eriodontists are dentists who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease as well as the placement and maintenance of dental implants. A periodontist is one of the eight dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association and has had extensive training with two additional years of study after dental school. As specialists, they devote their time, energy, and skill to helping patients care for their gums.
Napa Dentist Dr. Burke specializes in the conservative and surgical treatment of gum disease including cosmetic procedures to aesthetically enhance your smile, including:
Periodontal diseases are ongoing infections of the gums that gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically-susceptible individuals. Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums. They may cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth causing pockets (spaces) to form. Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. Statistically, this disease damages the teeth, gum, and jawbone of more than 80 percent of Americans by age 45.
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that their teeth appear natural and that their facial contours will be preserved. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.