Did you know that 75% of all adult tooth loss is due to periodontal disease?
When your gums and the bone anchoring the teeth are damaged by periodontal infection, there is less support for your teeth. Just as metal can turn to rust over time, the bone supporting your teeth can deteriorate. As this support disappears, your teeth first become loose and then may be lost.
When periodontal treatment is recommended by your dental health team, it is important that you get started immediately to stop the deterioration that has already begun.
If the infection is allowed to continue, the teeth that are lost will need to be replaced with more complex dental work, such as bridges, dental implants, or dentures. Nothing is better than your own teeth and so prevention is the most cost effective solution.
Treatment of periodontal disease begins with a comprehensive periodontal examination, which includes diagnostic imaging and a detailed discussion about your particular situation. There are non-surgical and surgical solutions for periodontal disease. In almost all cases, Dr. Fritz recommends non-surgical therapy for generalized chronic periodontitis. Studies in our office reveal that after undergoing non-surgical therapy, such as a deep cleaning with one of our registered dental hygienists, only 7% of patients require further surgical treatment.
Comprehensive Periodontal Treatment
If you have experienced generalized loss of bone around your teeth, or your dentist or hygienist has discovered that you have deep periodontal pocketing in the spaces between your teeth and gums, you may require a comprehensive examination, diagnostic imaging and a deep periodontal cleaning to remove the bacteria that live and grow in these deep pockets and return you to positive oral health. By reducing the inflammation in your mouth, you may notice less bleeding with brushing, fresher breath and firmer, less mobile teeth.
Dental Implant Therapy
If you are missing teeth or are soon to lose a tooth, you may be a candidate for dental implants, a component that integrates with the bone of the jaw to support a prosthetic crown. Prior to placing the implants, a CBCT image of the area will be acquired to visualize the underlying bone structure in micrometer resolution in all 3-dimensions.
Dental implants have been available since 1965 and for many patients, this is the best solution for a missing tooth or teeth. Dr. Fritz will first assess if you are a good candidate for dental implants through an examination and imaging of the underlying bone structure in micrometer resolution in all 3 dimensions. A virtual surgery is performed prior to your appointment to eliminate any uncertainty about your particular surgical plan. Dr. Fritz will ensure that your implant is placed optimally and its foundation well supported to set the stage for the most desirable and aesthetic outcome possible.
Dr. Fritz has been placing implants since 1997 and has placed over 7000 implants with a 10 year success rate of over 98%.
Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)
This cutting-edge technology provides a high-resolution, 3-D image of your teeth and their underlying bone structure. A CBCT scan allows Dr. Fritz to diagnose and develop a to-the-tenth-of-a-millimeter surgical plan before the day of surgery. This allows for remarkable safety and accuracy. Dr. Longo’s doctorate research was among the first to establish CT technologies as the gold-standard for imaging of bone structure. Her background in radiation and radiation safety were integral in establishing safe and accurate CBCT imaging procedures. After receiving your CBCT scan, Dr. Longo will provide you with an immediate and detailed description of your unique bone structure and answer any questions you may have to ensure that you have a full and comprehensive understanding of your periodontal health and wellness.
Treatment of Gum Recession
Gums can recede away from the teeth for a number of reasons, including: improper brushing, using a brush with hard bristles, trauma, genetics, aging, orthodontics or a strong muscle (frenum) pull. Some types of gum recession require treatment, others can be monitored for further change. What’s important is making sure the bone and gum support around the teeth is engineered to resist further deterioration and further damage. There are several periodontal plastic surgery techniques that can be used to repair gum recession. Every patient receives their individualized treatment plan depending on their unique situation.
The crown is the portion of the tooth above the gum line. If you have broken a tooth or have had a deep filling or cavity, the tissues may need to be repositioned in order for your dentist to prepare a prosthetic crown to fit perfectly. Or, if you feel that you show too much gum when you smile, this can also be corrected to reveal more of your beautiful and natural teeth.
Reconstructive Bone Surgery
If you have an area with deep periodontal pockets and related bone loss, this may be regenerated through guided bone regeneration using guided tissue building techniques. Dr. Fritz’s Ph.D. dissertation research involved bone reconstruction and bone regeneration.
If you have an area in your mouth that has been identified as abnormal, Dr. Fritz will examine the area and if necessary, perform a biopsy to definitively confirm the diagnosis. Dr. Fritz works closely with oral pathologists at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto (where he completed a portion of his training) and Sunnybrook Hospital to leverage their expertise in analyzing any biopsied tissues.
In some instances, the muscle (frenum) that attaches the lip to the gum is too large or too strong, causing the teeth to grow apart, or preventing the teeth from coming together through orthodontic appliances. In these cases, a frenectomy releases the muscle attaching the gum from the lip through a minimally invasive procedure, allowing the teeth to develop without interference.
We are completely committed to keeping you comfortable and are aware of the anxiety many patients have when undergoing dental treatments. In fact, being sedated for our procedures is not unusual at all. Approximately 30% of our patients chose sedation for their periodontal procedures. We offer all of our surgery services and sanative deep cleaning under sedation. Conscious sedation is a technique used to help relax our patients, helping them breeze through their appointments with little to no recollection of the experience. Dr. Fritz works with a team of registered nurses to ensure that you are safe and comfortable at all times.
What to Expect on your First Visit with Us
Our purpose is to innovate the collaborative specialty of periodontics and to redefine the patient experience.
We strive to make every experience for every patient positive and remarkable. An extraordinary patient experience is what you can come to expect with every trip to Fonthill. We want every visit to our office to be your best patient experience ever.
At your consultation appointment with us, Dr. Fritz and his clinical team will perform a comprehensive examination to determine the nature and extent of your oral health. He will then discuss treatment options with you and plan the best course of action for your individual case. Our administrative team will help you fit the treatment into your busy life as seamlessly as possible.
To help in the diagnosis and development of your treatment plan, please bring with you any recent radiographs (x-rays), a list of all current medications and any dental insurance information you may have.
Dr. Fritz always leaves time to answer any questions you may have, but in the event that questions arise after you’ve gone home, you will always leave our office with an information package with answers to commonly asked questions and the direct contact information of both Dr. Fritz and of the clinical team member you met with.
This appointment generally takes between 45 and 60 minutes and you should experience little, if any, discomfort.
With your permission, we will send a report of your visit with us to your family dentist or physician to keep your records complete.
Appointments and Finances
In order to be as effective as possible, we schedule appointments by precise time intervals. Therefore, we ask that if your appointment must be changed, please advise our office a minimum of 2 business days in advance to avoid a cancellation fee.
Our goal is to provide you with the very best treatment at a reasonable cost. Our fees are often set below what is recommended by the current Ontario Dental Association Fee Guide for Periodontists.
All of our fees are openly explained in detail before any treatment is initiated. We do not accept assignment of your insurance benefits from your insurance provider. This simply means that while we will submit all claims to your insurance company for you, we receive payment of the fees from you at the time of your visit with us and your insurance payment will be sent directly to you.
Dental Insurance Plans
Our treatment coordination team will be glad to help you submit your dental insurance claim. We are also happy to assist with insurance questionnaires and forms of all kinds.
Financing your Treatment
We understand and are sympathetic to financial pressures, and so our treatment recommendations are always made to be conservative, whenever possible. We provide a number of financial options because we feel that finances should never be an obstacle to periodontal health.
We offer financial arrangements, including post-dated charges to your credit card, interest-free. Our dedicated treatment coordinators are always happy to answer any of your financial and insurance questions either at your appointment or by phone or email.
We accept Visa, MasterCard, debit and cash as forms of payment at your visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a patient?
There are three ways to become a patient with us:
- Your dentist, hygienist or family doctor can refer you directly.
- You can refer yourself. A referral from your family dentist is not required.
- Some of our best patients come from our best patients! We welcome and encourage referrals from our loyal patients who have visited us in the past.
Is parking available?
There is ample free parking directly in front of our office. The office is completely barrier free (wheelchair accessible).
Is it going to hurt?
We get asked this question a lot. So much so, that we performed a study to provide an evidence-based response to the question “Is this going to hurt?”. Results of the study, which were published in the Dentistry Journal, showed a positive correlation between anticipated pain and actual pain. The factors that influenced the amount of pain our patients felt after surgery were things like:
- anticipated pain (I think it’s going to hurt, therefore it is vs. I don’t think this will hurt so bad, therefore it isn’t)
- age (older individuals reported experiencing less pain)
- sedation during surgery (patients under sedation during their treatment reported less pain during recovery)
- the number of pain pills used during the recovery period (more pain pills, more pain, as expected).
To make your experience with us as comfortable as possible, we use a combination of topical and local anesthetics as well as intravenous sedation with one of our registered nurses, should you be interested in this avenue.
What’s with the canoes Dr. Fritz?
Most of my major life decisions were made on canoe trips. Things like, the choice to go to dental school, to open my own practice, to grow my hair out… While on a canoe trip to Temagami in 2002, I was inspired to design the office you see now in Fonthill. I figured that you could choose to decorate a dental office with pictures of diseased gums, or canoes. I chose canoes! I hope the theme resonates with you. See how many you can spot on your next trip to our office.
Questions that you should Frequently Ask
The decision to pursue periodontal treatment and wellness is an important one and should be treated as such. Therefore, when deciding who to entrust your oral health care to, we have generated a series of questions that you should ask your dentist, periodontist or oral surgeon in advance of your treatment.
- How many of these procedures have you done before?
- What is your success rate of this procedure?
- What are the possible complications? And what will you do for me if these complications occur?
- What brand of implants do you use? Does the brand of implant matter?
- How long do you anticipate my healing time will be after this surgery?
- How will this procedure help me in the long term?