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Regenerative Procedures

Periodontal disease is an extremely serious progressive condition which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.  Periodontal disease occurs when a bacterial infection in the gum pockets causes the bone and gum tissue to recede away from the teeth.  The quality and quantity of bone and gum tissue is greatly reduced as the gum pockets continue to deepen.  Fortunately, prompt diagnosis combined with effective regenerative procedures can halt the progression of the disease and save the teeth.

There are many regenerative dental procedures available to restore health to the gums, bone and teeth.  The following are the most commonly used regenerative procedures:

Bone Regeneration

Dental implants and other restorative procedures depend on the jawbone being sufficiently strong and thick.  When periodontal disease has taken hold, the jawbone may have become too thin to successfully support an implant.  Natural bone regeneration (or bone grafting) is one of the best ways to promote growth and thicken the jawbone.

Initially, bone grafting material is obtained from elsewhere on the body or from a bone bank.  The gums are gently pulled back, and an opening is made in the jawbone where the grafting material will be packed in tightly.  A membrane is used to maintain the shape of the new bone, and tissue stimulating proteins and a platelet-rich growth factor may be applied to promote faster healing.  The surgical site will be sutured and packed with protective material.  The bone will naturally regenerate and become strong enough to eventually support an implant.

Gum Tissue Regeneration

Gum tissue regeneration is usually performed by way of gum grafting.  When gum tissue has been lost as a result of periodontal disease, the smile may appear discolored, toothy or unpleasant.  A gum graft aims to symmetrically contour the gum line, cover any exposed tooth roots and restore health to the gums.  Initially, a small strip of tissue will be removed from the roof of the mouth and placed in the middle of a split-thickness incision at the recipient site.  The surgical site will be covered with a protective membrane which promotes tissue regeneration, covered in platelet-rich growth factor and tissue stimulating proteins, and then sutured closed.  The soft tissue surrounding the teeth will naturally regenerate, producing a healthy, smile.

Pocket Reduction Surgery

The aim of pocket reduction surgery is to reduce the depth of the gum pockets and make it much harder for bacteria to invade the gum tissue.  Initially, the gum tissue is pulled back from the teeth and the subgingival area is thoroughly cleansed under local anesthesia.  Extensive scraping may be required to fully remove the plaque, debris and tartar from below the gum line.  An antimicrobial agent may then be applied to the affected area to kill any remaining bacteria, and the surgical site will be sutured closed.  Pocket reduction surgery is very effective for halting tissue loss and promoting the natural healing of the gums.

Scaling and Root Planing

The term “scaling” refers to the removal of plaque and calculus (tartar) from the supragingival region (above the gum line).  This treatment is usually conducted in the course of a routine professional cleaning, and performed under local anesthetic.  Root planing usually accompanies scaling and is performed in the subgingival region (below the gum line).  Tartar and toxins are initially removed, and then the tooth root is smoothed down to promote good healing in the gum tissue.  The planing of the tooth root provides a smooth area which prevents bacteria from recolonizing.  If these procedures do not completely eradicate the infection, surgical measures may be required.

If you have any questions about regenerative procedures or periodontal disease, please ask your dentist.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

If you want to know what I think of Dr. Afzali and her staff all you really need to know is that I live in Portland and I fly to San Diego to see Dr. Afzali for all my dental work. That might seem a bit extreme, and perhaps it is, but hear me out before you decide. A couple of years ago when I was living in the Bay Area I had to have one of my front teeth removed and dental implant inserted in its place by a dentist in the Bay Area. The implant looked a little shorter and darker than my other teeth, and even made my gum above it look a bit darker than the adjacent gum. In short, it didn't look natural. So I wasn't completely satisfied with how my smile looked, but I thought that was the best that could be done. It wasn't.

Last summer while I was in San Diego visiting my parents I went to Dr. Afzali for a routine cleaning. She examined my mouth and immediately asked me whether I was happy with the way my implant looked. When I said I wasn't, she explained that she could make it look better and possibly even indistinguishable from my other teeth. She was right. My implant looks just like my other teeth, and my gum is pink again. In fact, my new implant looks so natural that I sometimes forget it's an implant. I couldn't be happier. One final point. Dr. Afazli's entire staff is great. When I walk in they all make me feel like I'm the most important patient they have. And Julie is particularly great. Because I live in Portland my visits to Dr. Afzali's office had to me perfectly timed with receipt of the various parts necessary for my procedures. Julie made sure that everything arrived when necessary, without fail, so that no flights or appointments had to be rescheduled.

Riley P.

Recently, while on a trip from Canada to visit friends in San Diego, I broke a tooth. I phoned RB Dentistry and was given an appointment without delay. Dr. Mary Afzali was reassuring and professional and did an excellent job fixing the broken tooth. Her dental assistant, Marinette, was kind and gentle and made me feel comfortable throughout the procedure. Julie at Reception was welcoming, warm and made me laugh with her wonderful sense of humour and handled the insurance processing with no complications. Thank you so much Dr. Afzali, Mari and Julie for one of the most pleasant dental appointments I've had in a long time! Hope to see you in Vancouver, B.C. sometime!

Pam C.

I know I am in good hands with Dr. Afzali at RB Family Dentistry. The cavity fillings and tooth root fillings I got there were done so well that when I went to the Southwest College Dental Hygenist school to help out a friend, they could barely even detect the fillings! The teachers there were very impressed. At RB Family Dentistry, the staff and hygenists are friendly, organized and very knowledgable, and the Dr. always gives me as much time as I need and answers all of my questions. The office is beautiful and state-of-the-art. They never try to sell me on additional products or services that I don't need.

Scripps Ranch M

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RB Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
16776 Bernardo Center Dr. #105 San Diego, CA 92128
Phone: (858) 485-0044 URL of Map