Affordable

Affordable Dental Services

Make Your Dental Health Affordable

Just like our patients, we live in the real world and understand the financial commitment it takes to get our smiles back into good health and to maintain that level over a lifetime. We work hard at keeping our services affordable.

We offer a variety of ways to pay for both our non-insured families and those with dental insurance. We strive to maximize your insurance benefits and help all of our patients, regardless of whether they have insurance or not, to work out a financial path to dental health.

Insurance

Our office accepts most insurance plans and will make every effort to maximize your insurance benefits. We will propose your treatment based on what is appropriate for your health, not on what will be covered by your insurance plan. After you know what is the ideal plan, we help you weigh the pro’s and con’s of alternative plans, what can be done in the short term, over a span of time, and what can be phased into a later benefit year.
 
Insurance is a great benefit but usually isn’t intended to cover 100% of the cost. We do our best to estimate any balance you might have and to keep you informed so that there are no surprises. Please bring a copy of your insurance plan at your initial appointment so we can assist you more completely.

PPO Plans

We belong to a limited number of PPO’s (Preferred Providers), but the specific PPO’s may change so please inquire when making your first appointment.
 
Because our fees fall into the lower percentiles of many PPO statistics, we are still competitive as an Out-of-Network provider! Ask our front desk for specific details.
Smiling woman

Payment Plans

We partner with the Citi ®Health Card program to offer interest-free 6, 9 and 12-month payment options. It’s a quick, easy application process and you’ll know within minutes if you qualify. Other interest bearing plans are available for larger balances which allow payments to be spread out over as much as 48 months.

Pre-Payment and Day-Of-Service Savings

We offer a variety of discounts when you help us lower our costs. If you pay for your services on the day of the treatment being done or when you make your appointments for the treatment you have decided to complete, we save postage, labor, and supplies because we don’t have a statement to send you! So we pass the savings on to you! Ask us about the 7%, 5%, and 2% discounts!

We accept cash, check, debit card, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.
Teeth

Professional Dental Cleanings

The bacterial plaque that builds up on your teeth will harden over time as the minerals like calcium in our saliva come into contact with the residual plaque. The result is calculus, which is sometimes called “tartar”, and is a hard deposit that contains much of the same bacterial toxins as the plaque upon which it is formed.
 
Everyone builds up calculus to some extent and with varying degrees. Failure to remove the normal buildup from the teeth allows gingivitis and periodontitis (gum inflammation and infection) to develop. The only way to remove this calculus is with a professional dental cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist.
 
A professional dental cleaning usually involves several steps. First, we measure the depth of the periodontal “pockets” or the space between the teeth and the gums. Next, we will remove the bulk of the material, often with ultrasonic or cleaning instruments that use a spray coolant and oscillate at a high frequency like an electric toothbrush. We do the fine “scaling” and “root planing” with precise hand instruments. Then we will polish the teeth to remove the residual stain. Finally, we apply a special fluoride gel to the freshly exposed surface. This fluoride treatment is done for patients up to the age of 18 and helps to protect the teeth from decay and helps to prevent sensitivity.
 
Your visit to our office is an important part of your program to prevent gum disease and maintain your teeth for your lifetime.

How often should I have regular check-ups and dental cleanings?

This is one of the most common questions we receive from patients. Every person’s oral health is different, and commonly we have to come up with a plan that is suited to your specific needs. How much calculus you build up, your history of cavities, whether you smoke or have a history of a systemic disease, and whether you grind your teeth are all factors in forming a decision about your suggested cleaning protocol. However, there are some generalizations we can make about your dental cleanings and oral healthcare.
Digital X-ray - Soft Type, ScanX Duo

X-Rays

Dental x-ray exams require very low levels of radiation exposure, which makes the risk of potentially harmful effects very small.

Our practice uses digital x-rays because they have many benefits over film x-rays. Digital x-ray images can be simpler to make, provide enhanced pictures and save time for the dental team.

Digital X-Rays

  • Can often be corrected and adjusted to be of diagnostic quality, reducing the need to retake an x-ray
  • Can be printed or copied easily. We can send them electronically to insurance companies, which can help claims get processed faster
  • Are environmentally friendly, eliminating the need for film and the film processing chemicals
  • May require less radiation than traditional x-rays
Why are dental x-rays needed?
  • Many diseases of the oral cavity (which includes the teeth and surrounding tissues and bone) cannot be seen when the dentist examines your mouth
An x-ray exam may help the dentist see:
  • Small areas of decay between teeth or below fillings
  • Bone damage from a tooth infection (such as an abscess) or a cyst
  • Bone loss due to periodontal (gum) disease
  • Developmental defects
  • Some types of tumors
  • The effects of trauma
  • The position of unerupted teeth in children and adults
  • Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and unneeded discomfort, and it can help prevent more serious health problems
  • X-ray images may be able to help the dentist detect damage and disease not visible during a regular dental exam

Porcelain Crowns and Veneers

Crowns

Porcelain crowns replace the exterior portion of a tooth to re-establish its original function and to create a natural appearance. Crowns are the treatment of choice in situations where tooth decay has destroyed most of the original tooth when a traumatic event has caused damage, or in cases of severe enamel erosion. They are also an option for people who grind and clench their teeth so much that the original structure of their teeth has been compromised.
 
The great benefit to porcelain crowns is they can not only replicate the original tooth in function but can be designed to look like the original–or even better. When patients select a porcelain veneer for cosmetic reasons, they’re usually covering up the front portion of the tooth that has some aesthetic flaw. A porcelain crown is thicker than a veneer and, in some situations, this thickness is needed.

To fit the crowns, a thin layer is shaved off teeth that are to receive treatment, and this prepares them for the crowns. On the patient’s first visit of the treatment, an impression is taken of their teeth in order to get the perfect shape for the next session. The crowns are then bonded onto the teeth using a bonding material of some sort. Once the bonding has taken place, which will normally take one session at the dentist, the patient can eat as normal.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain laminate veneers consist of a compilation of several thin ceramic layers which replace original tooth enamel, and an adhesive layer.
 
The bond between the original tooth and the porcelain veneer is critical as it not only provides the aesthetic perfection desired, but also a strong bond which is essential for correct veneer function. Light-sensitive resin is placed between the original tooth and the veneer and then hardened using a special curing light.
 
Porcelain veneers are a very successful option in many situations where the original tooth has developed poor color, shape, and contours. It is also a good choice for fractured teeth, gaps between teeth, and in some situations where the tooth position is compromised and there are minor bite-related problems. For some people, superficial stains do not respond well to tooth whitening or bleaching. In these situations, a porcelain veneer may be the best option.

What’s the Procedure for Getting a Dental Veneer?

Getting a dental veneer usually requires two trips to the dentist –one to prepare for the veneer and two, apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.
 
Preparation - To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your veneer. It usually takes 2 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory.
 
Bonding - Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and color. He or she will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit; the veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used. Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched — which roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process. A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once properly position on the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the veneer, which activates the cement, causing it to harden or cure very quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary.

Dental Exams

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed at your initial visit and at your later check-up visits. Dr. Brostowitz or Dr. Cash will perform the exam which will include the following:
  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for the detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, lips, tongue, neck, and gums for any signs of oral cancer
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone levels around teeth for any signs of periodontal disease
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special instruments
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges, partial dentures, dentures, etc.
  • Discuss any oral health concerns you might have

Infant and Toddler Exams

As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur, making regular dental exams an important part of preventive health care. During a dental exam for children, the hygienist will clean your child’s teeth and evaluate your child’s risk of tooth decay. A dental exam for children might include the application of various protective measures — such as sealants or fluoride treatments — to reduce the risk of decay. The exam will also include dental X-rays or other diagnostic procedures.

During the dental exam, the dentist or hygienist will likely discuss your oral hygiene habits and demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques. Other topics for discussion during a dental exam might include preventing oral injuries.

Regular dental exams help protect your child’s oral health. Dental exams give your child’s dentist a chance to provide tips on caring for your child’s teeth, as well as detect any problems early — when they’re most treatable.

When to have a dental exam

Various factors might determine how frequently your child needs to have a dental exam, including his or her age, health and risk of tooth decay. Consider these general guidelines:
  • Ages 6 months to 1 year. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association recommend scheduling a child’s first dental exam after the first tooth erupts and no later than his or her first birthday. Also, expect your baby’s teeth and gums to be examined at well-baby checkups
  • Toddlers, school-age children, and adolescents. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling dental checkups every six months. The dentist might recommend more frequent visits if your child is at high risk of tooth decay or has other dental or oral health concerns
What to expect during your child’s first visit
  • The dentist can:
  • Review medical and dental histories
  • Complete a thorough examination to assess growth and development, oral hygiene, injuries, cavities and/or other problems
  • Clean the teeth as indicated and provide suggestions about daily care
  • Evaluate and optimize your child’s fluoride exposure because too much or too little can lead to problems
  • Review feeding practices and provide dietary counseling
  • Assess your child’s risk of developing tooth decay
  • Provide information regarding oral development, teething, pacifier or finger/thumb sucking habits and injury prevention
  • Plan for any needed treatment or the next check-up

Composite Fillings

Composite resin is a filling material made especially for aesthetic dental restorations. Because it is formulated to resemble the color of your natural tooth, composite resin is often used for filling dental cavities or for dental bonding front teeth.

Composite resin consists of glass or quartz filler added to a resin medium, which produces a tooth-colored filling. The invention of composite resin offers a substitute to the dental fillings we’ve grown so accustomed to. This plastic and glass mixture contains no metal and can be shaped to resemble a real tooth. Onlookers usually can’t tell that a tooth has even been filled.

For years, silver fillings or ”amalgam” was the only option for filling teeth. Those who wanted natural-looking restorations had to opt for more expensive cosmetic treatments, such as a dental crown.

Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening is used to change the color of your natural teeth and is an easy way to enhance your smile.

Because having whiter teeth has now become one of the top aesthetic concerns of most patients, there are a number of ways to achieve the best result. The most popular method is a take-home tooth whitening system. Since whitening only works on natural enamel it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns or existing dental work. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so all restorations will match the new whiter color of your natural teeth. Keep in mind that tooth whitening is not permanent and touch-up brightening is required. The frequency of the brightening depends on your habits, so if you smoke, drink coffee, tea or red wine you may need to re-bleach more often than an individual who does not.

Reasons for tooth whitening:
  • Yellow or brown stained teeth
  • Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development)
  • Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline for example)
What does whitening involve?

Impressions (molds) of your upper and lower teeth will be taken. We then make models from these molds and fabricate trays that exactly match your teeth. Your whitening trays are ready for use in about one week. At the delivery appointment, we will try the trays in for proper fit and comfort and make adjustments if necessary. To prevent or minimize sensitivity that sometimes accompanies whitening, a prescription strength fluoride gel is provided as part of the whitening. You will use it for brushing and for wearing in the trays prior to using the bleaching gel. The trays are then worn with a special whitening gel. Most patients wear them overnight, or they can be worn for shorter periods of time, depending on the doctor’s recommendation for your particular needs. The length of time before desired results also varies from patient to patient. It is normal to experience some sensitivity during the time you are whitening, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.

Occasional touch-ups are needed over time and depending on your personal habits such as tobacco use, tea, and coffee, etc. The additional gel can be obtained at our office as needed. As with any dental procedure, it is important that you keep your regularly scheduled recall appointments to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.
 
Composite resin enables dentists to cosmetically treat dental cavities without using invasive procedures.

Dental Implants

Nothing can take the place of a healthy set of teeth, but when disease or an accident ends in tooth loss, it’s good to know that there are options for restoring your smile. There are different types of implants for different conditions and needs. The single tooth implant replaces the missing tooth’s roots Implants are titanium root replacements for teeth. They are made to match your existing teeth or even enhance your existing smile. An implant can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple teeth, or as the support for a removable denture. Implants are wonderful, long-lasting, strong restorations that have a success rate of over 90%. They usually last longer than the teeth and require little maintenance but may require adjustments or repairs over time due to normal wear.

Reasons for implants:
  • Single missing tooth
  • Multiple missing teeth
  • Improving the fit of loose dentures
  • Orthodontic movement of teeth
What does getting an implant involve?

We are excited to offer several implant options to our patients. Some require referral to a specialist, such as an oral surgeon or periodontist, and others, like the 3M Mini Dental Implant can be completed at our office. The process of getting an implant requires several well-planned appointments with your dentist and sometimes the appropriate specialist. We are unique, however because in many cases we can place the implant here so you are not referred out to the specialists. During a minor surgical procedure, the implant is placed utilizing a custom guide. Some dentures can be connected to the implants within 2-3 months. Implant crowns or bridges can be placed 4-6 months later. In the interim you are often given something to wear to temporarily replace the missing tooth or teeth.
 
With advanced planning, you can be without your natural tooth or teeth for a minimal amount of time.

If there have been teeth missing for a long time, there is often loss of bone support in that area. Some additional procedures may be required to improve the bone quality prior to implant placement. So, if you are missing bone an implant can still be a good restoration for you. This is especially true for patients that have poor-fitting dentures. Our patients have experienced unbelievable improvements in how their dentures fit.
 
There is unlimited potential for implant restorations and they are one of the most exciting options we have in dentistry today.

Once placed, implants require normal brushing and flossing. You will be given care instructions and tools to achieve good health around your implant. Remember that regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant restoration.

Dentures and Partial Dentures

A denture is a removable appliance for the replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.
 
There are two types of dentures- complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents teeth from shifting.
 
A complete denture may be either conventional, immediate, or implant supported.
A conventional denture is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4-6 weeks. Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made and typically a relining of the denture is needed within one year. If the denture is the implant supported type, it will be made in conjunction with implant placement and sometimes a temporary denture is worn while healing takes place.
 
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, relined or readjusted due to normal wear.

Reasons for dentures:
  • Complete denture – loss of all teeth in an arch
  • Partial denture – loss of several teeth in an arch
  • Enhancing smile and facial tissues
  • Improving chewing, speech, and digestion
What does getting dentures involve?

The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture or partial ensuring a natural and comfortable fit. It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however, this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures. You will be given care instructions for your new dentures or partials. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.

Dentures and Partial Dentures

Looking for an alternative to metal braces?
ClearCorrect is the clear and simple choice. No wires. No brackets.

With ClearCorrect, Dr. Brostowitz can straighten your teeth using a series of clear, custom, removable aligners. Each aligner moves your teeth just a little bit at a time until you eventually get straight teeth.
 
You and Dr. Brostowitz will then evaluate your teeth and talk about any problems or goals you have for your smile. Once it is established that ClearCorrect is the right treatment option for you, Dr. Brostowitz will take impressions, photos, and sometimes x-rays of your teeth.
 
Your records will be sent to ClearCorrect along with a prescription. ClearCorrect uses those records to create 3D models of your teeth. Following the instructions provided, ClearCorrect creates a “treatment setup” representing the desired position of your teeth at the end of treatment. At the same time, ClearCorrect also manufactures “Phase Zero” passive aligners designed to fit your teeth and get you accustomed to wearing aligners right away.

When you and Dr. Brostowitz are satisfied with the fit of Phase Zero and the projected results shown in your treatment setup, ClearCorrect maps out a plan for gradual adjustment throughout your treatment. Then the manufacturing process begins. Using the latest 3D printing technology, ClearCorrect creates your custom aligners with computer precision. ClearCorrect then sends your first phase of active aligners to your doctor, who dispenses them to you.
 
You will wear your aligners all the time, except while eating and drinking or during daily tooth care, such as brushing and flossing. Your ClearCorrect aligners will be so clear they’ll barely be noticeable, so they won’t have an impact on your day to day life. Aligner by aligner, you’ll be able to see the difference as your teeth slowly adjust and align to your target smile. You’ll visit your doctor periodically to check on your progress and get new phases of aligners until you eventually have the straight smile you have always wanted.

Mini Dental Implants

Mini dental implants can broaden a patient’s options. It is less invasive than the conventional implant surgery, and it can be an alternative when there is not enough bone to allow full –sized implants. It is also good for those seeking a lower cost in comparison to conventional implants.

Reasons for Mini Dental Implants:
  • A loose denture due to bone loss
  • Unable to eat many of your favorite foods
  • Impaired speech, embarrassment when smiling from slipping dentures
  • Too little money, time, or bone for traditional implants
What Are Mini Dental Implants?

The MDI System consists of a miniature titanium implant that acts like the root of your tooth and a retaining fixture that is incorporated into the base of your denture, The head of the implant is shaped like a ball and the retaining fixture acts like a socket that contains a rubber O-ring. The O-ring snaps over the ball when the denture is seated and holds the denture at a predetermined level of force. When seated, the denture gently rests on the gum tissue. The implant fixtures allow for micro-mobility while withstanding natural lifting forces.

How are MDI Mini Dental Implants placed?

Placement of the implants can usually be done during a 2-hour appointment in our office with local anesthesia. Using a precise, controlled, minimally invasive surgical technique, the implants are placed into the jawbone. The heads of the implants protrude from the gum tissue and provide a strong, solid foundation for securing your denture or tooth.
 
If the mini implant is being used to stabilize a denture, the head of the implant is shaped like a ball, and the retaining fixture (embedded in the denture) acts like a socket with a rubber O-ring. The O-ring snaps over the ball when the denture is seated and holds the denture firmly in place. Your denture rests gently on the gum tissue, but the implant fixtures allow for micro-mobility.

When can Mini Dental Implants be used?

When critically needed for support purposes, and where solid bony adaptation (integration) has clearly occurred, mini implants can function as long-term supporting structures rather than as short-term or medium-term devices. In fact, some have been successfully functioning in patients’ jaws for several decades. In the past several years, some clinicians have been utilizing MDI’s for single tooth replacements and in crown and bridge cases.

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal treatment (also called a root canal) is done when decay will likely damage or has already killed a tooth. During a root canal, a dentist or endodontist removes the pulp from the center of a tooth and fills the pulp cavity. This can prevent the development of a painful infection in the pulp that may spread to other teeth. A root canal can also treat an infection that has developed into an abscessed tooth. This procedure can relieve a toothache, stop the infection, and promote healing.
 
A general dentist, like Dr. Brostowitz, or one who specializes in diseases of tooth pulp (endodontist) can perform a root canal.
  • First, the dentist will numb your gums with a substance that feels like jelly. After your gums are numb, the dentist will inject a local anesthetic that will completely numb the teeth, gums, tongue, and skin in that area. Sometimes nitrous oxide gas will be used to reduce pain and help you relax
  • The dentist may separate the decayed tooth from the other teeth with a small sheet of rubber on a metal frame. This protective rubber sheet also helps stop liquid and tooth chips from entering your mouth and throat
  • The dentist will use a drill and other tools to remove the pulp from the tooth and will fill the inside part of the tooth below the gum line with medicines, temporary filling materials, and a final root canal filling
  • After the root canal, a permanent filling or crown (cap) is often needed. If a crown is needed, the dentist removes the decay and then makes an impression of the tooth. A technician uses the impression to make a crown that perfectly matches the drilled tooth
  • The tooth may be fitted with a temporary crown until the permanent crown is made and cemented into place
What to expect after your root canal

After a root canal, your lips and gums may remain numb for a few hours until the anesthetic wears off. Later you may have throbbing pain, which you can treat with pain medicines, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or a stronger prescription painkiller. The pain usually lasts only a day or two.

Periodontal Maintenance

It takes only twenty-four hours for the plaque that is not removed from your teeth to turn into tartar or calculus. Daily home care helps control plaque and tartar formation, but those patients who have the deeper pockets due to periodontal disease, need more than the standard cleaning or “prophy” to keep those pockets free of bacteria, plaque, and tartar.
 
Once your periodontal therapy has been completed, your dentist and hygienist will recommend that you have regular maintenance cleanings up to four times a year. At these cleaning appointments, the pocket depths will be carefully checked to ensure that they are healthy. Plaque and calculus that is difficult for you to remove on a daily basis will be removed.
 
In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:
  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays – essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. Also, x-rays help determine tooth and root positions
  • Examination of existing restorations – check current fillings and crowns
  • Examination of tooth decay – check all surfaces for decay
  • Oral cancer screening – check the face, lips, tongue, throat, cheeks, and gums for oral cancer
  • Oral hygiene recommendations – review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed
  • Teeth polishing – remove stain and plaque that is otherwise not removed during tooth brushing and scaling
  • Good oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control
Treatment of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Dr. Brostowitz will evaluate if you have any stage of periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatment. Periodontal disease progresses as the pocket between the tooth and the gums get filled with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, causing irritation to the surrounding tissues. When these irritants remain in the pocket space they cause damage to the gums and bone that support the teeth. This area must be thoroughly cleaned out by the doctor or hygienist to stop the irritation and inflammation. The depth of the pockets is too deep for a toothbrush to reach into the pockets and effectively remove the bacteria and irritants.

Depending on the stage of periodontal disease, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing might be recommended. It is usually done in a series of appointments. During scaling and root planing, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and deep below the gumline. Rough spots on the roots (a result of the inflammation and disease) are made smooth again by special planing instruments. In the absence of infection and with smooth root surfaces, there can be some reattachment to the root, causing the pocket size to decrease. Special medicines are placed under the gum to prevent the bacteria from recolonizing the area. There are special tools that may be recommended to help keep the teeth clean after the root planing. If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be required to reduce the pocket depths, making the teeth easier to keep clean in the future.

Diagnosis of Periodontal Disease

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is diagnosed by your dentist, Dr. Brostowitz, during a periodontal examination. This type of exam is different from one that is looking for decay or cavities, and it is always a part of your regular dental check-up.
 
A periodontal probe is gently used to measure the space between the tooth and gums. Healthy measurements are around 1-3mm and there is no bleeding when doing the measuring. The periodontal probe helps indicate if pockets are deeper than 3mm. As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets usually get deeper. You hygienist and dentist will document pocket depths, the amount of bleeding, inflammation, tooth mobility, etc, to make a diagnosis that will fall into a category below:
 
Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Plaque and its toxin by-products irritate the gums and cause them to swell, be tender and to bleed.
 
Periodontitis
When plaque isn’t removed from teeth, it hardens and becomes a rock-like substance called tartar or calculus. As this tartar accumulates, it releases toxins and causes inflammation. The inflammation destroys the gum’s attachment to the tooth and the bone around the tooth. This process will continue and pockets become deeper and deeper. Since periodontitis (gum disease) is usually painless, the measurements, x-ray review of bone levels, and observed bleeding will help in your assessment.
 
Advanced Periodontitis
As the bacteria and toxins inhabit the area below your gums, they continue to grow and multiply creating deeper pockets. Any measurement of 6mm or more indicates an advanced bone loss. As with the earlier stages of gum disease, there is also bleeding, signs of recession, and inflammation.
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