Actual PatientPersonalized Care Program

Your smile is a lifelong gift. Your personalized care program with Dr. Heilman will help you keep your smile for life by preventing problems before they start. Enjoy peace of mind knowing you have a caring dental team that is helping you to keep watch over your healthy smile. At every visit, you will receive focused attention and a detailed update concerning the condition of your teeth and gums. You'll never have to wonder about the condition of your teeth.

Regular evaluations with your dentist and hygienist will include the following:

  • Review of your Medical History
    We now know that your overall health and oral health are closely related, so we will review with you information about how your family health history, certain medical issues you may have, or medications you may be taking impact your oral health.
  • Blood Pressure Screening
    We will take your blood pressure at each appointment, as fluctuations in blood pressure can be a sign of a change in your health.
  • Evaluation of Diagnostic Radiographs (X-rays)
    Radiographs are essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  Radiographs also help determine tooth and root positions. We will review your X-rays at each visit.
  • Oral Cancer Screening
    The importance of early detection of cancer cannot be overstated. At each of your visits, we will check the face, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum Disease Evaluation
    We'll evaluate your gums and bone around your teeth for any signs of infection or periodontal disease.
  • Evaluation of Tooth Decay
    All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Evaluation of Existing Restorations
    We'll help you monitor the condition of any existing dental work, such as crowns, fillings, etc., to ensure they are serving you well.

Periodontal & Hygiene

Your hygienists are highly skilled and trained using the latest technology in preventing and treating periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the most common infection in adults and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S. Often patients with periodontal disease are not in pain and do not recognize the symptoms associated with it.

Evidence suggests that the natural inflammatory response associated with periodontal disease is systemic and affects the entire body. Emerging science indicates that there is a link between oral health and overall health. Research is showing that periodontal disease may contribute to serious health problems and conditions such as heart disease and stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease, and pre-term low birth-weight babies. At least one research study shows that periodontal disease may even increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. So, an early diagnosis may help save your life, as well as your teeth.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is a persistent bacterial infection. It develops over time as a cascade of events that begin with an unhealthy balance of bacteria and the formation of biofilms in the supportive tissues of the teeth. Biofilms are dense concentrations of a specific group of bacteria that are resistant to the body's natural infection-fighting mechanisms and are found both above and below the gumline.

As these bacterial colonies grow, they produce toxins that irritate the bone, connective tissue, and gum surrounding and supporting a tooth. They stimulate an inflammatory response. It is the body's own inflammatory response that begins to break down the gum and bone tissues that support the teeth. These supportive structures can become seriously compromised if the process advances unchecked, leading ultimately to tooth loss.

How to Treat Periodontal Disease

Treating and managing periodontal disease begins with a thorough evaluation. If gum disease is present, we will work closely with you to create an individual periodontal therapy program to stop the deterioration of the gums and jawbone. We will do everything we can to help you keep your teeth for a lifetime and to prevent periodontal disease from adversely affecting your overall health.

With each of your appointments, we look closely at the level of disease present and at your individual risk factors which can include:

  • Family history/genetics of periodontal disease
  • Other immediate family members who have 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.
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stress
  • Tobacco use
  • Grinding/clenching teeth
  • Auto-immune disease
  • Side effects of certain medications you may be taking

By detecting this infection early, non-surgical periodontal therapy will likely be all that is required for you. In order to get periodontal disease into remission, we use the latest in technology and techniques to fight the disease below the gum line where bacteria grow and multiply.

Medications such as Arestin and Atridox, special medicated mouth rinses, and a Sonicare toothbrush may be recommended to help control infection and healing. My Perio Path is another test we may suggest that can identify and measure which bacteria are affecting your disease.