- May 14, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009- PHILADELPHIA, PA – There was a time when a dentist’s referral to a periodontist sparked fear and trepidation in the minds of many patients.
However, laser therapy for gum disease has transformed a once lengthy, painful, multi-appointment procedure into a single painless, non-surgical visit, said Philadelphia dental implants specialist and periodontist Dr. David Digiallorenzo.
Digiallorenzo has offered laser therapy in his office for 10 years, but the recent purchase of a new dental laser manufactured by Millennium Dental Technologies is changing the face of periodontal disease treatment for the Philadelphia periodontists in his practice, he said.
“This technology has been substantiated by years of clinical research,” Digiallorenzo said. “This laser wavelength is specifically designed to help facilitate the repair and regeneration of the bone and the soft tissue.”
It’s not only about the laser, though. It also is about the technique and how the laser is used in conjunction with other modalities, he said.
A Pain-Free Option
What likely will appeal most to patients- particularly those who have undergone treatment for gum disease in the past- is the fact that this treatment no longer is invasive, Digiallorenzo said.
The traditional gum disease treatment method involved cutting into the gums and using a sharp instrument to scrape the plaque calculus off the roots of the teeth. The gums would be sutured after each procedure, and it could take as many as four visits to complete the process on the whole mouth.
The laser has changed all of that.
“Fear and the time involvement are traditionally what people have dreaded about this procedure,” Digiallorenzo said. “But gone are the days of multiple visits and noisy, painful gum-scraping. The laser provides simple, effective, painless treatment.”
He describes the laser treatment as minimally invasive, nonsurgical and painless.
Importance of Oral Health
Digiallorenzo is hopeful that as the word spreads about pain-free laser treatment, more patients will stop prolonging treatment for gum disease, he said.
“It becomes about more than just having healthy teeth and gums,” he said. “Ten years of research has shown the close link between dental health and systemic health in people.”
Oral health actually can serve as a window into a patient’s overall health. Much of what occurs in the mouth is indicative of what may be going on elsewhere in the body.
Oral infections not only cause severe bone loss and tooth loss; they act as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including strokes and heart attacks. In addition, there is evidence that oral inflammation can induce pre-term, low birth-weight deliveries in pregnant women.
Patients with diabetes also should monitor their oral health, as infections may complicate managing a healthy blood sugar level, Digiallorenzo said.
An article published in February by staff at the Mayo Clinic stated there is a link between oral health and osteoporosis. The initial stages of bone loss can appear in the teeth and as bone loss increases and bone density decreases, the teeth could become victim to infectious destruction.
Researchers also have noted a connection between HIV/AIDS and oral health issues, according to the Mayo Clinic article. Symptoms such as ulcers and dry mouth often are the result of fungal, viral or bacterial infections. In some instances, serious gum infections, unusual lesions or white spots inside the mouth are among the first signs of AIDS.
The bottom line is that you cannot separate oral health from the rest of the body, Digiallorenzo said. Patients should not be fooled into thinking they are in good oral health just because they aren’t in pain. Routine dental exams by a periodontal specialist frequently catch problems before they become painful.
Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease must be diagnosed by a dental professional, but there is a variety of symptoms that may indicate whether gum disease is present. They include:
• Chronic bad breath or an unfavorable taste in the mouth
• Receding gums
• Gums that bleed during and after brushing the teeth
• Tender, swollen or red gums
If you would like to learn more about gum disease and laser treatment or you wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. David Digiallorenzo, please call 610-228-4366 in Collegeville; 570-505-6908 in Williamsport; or visit his Web site: www.perioimplants.us.
About Dr. David Digiallorenzo
Dr. David Digiallorenzo, or “Dr. D,” graduated from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1993 and completed a specialty in periodontics and dental implantology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995.
He is a past associate clinical professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Periodontics. He teaches nationally and internationally and is a regular contributor to dental literature.
Dr. D’s private practice in suburban Philadelphia concentrates on periodontics, dental implantology, advanced reconstructive case management and TMJ treatment. It is a unique dental spa with two full-time massage therapists that specialize in reflexology, reiki, massage, aromatherapy and homeopathy. This combination creates a relaxed, optimal healing response.
Dr. D has two office locations: 184 W. Main St., Ste. 200, in Collegeville, PA; and 121 E. Fourth St. in Williamsport, PA.
© 2009 Sinai Marketing and Dr. David Digiallorenzo.