.") In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called "pockets") that become infected. The body's immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body's natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth can become destroyed. The teeth may become loose and have to be removed.


Risk Factors For Devloping Gum Disease


Smoking.Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease.  Continued smoking can diminish treatment outcomes and significantly reduces oxygen levels to gum tissue.

Hormonal Changes.Hormone levels can make gums more sensitive and make it easier for gingivitis to develop.

Diabetes.People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease.
Other Illnesses.Diseases like cancer or AIDS and their treatments can also negatively affect the health of gums. A recent studyreveals that patients with rheumotoid arthritis are at a much higher risk for contracting gum disease.
Medications.There are hundreds of prescription and over the counter medications that can reduce the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on the mouth. Without enough saliva, the mouth is vulnerable to infections such as gum disease. Some medications can cause abnormal overgrowth of the gum tissue; this can make it difficult to keep gums clean. Use of certain medications, including phenytoin, bismuth, and some birth control pills have also been linked to periodontal complications.
Genetic Susceptibility.Some people are more prone to severe gum disease than others due to biological factors.
Misaligned Teeth, Rough Edges on Fillings, Ill-Fitting or Unclean Mouth Appliances (ex:  braces, dentures, bridges, or crowns)
Improper/Insufficient Cleaning Techniques.Gum disease develops when plaque is allowed to build up along and under the gum line. Proper cleaning techniques are critical in preventing gum disease.


What Types of Periodontal Procedures are Performed at this Office?

A Periodontist may perform a number of procedures to provide optimum care for the patient. These procedures may include, but are not limited to:


  • 3D Digital Catscan Technology
  • Alloderm Placement
  • Antibiotic Treatment
  • Apicoectomy
  • Bone Grafting
  • Catscan - CT Scan
  • Computerized Injection Technology
  • Crown Lengthening
  • Cuspid Exposure with Orthodontic Chain
  • Dental Implants
  • Denture Comfort & Stability Implants
  • Digital Xrays
  • Frenectomy
  • Full Mouth Debridement
  • Gingivitis Treatment
  • Gingival Grafting
  • Gingivectomy
  • Grafting Soft Tissue
  • Grafting Bone
  • Gum Disease
  • Laser Treatment
  • Maintenance Therapy
  • Multiple Implants
  • Implants
  • Osseous Surgery
  • Periodontal Plastic Surgery
  • Periodontal Treatment
  • Radiograph
  • Root Coverage Procedures
  • Root Resection
  • Scaling and Root Planing
  • Sinus Lift
  • Single Implant
  • Tatoo Removal
  • Tooth Exposure with Orthodontic Chain
  • Tooth Extraction
  • Tori Removal
  • Xray