Monthly Archives

January 2020

Are dental implants safe?

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Patients sometimes come to us with questions as to how safe the placement of dental implants is.  Understanding the potential risks or side effects of implant surgery allows our patients to make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with treatment.

After 50 years of successful implant placement in the U.S., this procedure is considered very safe, especially when performed by an experienced doctor.  Ocean View Dental Care is fortunate to offer the services of Board-certified periodontist, Dr. Pichak Kelk. Dr. Kelk received very specialized training, having completed a 15-month fellowship in dental implant surgery. More importantly, she has over 20 years of experience in placing dental implants.

Dental Implant Success Rate

The National Institute of Health notes that, “Implant studies frequently report outcome rates exceeding 95 percent. Recent advancements in the field of dentistry have revolutionized the use of dental implants.” 

Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. In fact, over 95% of all implants placed are still intact and healthy 10 years after placement. Once the titanium posts are surgically placed, the surrounding jawbone tissue integrates (fuses) in and around the threads of the implant fixture. This process is referred to as osseointegration and essentially makes the implant a functioning part of your jaw.

How will my doctor ensure that my implants are safely placed?

The most important step any patient can take is to work with a qualified and experienced doctor. Dr. Kelk has a long track record of safely placing implants, over 20 years!  Before your surgery is scheduled, Dr. Kelk will determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. A thorough evaluation of your overall health and facial structures will be conducted. 

By screening for known risk factors, Dr. Kelk can ensure that you enjoy successful implant placement. Two leading risk factors for implant failure are tobacco use and jawbone atrophy. If you are found to be a less-than-ideal candidate, Dr. Kelk may be able to work with you to improve your candidacy through a variety of means.

Patients have an active role to play in ensuring that their implants remain healthy. After your implants are placed, you will enter into the integration phase which lasts three to six months. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits and following your recovery guidelines are critical to ensuring that your implants successfully fuse with your jawbone.

Patients should abstain from using any tobacco products or engaging in activities that could result in an impact to the face. Once your implants have fully integrated, maintaining good oral hygiene habits and visiting our office regularly for cleanings and check-ups can ensure that you enjoy your implants for a lifetime.      

Schedule Your Dental Implant Consultation Today

Dental implants deliver life-changing benefits. To be able to smile with confidence and eat regular foods without any trouble is absolutely priceless. If you have one or more missing teeth or are dissatisfied with the performance of your traditional denture or partial denture, Dr. Kelk can place one or more dental implants to restore form and function to your smile. 

Dr. Kelk served as the Dental Board of California onsite examiner for conscious sedation for many years. She is currently part-time clinical faculty at the Advanced Periodontology Program at USC Dental School, where she trains future periodontists in surgical skills. 

To schedule your dental implant consultation with your San Clemente CA dentist, please contact our office online or call (949) 388-0780.

periodontist for gum problems

Got gum problems? Periodontist Dr. Pichak Kelk has treatment.

By | CA dentist, gum disease, gum problems, periodontist | No Comments

periodontist for gum problems

Have you noticed gum problems, such as tender, swollen gums, bleeding when you brush or floss, or sensitivity or pain with hot or cold foods and beverages? If so, you may need a periodontist.

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in gum problems and their treatment. At Ocean View Dental, we are proud to have Board-Certified Periodontist Dr. Pichak Kelk on our team.

Why a periodontist for gum problems?

Problems with your gums usually indicate the presence of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Although, if you have the mildest form of gum disease, called gingivitis, you may not have or notice any symptoms. At this stage, professional teeth cleanings and improved oral hygiene habits should halt and reverse your gum disease.

However, if gingivitis is not properly treated, it progresses to periodontitis. At this point, the gum problems are too deep for a routine professional cleaning. After a thorough examination, Dr. Kelk will recommend a treatment plan based on your symptoms and the extent of your periodontitis.

Usually, the first line of treatment involves deep cleaning, called scaling and root planing. Dr. Kelk will also educate you about gum disease and treatment, including improved home hygiene. In addition, she will most likely bring you back for exams and cleanings more often than twice yearly until the gum disease is under control.

While any general dentist can treat minor periodontitis, there are several clear advantages to seeing a periodontist for gum disease. This is especially true for patients with advanced periodontitis.

Because of their extensive training and knowledge, a periodontist is your best defense against advanced gum problems, such as gum recession and bone and tooth loss.

Since gum disease is the number one cause of adult tooth loss, this is an important consideration.

What is a periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who, after completing dental school, continues their education for an additional three years. During this additional training, they learn in-depth information about the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of gum problems, as well as issues with the tissues and bone that support the teeth. They also learn all about dental implants, including their placement, maintenance, and repair.

They also become familiar with the latest technology and techniques for treating gum disease, including surgical and cosmetic treatments of the gums.

Going beyond the required training and education to specialize as a periodontist, Dr. Kelk achieved the honor of becoming board certified in periodontology. This important distinction means that Dr. Kelk meets or exceeds all the rigorous requirements and has passed comprehensive examinations in each area of periodontics, as required by the American Board of Periodontology.

It is estimated that only around 10 percent of all periodontists are board-certified, so you can rest assured you are in expert hands with Dr. Kelk.

What treatments can a periodontist perform for gum problems?

Most patients with periodontitis experience excellent resolution of symptoms with deep cleaning, improved oral hygiene, and thorough follow-up and maintenance.

However, patients with advanced periodontitis, especially those who have ignored proper treatment, may require further care.

For instance, gum disease breaks down the tissues and bone that support teeth. Over time, this can lead to tooth loss. For tooth loss, Dr. Kelk can place a dental implant to replace the missing tooth and prevent further bone loss. If needed, Dr. Kelk can also perform a bone graft prior to placing the dental implant.

Other procedures Dr. Kelk performs include:

  • Gum surgery for recession or a “gummy smile”
  • Pocket reduction surgery
  • Gum/connective tissue/soft tissue grafts
  • Bone regeneration
  • Osseous surgery
  • Cosmetic gum surgery
  • Laser-assisted periodontal therapy
  • Reconstructive surgery that creates bone volume

For gum problems, you should choose a board-certified periodontist for treatment.

Have you noticed loose teeth or receding gums? Do your gums bleed or cause you sensitivity or tenderness? If yes, you’ll want to get treatment before things get worse.

If you are in the San Clemente, CA area, call (949) 388-0780 today to set your appointment with Dr. Kelk, your local expert in gum disease and its treatment.

Ultrasonic Teeth Cleaning Improves Oral Health

By | general dentist san clemente ca, teeth cleaning

Routine visits to the dentist involve preventive care. The first part is a thorough oral examination that may include x-rays. Then, you receive a professional teeth cleaning.

While a thorough teeth cleaning makes your mouth feel fresh and brightens your teeth, there are even far more important benefits. A professional cleaning is a key ingredient in keeping your gums and teeth healthy. Daily flossing and brushing twice a day go far in oral health, but they do not go far enough.

Every day, plaque builds up on your tooth surfaces. Over time, this plaque hardens into tartar. This tartar gets under the gums and allows harmful bacteria to damage the teeth and gums, putting you at risk for dental decay and gum disease.

Brushing and flossing can remove plaque, but only professional teeth cleaning can remove the tartar build-up.

At Ocean View Dental Care, our team understands the importance of routinely removing tartar from your teeth. We also believe in patient comfort and safety and strive to use the most state-of-the-art equipment available.

That’s why we perform ultrasonic teeth cleaning for tartar removal.

What is ultrasonic teeth cleaning?

Tartar removal is accomplished through scaling—sometimes called root debridement. In the past, the only way to perform scaling was for the hygienist or dentist to manually scrape the tartar off your teeth using small dental instruments.

Today, however, there is a much better option.

An ultrasonic scaler.

This state-of-the-art equipment uses electromagnetic forces to vibrate the tip rapidly. These ultrasonic vibrations, which are faster than the speed of sound, crush and blast away calculus, plaque, and even stains from the teeth.

While the tip is vibrating, a tiny stream of water emerges near the tip to keep it from overheating. This water also goes beneath the gums and cleans them out through a process called lavage.

Moreover, the rapidly vibrating tip causes cavitation, which means some of the water breaks into millions of tiny bubbles. These bubbles create shockwaves that disrupt the walls of bacteria cells, which creates a less friendly environment for harmful bacteria.

Is ultrasonic teeth cleaning really better?

There are multiple advantages of ultrasonic scaling when compared to manual scaling.

Some of these benefits include:

  • It is much faster

You will spend approximately one-third the amount of time in the dentist’s chair than you would for manual cleaning.

  • It removes more tartar

The tip is much smaller than with hand-help manual instruments, so the hygienist can get into all the nooks and crannies and go deeper, including into pockets and at the tooth roots.

  • It requires less pressure on the teeth

Due to the ultrasonic vibrations, the clinician does not need to use as much force as with manual tools. Many patients find this makes tartar removal more comfortable.

  • It brightens the teeth better

Manual scaling does not remove stains from teeth, whereas the vibrations of the ultrasonic scaler can remove some stains.

  • It cleans better

The lavage removes all the debris and cleans under the gumline.

  • It reduces bacteria

The cavitation process effectively breaks harmful bacteria apart.

Are there any downsides to ultrasonic teeth cleaning?

While there are many benefits to using ultrasonic scalers, there are a few things to consider.

Patients with sensitive teeth may find the vibrations uncomfortable. If you have sensitive teeth and treatment becomes uncomfortable at any point, please let your hygienist know! The discomfort may improve with slimmer tips or changing the flow of water or vibration level.

Another potential issue with the ultrasonic vibrations is for patients with certain tooth restorations or cosmetic additions, such as titanium implants or porcelain veneers or crowns. If you have had cosmetic or restorative dentistry work, let your hygienist know. She may be able to use the ultrasonic scaler utilizing special tips.

Patients with certain cardiac pacemakers may not be a good candidate for the ultrasonic vibrations. Please let your clinician know if you have a pacemaker.

Give Ultrasonic Teeth Cleaning a Try

If you want a general dentist who genuinely cares about patients and uses the very best when it comes to equipment and technology, Ocean View Dental is for you.

Call us at (949) 388-0780 today to schedule an appointment, so you can experience what a superior teeth cleaning looks and feels like.

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