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Our office offers a minimally ­invasive periodontal surgery procedure called the LANAP protocol.

Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the tissue and bone around the teeth. If left untreated, the disease can lead to receding gums, loss of bone, and ultimately tooth loss.

Dr. Britten has received intensive training in the LANAP protocol by the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry. The LANAP protocol is the only laser periodontitis treatment scientifically and clinically proven to regenerate soft tissue and bone. The surgery is performed here in our practice with the only laser specifically designed for the LANAP protocol ­­ the PerioLase MVP­7.

What is LANAP?
The LANAP protocol is the only laser periodontitis treatment that is cleared by the U.S. FDA and is clinically and historically proven to regenerate new gum, tissue, ligament and bone
Who is a candidate for LANAP laser surgery?

Patients with moderate ­to severe gum disease can especially benefit from the LANAP protocol. The LANAP protocol is also an excellent treatment option for patients who are fearful of conventional scalpel surgery and patients taking certain medications, such as blood thinners. It is important to state however, that not every patient is a candidate for laser surgery, it all depends on the individual. Dr. Britten will thoroughly explore all options to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Several research studies have suggested that periodontal disease is connected to variety of other diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists believe that inflammation may be the basis for the link between these systemic diseases. Recent research demonstrates that inflammation may be responsible for the association. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.

DIABETES AND PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease, which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications.
People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. People who have poorly controlled diabetes are especially at risk.
Research has suggested that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways – periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar. Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts people with diabetes at increased risk for diabetic complications.

HEART DISEASE
Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. Research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease. Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.
Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Dr. Britten and your cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.
STROKE
Additional studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one recent study people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.

OSTEOPOROSIS
Researchers have suggested that there is a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw. Studies suggest that osteoporosis may lead to tooth loss because the density of the bone that supports the teeth may be decreased, which means the teeth no longer have a solid foundation.
RESPIRATORY DISEASE
Research has found that bacteria that grow in the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lungs to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, especially in people with periodontal disease.
CANCER
Researchers found that men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.

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Our occlusion (bite) forces are evenly distributed among all of our teeth. When something occurs to alter a healthy occlusion; like loss of a tooth, clenching and grinding, occlusal trauma can occur. There are several signs and symptoms of occlusal trauma including, wear or chipping of the teeth, sensitive crevices on the teeth, gum recession, shifting teeth, tender muscles, headaches, or a “popping” sound when opening and closing your mouth. This trauma places excessive pressure on teeth and these forces can contribute to bone loss and result in the loosening of the teeth. The goal of occlusal therapy is to create an even distribution of these forces allowing the bone and ligaments to heal. This is done by an occlusal adjustment or equilibration to divide the biting pressure evenly across all of the teeth by reshaping the biting surfaces of the teeth and eliminating spots of excessive pressure when the teeth are brought into contact. The use of an occlusal night guard may be needed to control the pressures generated by clenching and grinding.

For more information about non-surgical procedures for gum disease, visit:

Non-­Surgical Procedures

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When you have periodontal disease, the supporting tissue and bone is destroyed, forming “pockets” around the teeth. Over time, these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live. Traditionally, gum disease is treated by eliminating these gum pockets and creating a clean environment around the tooth so that the tooth or teeth can be retained rather than lost. The infected gum tissue is trimmed away and uneven bone tissue re¬contoured. Periodontal flap surgical therapy remains one of the most effective ways of treating gum disease.

For more information on the surgical procedures performed in our office, visit our website at:

Surgical Procedures

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“There’s more to your dental visit than just preventing or treating teeth or gum problems,” states Clearwater Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten. Dental professionals are also on the lookout for a number of potential soft tissue problems that could occur in or around your mouth. “There are many soft tissue conditions of the mouth that we evaluate for during a periodontal or general dental examination, but one of our biggest growing concerns is oral cancer,” says Dr. Britten.

In the last 10-15 years, a type of cancer affecting the head and neck has snowballed. That threat is human papillomavirus, or HPV. This cancer is often found on the tongue, mouth or throat and is caused by the human papillomavirus HPV type 16, which is the same high-risk HPV that causes cervical cancer.

Oral HPV lesion on the gumline

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An April 2017 data brief released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the prevalence of HPV of all types was 7.3% among U.S. adults ages 18 to 69. Four percent of that population carries the high-risk HPV.1

“Most types of oral HPV go away before they cause any health issues,” Britten says. He explains that if a patient develops oral warts, also known as an oral papilloma due to HPV, it can be removed by surgical removal, cryotherapy, which is where the wart is frozen, or interferon alfa-2B (Intron A, Roferon-A), which is an injection.

Although most people who are exposed to the virus clear it, the virus can remain persistent. “Those who are unable to clear it end up having a risk of developing the oral form of this cancer,” says Dr. Richard Jordan D.D.S., Ph.D, professor of Oral pathology, Pathology and Radiation Oncology, University of California San Francisco, who recently presented “HPV: An old foe in a new form” at the March 2017 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

“Most of the people that have this virus persisting in their bodies probably picked it up 20 years ago, when they first become sexually active. The virus makes a home in their throats or tongues, sits there for 20 years and eventually develops into cancer in their 40s or 50s,” he says. “This is actually the same story as with the cervix in women… Most women get rid of the virus, but some are unable to clear the virus. They’re the ones that end up getting in trouble with cervical precancers.”

The number of people impacted by the oral cancer due to HPV is growing, but due to regular pap smears, cervical cancer rates have declined. Dr. Richards projects that by 2030 there will be more patients per 100,000 with mouth cancer due to HPV, compared to cervical cancer.

Dr. Todd Britten states that this leads us to believe that dental specialists such as restorative dentists, periodontists, and dental hygienists, who often see their patients for preventative or periodontal maintenance visits anywhere from every 3 to 6 months, are in the perfect position to screen for oral cancer in the hopes of catching it in its precancerous stages.

In under 30 seconds, your dental professional will scan the oral cavity for abnormalities. HPV disease mostly occurs in the tongue and in the tonsil region, so examining the tongue, the sides of the tongue and the base of the tongue and the tonsillar region. An oral cancer screening, including the HPV screening exam includes looking for an ulcer or an abnormal growth. “Patients should also do an at-home screening monthly using a flashlight, and report any sores or growths that seem unusual and do not go away by themselves in two weeks, or constantly reoccur,” says Dr. Todd Britten. If an abnormal growth is detected, Dr. Britten says he is able to perform some biopsies in his Clearwater Florida practice, and when necessary, refer to an oral surgeon.

Sometimes, infection with HPV in the oral cavity has no evidence of sores or growth. Early symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer include trouble swallowing, constant earaches, coughing up blood, unexplained weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes constant sore throats, lumps on the cheeks, growths or lumps on the neck, hoarseness or trouble speaking.

If you notice any of these symptoms and you know or think you may have HPV, make an appointment with your doctor immediately.

Treatment options are available for oral cancer caused by HPV. The treatment and prognosis depend on the stage and location of the cancer and whether or not it’s associated with HPV. Treatment for cancer caused by HPV can include radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, or a combination of these. The good news is HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers have better outcomes and fewer relapses after treatment than HPV-negative cancers.

Dr. Richard Jordan also reports that non-smokers respond very well to radiation treatment for HPV oral cancers, while unfortunately, smokers tend to have fairly aggressive disease and a poor five-year survival rate, according to Dr. Jordan.

“After five years, about 60% will be dead; about 40% will be alive,” he says. “HPV responds very well to currently available cancer therapies. If the patient doesn’t smoke, the five-year survival rate is extraordinarily high—at 80 or 90%.”

A periodontist is mainly concerned with diagnosing and treating soft tissue problems. Some soft tissue conditions include Lichen Planus, Benign Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid, Geographic Tongue, Burning Mouth Syndrome, Apthous Ulcers and Oral Mucositis from Chemotherapy, among many others. “Oral cancer screenings are part of our regular soft tissue evaluation,” says Dr. Britten. We work with the finest general dentists and oral surgeons to catch any irregular, precancerous or cancerous conditions in our patients’ mouths.

In the past, traditional dental x-rays were only able to provide limited information about the condition of a patient’s teeth and jaw bone. Advances in technology now allow us to see fine detailed tooth and jaw anatomy to diagnose conditions that may have been previously hard to detect. Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is now offering the only dental 3D CT Scan that is FDA approved for use on pediatric patients as it delivers the lowest dose of radiation possible on both children and adults.

The VATECH PAX-i3D GREEN cone beam CT Scanner offers fantastic imaging detail and is the only cone beam system considered a “Green CT” due to its extremely low dose, equivalent to only a short time out in the sun. This technology also assists in the digital planning of dental implants for precise accuracy, safety and optimal results. It can also assist in planning for bone grafting, tooth extractions, particularly third molars (wisdom teeth) and suspected pathology such as infected cracked teeth or impacted teeth.

The Green CBCT scanner by VA Tech America provides innovative technology for ultra-low-dose x-rays in 5.9 seconds and minimizes radiation to both patient and operator.

“I am excited about not only the excellent image quality for diagnostic purposes, but also the increased protection for the health and safety of our patients. The VA Tech Cone Beam CT scanner is perfect for claustrophobic patients.” – Dr. Todd Britten. “I am excited about not only the excellent image quality for diagnostic purposes, but also the increased protection for the health and safety of our patients. The VA Tech Cone Beam CT scanner is perfect for claustrophobic patients, as it is an ‘open air’ scanner. Patients are positioned and stand very still, and in less than six seconds, the scan is done.”

Dentists and dental specialists are using ConeBeam 3-D CT scans more and more frequently as a diagnostic tool for ultimate treatment efficiency and precision, particularly for dental implants, however, they can provide information for full mouth treatment when needed or localized to third molars or even the Temporomandibular Joint. New Green CBCT technology allows your dentist or x-ray technician to select specifically the desired scan while managing radiation dosage to their patients.

“This is a very powerful treatment tool in our practice,” says Dr. Britten. “With it, we can work together with our referring dentists to more confidently map our surgical and restorative treatment plans and place and restore implants with accuracy, while protecting our patients and our staff with lower radiation. I have read thousands of CT scans of the jaws but am still amazed at the fine details that I am now able to see in our VA Tech scans. We often see hairline cracks in people’s teeth that were previously unclear on traditional x-rays, yet causing them discomfort.”

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Are missing teeth causing you to miss out on life?

Don’t miss out on life because of missing teeth or loose dentures. Modern dentistry can replace everything from a single missing tooth to missing teeth in an entire section of the mouth. If you have questions about different dental implant options available, feel free to ask your dentist or dental specialist. Restoring your smile can help restore your confidence!

Stop the bone loss that can lead to premature aging!

Stop the bone loss that can lead to premature aging.

Losing one or more teeth can start a change of events that can affect both your physical health as well as your appearance, such as:

  1. Gap in your smile
  2. Loss of chewing function
  3. Inability to eat a complete diet
  4. Bone loss
  5. Jaw bone atrophy
  6. Prematurely age your face

The good news is: Tooth replacement with dental implants offers a solution to help prevent bone loss.

Tooth replacement options:

Crown and bridge and full or partial dentures can address the cosmetic problem of missing teeth, but cannot stop bone loss. A fixed bridge requires that two or more healthy teeth be ground down to serve as posts for a bridge.  With implants, however, the other healthy teeth are left alone.

Dental implants transmit chewing forces to the jawbone, reducing bone loss.  That’s why dental implants are now considered the standard of care for tooth replacement.

From The American Dental Association

“General Recommendations for the Prevention of Caries and Gingivitis

Dental implants are a great way to give you a beautiful and functional smile, they are not without limitations. Some patients could experience swelling or infection around their implants, which is known as peri-implantitis.

If you noticed a change in your implants, Dr. Todd Britten can provide a breakthrough procedure following the LAPIP® protocol.

How the Procedure Works

This procedure is minimally invasive, due to the use of cutting-edge, gentle laser technology. This allows Dr. Britten to treat peri-implantitis without the need for incisions. During the procedure, our state-of-the-art PerioLase laser targets the inflamed area of the gum tissue and eliminates harmful bacteria and infection that has developed. There is no need to worry about an extensive recovery period, sutures or any incisions.

The importance of eliminating unhealthy tissue

Even though dental implants are a great option for patients who have lost their teeth due to periodontal disease, the disease can still continue even around dental implants.

It is essential that diseased implants receive proper treatment as soon as possible to protect these implants, other teeth, bone structure and oral health.

If you think your gums might be inflamed around your dental implants, schedule an appointment with us today. Contact us today to learn more about the LAPIP® protocol and its many benefits to you and your oral health.

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