Implant Dentistry and Periodontics - Michael D. Edwards, DDS, MSD
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The New Periodontal Classification System and What It Means For You

Gum disease vector infographAs you may have heard, the proceedings from the 2017 World Workshop on the Classification of Periodontal and Peri-Implant Diseases and Conditions have recently been released. As a result of the workshop, there is a new classification system in use for periodontology. This new classification system allows scientists to investigate etiology, parthenogenesis, natural history, and treatment of diseases and conditions with the same vocabulary, reducing inconsistent interpretations of the data.

Essentially, this classification now accounts for advances in the last twenty years of our knowledge of periodontal health. Patients will now be classified between stages I and IV, which factor in their overall health, risk factors, and disease progression when it comes to periodontics.

You can read more from the American Academy of Periodontology here.

So what does this mean?

As a Periodontist: This new classification system is more concise and will account more accurately for the patient’s overall health in regards to the periodontia. This system is much clearer than the previous classifications from 1999. The new staging in this classification system also helps to provide a more clear treatment plan for patients.

As a Patient: It is important to be aware of this new classification system. It is crucial that you as a patient understand that periodontal disease has different levels of severity and can manifest differently. The root cause of the disease can be complex, requiring the expertise of a periodontist.

If you suspect periodontal disease, the easiest way to detect if your gums are inflamed is to see if your gums bleed when flossing. If your gums bleed when you floss or brush your teeth, we recommend making an appointment with your dentist or periodontist. Depending on the severity of disease, treatment recommendations can vary widely, from modifying daily hygiene habits to advanced laser therapy.

To be sure that your diagnosis is in line with this new classification, make sure you ask your dentist or periodontist, “What is my diagnosis and treatment recommendations based on the 2017 Classification system?” Being educated on this new system allows you to ensure you are receiving the most up-to-date and accurate treatment for your specific case.

Overall, this new classification system will benefit both doctors and patients, and will allow for more clear and concise diagnoses and treatment plans for periodontal patients.

Meet Yomi, the Dental Robot

Yomi, a dental implant assistant, can help procedures get even more accurate.In the last century, the world has become more and more automated. Robots have been a part of surgery for years. Recently, though, robots have become increasingly important when it comes to dental surgical procedures. Meet Yomi®, the FDA approved robot created by Neocis Inc that is changing the game when it comes to dental implants. Its designed to assist during the implant placement procedure while still ensuring that the dentist is in control of each task. While this robot isn’t available for wide use just yet, we are excited about it!

How does it work?

The robot is actually a guidance system for the dentist. It uses some of the same technology as a GPS system. Once Yomi gets a CT scan of the patient’s head, the software plans the procedural phases of the surgery. It uses the measurements of your head and face to help guide the dentist’s hand and tools as they drill and insert the implant. This helps ensure that your periodontist gets the correct depth and location with the drill.

Rest assured, though, the dentist remains in control, should they need to make any adjustments. This makes the procedural plans dynamic and flexible, leaving all control in the surgeon’s hands. The software helps the dentist know exactly where his or her tools are in relation to the patient’s face, including nerves and arteries. These features make Yomi a precision instrument that can help deliver excellent oral care.

We’re here to help

Your Indianapolis periodontist knows that dental implants are becoming the standard for helping patients with missing teeth. Almost 4 million are placed every year! We want to provide the best care possible to our patients. While Yomi is not yet common in dental offices, we want you to be informed. Please, feel free to ask questions about it and how we do our own dental implant procedures.

As always, keep up a good oral care routine and let us help you keep those pearly whites in good shape. Call our office for an appointment and get all your questions about dental implants in Indianapolis answered.

Have a Safe Holiday!

travel safe this holiday season.

Here at your Indianapolis periodontist office, we want to wish you a happy and safe holiday season. That’s why we put together a few tips to help keep your loved ones safe on the road and your teeth healthy and smile-ready!

Don’t Forget…

As you enjoy the get-togethers and parties, the reunions and sugary treats, don’t forget that you need to care for your mouth! With extra sugar plums dancing on our counters, it’s easy to be too relaxed on oral care. Make it a priority to brush and floss so your holidays aren’t interrupted with unexpected trips to the dentist.

Gums, Too!

Don’t forget your gums! As you brush and floss, make sure that your gum line gets some attention. It’s easy to forget, but that’s where the bulk of the bacteria will hide. Get that brush and floss up by the roots of those pearly whites and use a good mouth rinse!

(Double) Check Your Plans

No matter how carefully you’ve planned and reserved, do another checkup on your flight and other reservations. With all the social media platforms and travel websites, it’s easy to track flights and hotels to see if they’re full, getting hit with a storm, late, or overbooked. Most travel companies are conscious of the need to please, especially when circumstances are beyond our control (like weather), so be sure and check on re-booking policies. You can also follow your flight (or airport) on social media, making it easy to see if it’s on time, late, or covered in ice.

Be Prepared

Those boy scouts were onto something when they came up with their motto. It’s always a good idea to prepare for a dire situation, even if chances are slim that you’ll run into one. Make sure your devices are all charged up and you have snacks and water to last a little while. Also be sure to include jumper cables, gloves and a hat, and a first-aid kit in your car for emergencies.

Consider Your Transportation

Even though train travel isn’t always associated with the 21st century, it’s a viable option. It’s especially great on days when roads are crowded and/or icy. Train travel even allows for more baggage per person than an airline, so packing your gifts won’t be a problem. And if you’re still considering driving, no matter how excited you are to get to your destination, don’t drive into a storm. If you refuse to wait it out, please refer our tip above and be prepared.

If you have an emergency appointment this holiday season, please call us today! From your Fishers Periodontist, Happy Holidays!

Secret Health Food: Pumpkin!

The secret is out, pumpkins are really good for you!Now that it’s officially Fall, ‘tis the season for baked goods that fill the house with smells of holidays and family get-togethers, big meals, and all things squash and spice. It’s also that time of year when we get a little too sugared up. We’ll be eating treats and sweets until January, when those confounded resolutions halt us in our sugary tracks…

Have no fear (and no regrets) – your Indianapolis periodontist is here to help you find redemption in pumpkins. Yes, pumpkins are good for your teeth! Pumpkins are super-packed with vitamins and minerals, while still being low in calories. But let’s also be clear here; we’re talking about cooked pumpkin, not a pumpkin pie. Let’s talk about some of the great things pumpkins can do for your teeth.

If you look at the USDA’s Nutrient database, you’ll see that 1/2 cup of pumpkin (cooked) only has about 40 calories. But it’s not just the calories that are important – it also has nearly 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and hardly any fat at all (less than half of a gram!). You’ll get all your Vitamin A for the day, a fifth of your Vitamin C, and some of your Vitamin E, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and riboflavin (plus a few more). And if you’re committed enough to scoop out those seeds from real pumpkins wash them off and bake them. You’ll get a ton of fiber, protein, and calcium.

What do these have to do with teeth? We hoped you’d ask!

While all these nutrients are great for your body, some of them can specifically help your teeth, like magnesium. It joins forces with calcium to strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent decay. Vitamin A will help your damaged gums heal. Zinc will aid your bones, i.e. your teeth, in staying strong. People who don’t get enough zinc tend to have gums that bleed a little easier. They also are prone to more bone and hair loss. Vitamin C found in pumpkin will boost that immune system and fight infections and inflammation around your teeth.

But these benefits won’t come from pumpkin flavoring, so go for the real thing. Dr. Edwards, your periodontist in Indianapolis and Fishers, recommends these yummy recipes to start. Come to your Fishers periodontist this holiday season to keep your teeth and gums in their best shape!

Your Amazing Tongue

Learn more about your tongue.At Indy Implants, we like to educate our patients on their oral hygiene and how they can make good, healthy choices. We also want to educate our clients on more than just how to brush and floss their teeth. Oral hygiene involves gums, lips, tongues, and more. We all know that our tongues help us taste food and enjoy the wonders of eating. But, the tongue is also an important part of your mouth and keeping your teeth healthy. Tongues are amazing things that helps us taste and speak, but there are many facts about the amazing tongue that you might not realize.

Here are a Few Facts About Tongues that Might Surprise You

  1. It consists of eight different muscles

    Tongues are very flexible, and they can move and do a lot of work without getting sore.

  2. The Average Tongue Length is Actually Around 10 Centimeters

    This length includes from the inside to the tip of the tongue. There are some people that have abnormally long tongues, like world record holder for longest tongue, Nick Stoeberl.

  3. The Color of Your Tongue Can Say a Lot about Your Health

    Your tongue’s color can show your overall health. A healthy tongue is a nice, pink color. Infections and allergies can make it look red while fungal infections can cause white patches on the tongue.

  4. Your Taste Buds are Actually Invisible to the Eye

    You might think those small buds you see are your taste buds. Actually, those are papillae and are not taste buds but where the taste buds reside.

  5. Have You Heard That Certain Areas of Your Tongue Taste Different Things?

    This is actually not true. All areas can taste everything.

  6. Being Able to Twist Your Tongue is not Just a Genetic Factor

    Being able to roll or curl your tongue is not something that everyone can do. While many of us heard this is an inherited trait, genetic experts say that there is an environmental factor to this trait, also. It is not so cut and dried.

Contact Us Today!

If you have noticed any discoloration on your tongue or any other issues with your oral hygiene, then please give Indy Implants a call. As your Indianapolis periodontist, we are here to answer any questions you have or to schedule an appointment.

Challenge: Take Control of Your Gum Health

Your Indianapolis periodontist challenges you to floss every day for 30 days!

Gum health is a huge part of oral hygiene. Keeping your gums healthy can lead to a healthier mouth and smile and can prevent serious problems such as periodontal disease and tooth loss. If your gums aren’t in the best shape they could be, our Indianapolis periodontist has some tips to help you improve your gum health. At Indy Implants, we are issuing a challenge to our patients to take control of their gum health in just 30 days.

Here is how to do that. Many of these items are things you can do at home to get started. Good oral hygiene starts with daily habits.

  1. Use a good toothbrush: Find a brush with soft and round bristles. This way you can brush your teeth and gums without hurting your gums. Your Indianapolis periodontist recommends using a brush with crisscross bristles.
  2. Floss, each and every day!: This is a really important one. We realize that a lot of people don’t love to floss. But, it doesn’t take that long. Once you get used to flossing each time you brush your teeth, it gets easier and becomes part of your daily routine. There are many products out there that make flossing easier.
  3. Brush your teeth at least two times a day: This one is easy. Brush your teeth when you wake up and right before bed. If you aren’t already doing this, making it a habit is important. Once you’re used to it, it’s a simple habit that has long-lasting, positive impacts. We know it can be easy to forget to floss that second time. But, trust us, it will lead to a healthier mouth, a healthier smile, and better smelling breath.
  4. Use mouthwash: This allows your gums and tongues and other parts of the mouth to get a cleaning. For questions about which mouthwash products to use,don’t hesitate to ask. We are happy to help. Plus, mouthwash leads to better breath, which is another plus.
  5. Avoid soft drinks: These drinks have a lot of sugar which can cause plaque to form. Also, some are very acidic which weras done tooth enamel over time.

These are some simple things you can do in a month to improve your gum health. These are habits that take a few minutes a day and a few, simple changes and can lead to big improvement.If you have any more questions, talk to your periodontist in Indianapolis today.

Schedule an Appointment

Call Indy Implants to schedule an appointment and check-in on your gum health. Our friendly front desk staff and experienced periodontist are happy to help!

How to Care For Your Gums

Now that you’ve read all about the proper ways to care for your teeth (yes, we’re assuming you regularly read our blog!), let’s talk about how to care for your gums. Those pearly whites aren’t the only thing you need to pamper for a winning smile and good oral health. Your gums are just as important!Here are some tips to keep your gums healthy, from your Indianapolis periodontist.

Gum Disease?

When gums get neglected, they’re at risk for gum disease; plaque build-up that can cause tooth decay. When plaque isn’t cleaned off your teeth, it turns into tartar. You can’t brush this form of hardened plaque with your toothbrush. Your periodontist in Indianapolis has to remove it!

Plaque, that filmy sticky stuff on your gum line, has lots of harmful bacteria. In the beginning, it will cause gingivitis, which causes gum inflammation. The gums are swollen, tender, and bleed easily. At this stage, your Indianapolis periodontist can help remove it. If left too long, the gingivitis will turn into periodontitis, which will damage your teeth and surrounding bones.

Watch Out for the Following Signs You Have Gum Disease

  • Receding gums
  • Gums prone to bleeding
  • Loose permanent teeth
  • Halitosis (chronically stinky breath
  • Tender, swollen, red gums

What to Do

Let’s look at a few things you can do to prevent gum disease and keep your mouth in great shape.

  • Visit your Indianapolis or Fischer periodontist for regular cleanings and checkups. We can help remove the plaque that cause the problems. We’ll also let you know if you have spots of inflamed gums.
  • Floss like a boss. Flossing is the key to preventing a lot of different oral problems, but especially gum disease. That little piece of thread gets where the toothbrush can’t, and it can remove a lot of plaque near the gum line. Be sure and do it every day…and gently.
  • Use fluoride in your toothpaste. You have lots of choices and the flavor doesn’t matter; just make sure you pick one that has fluoride in it.
  • Brush often. For most people, this is twice per day. If you want to be extra careful, brush after every meal, so that no food is left trapped in your teeth fostering bacteria.

If you have any questions about gum disease, come to our office for the best gum disease treatment in Indianapolis. Schedule an appointment with us today!

What’s a Dental Implant Made Of?

Learn more about what a dental implant is made of.At Indy Implants, we provide high quality dental implants for our patients in Indianapolis and Fishers. Our specialists have years of experience placing dental implants for their patients. If you are in need of an implant dentist in Indianapolis, give us a call!

What is a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are metal posts inserted into the jawbone below the gums. This allows a strong foundation for a new, permanent tooth. Implants make artificial teeth strong and more secure. This keeps your new teeth from shifting over time or moving while eating.

There are two main types of implants: endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants.

  • Endosteal Implants

    This kind of dental implant is surgically implanted in the jawbone. After healing, you would need another surgery to insert titanium posts, then attach the crowns.

  • Subperiosteal Implants

    This method attaches a metal frame beneath the gum tissue. After healing, posts attached to the frame stick up from the gums. Your Indianapolis implant dentist will then attach the crown.

What are Dental Implants Made Of?

Dental implants are usually made from two materials. As in, there are two different types of dental implants: titanium and zirconia. Both of these materials can integrate with your natural bone successfully. Titanium implants are more versatile since they use a one-piece or a two-piece system. Two-piece dental implants replace the natural root, as well as a piece above the gum line. 95% of dental implants use titanium alloys. Zirconium is also another great option.

Not sure which dental implant works for you? Ask your periodontist! We are happy to answer any of your questions about the process and whether you qualify for dental implants.

Contact Us Today!

We offer dental implants in our Indianapolis and Fishers offices. Give us a call today to learn more about our dental implants and to schedule an appointment. Our friendly, professional staff and clinicians can’t wait to meet you!

Protect Your Teeth This Summer

Protect your teeth this summer by adopting these healthy tips. If you end up missing teeth, we can help you replace missing teeth with dental implants. Summer is a great time to kick back, relax, and spend time outside with friends and family. The weather is perfect for spending time outdoors. You may find yourself soaking up the warm sun and playing sports in the outdoors. Unfortunately, few people realize that summer increases the risk of tooth damage. Whether you are out catching a football with friends, or eating an excess of sugary foods, you are at risk for decay or even tooth loss. Protect your teeth this summer to avoid an unnecessary visit to your periodontist in Indianapolis. Here are some simple tips and tricks.

Protecting Your Teeth

  • Don’t forget to brush your teeth after eating. If you don’t have a toothbrush handy, you have options. You can drink water to rinse your mouth or chew sugar-free gum to loosen food particles trapped in your teeth.
  • Avoid sugary drinks and foods such as soda and candy as much as possible.
  • Visit your periodontist in Fishers and Indianapolis for a cleaning during the summer. This is especially necessary if it’s been some time since your last cleaning.
  • Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports to keep your teeth. They will keep from getting chipped or knocked loose, and from undue pressure from clenching your jaw in competition.
  • Stay hydrated! It is important that you drink ½ ounce to 1 ounce of water for every pound that you weigh per day!
  • Wear SPF chapstick that will protect your lips from the sun – and prevent oral cancer.
  • Do NOT use teeth as tools (ie opening bottles, chewing on ice, etc.). Doing so can create tiny hairline cracks in your teeth that can create major problems down the road.

Damaged Teeth

Even if it you are very careful with your oral care this summer, an accident may happen. If you have a chipped tooth or it was knocked loose, or even knocked out, call your dentist right away! Most teeth can be saved if they are taken care of within the first hour of being knocked loose. If it is not possible to save the tooth, it may be necessary to insert dental implants in Fishers. A dental implant is an artificial tooth that is inserted into the jaw by a titanium screw. Implants function just like natural teeth and help protect the jaw from bone loss. If you need to get dental implants in Indianapolis, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Indy Implants today!

The Ultimate Guide to Toothpaste

Good oral hygiene is crucial to almost every aspect of your health, if you take care of your teeth, they take care of you! With all the brands of toothpaste out there, it's hard to know which is best for you. With so many brands to choose from, it’s difficult to know what works best for you, your mouth, and your wallet!

Looking to Whiten Things Up?

White teeth never go out of style! If you find that your teeth are starting to show the stains of your daily cup of coffee, it’s time to upgrade to a whitening toothpaste! When purchasing, look for the active ingredient, “hydrogen peroxide.” Hydrogen peroxide works to remove stains and seriously whiten those chompers! Be sure to check and see if the toothpaste provides adequate enamel protection. Otherwise, you may just end up back in an Indianapolis dentist’s chair with a mouth full of cavities!

Don’t Be So Sensitive!

Say goodbye to sensitive teeth and gums and pick a toothpaste with a calcium based desensitizing product! Calcium-based toothpastes often provide immediate relief. Other potassium-based brands, like Sensodyne, can take as long as four weeks to begin working. Our Indianapolis periodontist recommends Elemex Sensitive Professional Toothpaste. It’s made with that calcium-based product, that can help with overly-sensitive gums and teeth.

Try Going Organic

It’s natural to be a little concerned about putting chemicals in your body! If you’re worried about your teeth, try using an organic toothpaste instead. Organic toothpastes are as effective as their un-organic counterparts. They lack a lot of those scary and unpronounceable chemicals. Dr. Bronmer’s All-One toothpaste has high ratings, and the FDA certified it as organic. Dr. Bronmer’s (and many other organic products like it) do not have fluoride in their ingredient make-up, so be sure to read the label if this concerns you!

What About my Kids?

Many kids under the age of two have great difficulty spitting out their toothpaste and fully rinsing their mouth out. Due to the potential risk of toothpaste ingestion, you should look for a fluoride-free brand for kids under the age of two. Tom’s Of Maine has a great kid friendly version of their fluoride free paste! When your kids are over the age of two, pick an approved brand of toothpaste with a fluoride component. A few favorites include, Aquafresh: Fresh N’ Fruity and Colgate Children’s 2 in 1.

Although picking a toothpaste is important, having a regular teeth and gum exam by one of the best periodontists in Indianapolis and Fishers is even more essential to dental health! Call Dr. Edwards’ office today at 317-218-9682 to schedule a checkup, and to discuss any questions you may have.