The difference between a regular cleaning and periodontal maintenance


If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease your regular scheduled cleanings will now be periodontal maintenance cleanings.

Periodontal Disease is an inflammatory and infectious disease affecting the gums and supporting tissues of the teeth. If left untreated it can worsen in time, which may lead to bone loss and premature tooth loss. In the early stages of periodontal disease, your gums become red or swollen, and may even bleed. In time, your gums separate from your teeth and deep spaces called pockets form. Bacteria then collect in these pockets, and their toxins cause inflammation of the gums which destroys the bone that anchors your teeth.

Periodontal disease develops when a sticky film of bacteria, called plaque, is allowed to build up on the teeth. In most cases, periodontal disease can be prevented with good daily oral hygiene and regular professional care. Plaque that is not removed regularly can harden into a rough porous deposit called tarter or calculus. Tarter and calculus only can be removed when your teeth are professionally cleaned in the dental office.

It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. However, if you notice any of the following signs you may have periodontal disease and should call our office immediately.

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Loose or separating permanent teeth
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

During periodontal maintenance we use state of the art technologies to treat this damaging condition. Small scaling devices are placed carefully into the pockets to remove the bacterial debris. Antimicrobial rinse is irrigated into the periodontal pockets to clear away any remaining debris and lasers are used to decontaminate and disinfect the periodontal gum pockets. In addition you will be instructed on how to improve your oral hygiene procedures and diet.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from periodontal disease don’t wait! Contact our office now to schedule a consultation! 

Understanding Your Dental Insurance


Dental insurance is actually a money benefit typically provided by an employer to help their employees pay for routine dental treatment. The employer usually buys a plan based on the amount of benefit and how much the premium costs per month. Most benefit plans are designed to cover a portion of the cost.

Why is there an annual maximum on my benefits?

Maximums limit what a carrier has to cover each year.

How does my insurance carrier come up with its allowed payments?

Carriers refer to their allowed payments as UCR, which stands for usual, customary and reasonable. UCR is actually a listing of payments for all covered procedures negotiated by your employer with the insurance company. Your employer selects an allowed payment that corresponds to the premium cost they desire.

Your plan contract specifies how many of certain types of procedures it will cover during a year period. It limits the number of x-rayscleanings and gum treatments it will cover. Your plan allows for certain percentages of basic and major coverage. Remember that even routine care comes out of the maximum amount covered by your insurance carrier each year.

Benefit plan booklets are often difficult to understand. If any part of your plan is not clear to you, contact your Employee Benefits Coordinator or the Human Resource department where you work.

It is important to know that each contract will specify what types of procedures are considered for benefits. Even if a procedure is medically and dentally necessary, it may be excluded from your contract. This does not mean that you do not need the procedure. It simply means that your plan will not consider the procedure for payment.

Barbara and Stephanie will work with you to maximize your insurance benefits. However, it is ultimately your responsibility to know what you insurance carrier covers. Your insurance coverage is between you, your employer, and the insurance carrier.

Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD or TMJ)


The Center for Contemporary Dentistry uses the newest and most advanced tests to screen for TMD!

If you’ve been suffering from headaches, neck or facial pain, dizziness, or other unexplained maladies, you might be one of the estimated 40 million Americans suffering from Temporomandibular Disorder, better known as TMD or TMJ.

Each screening consists of three components:

  • Sonography, which allows Dr. Patel to listen to joint sounds
  • Electromyography, a muscle scan that detects strained or tense muscles
  • Jaw tracking, which shows the jaw’s movement precisely, within one 10th of a millimeter

The findings allow Dr. Patel to reposition the patient’s jaw to the point where the muscles, head and neck are most comfortable.

A craniomandibular repositioning orthotic based on the patient’s jaw scan will be custom fabricated to maintain your bite in a precise relationship determined by your neuromuscularocclusion (bite).

Dr. Manisha Patel has extensive training in the field of Neuromuscular Dentistry and the treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD). Please call our office now to schedule a TMD consultation!

Cracked Tooth Syndrome


When you bite down do you feel a sharp pain? It quickly disappears and perhaps you ignore it. You avoid certain foods or chew on one side of your mouth. Does this sound familiar? You may have a cracked tooth!

A cracked tooth hurts because the pressure of biting causes the crack to open. When you stop biting, the pressure is released and a sharp pain results as the crack quickly closes.

Even though the crack may be microscopic and may not show on an x-ray, when it opens, the pulp inside the tooth becomes irritated. The pulp is a soft tissue that contains the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. If the crack irritates the pulp, the tooth may become sensitive to temperature extremes. If the pulp becomes damaged or diseased root canal treatment may be necessary to save the tooth.

Treatment of cracked teeth:

Simple Crack: The majority of cracked teeth (about 8 out of 10) can be treated by placement of a simple crown (cap) on the tooth. When tooth is prepared for the crown and a temporary restoration is placed, the pain usually leaves immediately. If this is the case with your tooth, we will place the final crown without a problem on your next appointment. This condition should then be solved.

Complex Crack: Occasionally, (about 2 in 10) the tooth cracks into the pulp (nerve) of the tooth. If pain persists after placement of temporary crown, you may have a crack into the pulp of the affected tooth. This tooth may require root canal treatment before the crown is placed.

Regular dental checkups are important. They allow problems to be diagnosed and treated in the early stages. We are accepting new patients, so call our office today to schedule your new patient consultation!