Tag Archives: dental procedures

Make Yourself Aware of Oral Cancer | Camp Hill Dentist

Cancer is never a good thing, but oral cancer is one type of cancer that really goes unnoticed. Unfortunately, the statistics are scary enough to deem April as Oral Cancer Awareness Month in order to make the public aware of what is going on behind the scenes of the oral cancer world. If you are aware of what is going on and what to look for, it will give you a better understanding of oral cancer.

Approximately 53,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone. And as you are well aware, your dentist is often the first line of defense against oral cancer, through the process of early detection and discovery, so keeping your regular dental checkups is very important to keeping your mouth healthy and cancer-free. Each dental visit will include a cancer screening in order to ensure there is nothing cancerous is developing.

Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers frequently referred to as head and neck cancers, and of all head and neck cancers they comprise about 85% of that category. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about on a regular basis such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma). Although smoking and tobacco use is still a major risk factor for oral cancer, the fastest growing segment for oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus.

If you’d like to find out more about oral cancer, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Gum Disease Can Be Harmful to Your Health | Camp Hill Dentist

The stages of periodontal disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused by the bacteria found in plaque, that sticky film that forms on the surface of your teeth. If the plaque isn’t removed by preforming proper oral care, such as brushing and flossing, it will invade the small spaces in-between your gums and teeth.

If the plaque is left to settle, your gums can becomes inflamed and infected, putting them, your teeth and overall health at risk. If gum disease progresses and is left untreated, it can become painful and expensive to treat.

Heart disease. Several studies have shown that people with gum disease are very likely to have poor health, including heart attacks. In 2009 a paper on the relationship between gum disease and heart disease was issued by the American Academy of Periodontology and The American Journal of Cardiology. It was recommended that cardiologists ask about any gum disease issues, and that periodontists ask patients about their heart health and if there is any family history of heart disease.

Diabetes. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you are more likely to have gum disease. Of course inflammation may be partly to blame. Also, those with diabetes are more likely to contract infections, one being gum disease, and if your diabetes isn’t under control you’re at even higher risk to develop gum disease.

Premature births. Although studies are still ongoing, some research has found a link between premature birth and gum disease. A few researchers have found women that have had periodontal disease treated, helps them carry their baby to full term.

Dementia. Some studies have found that gum disease may raise the risk of dementia later on in life. Others research shows that periodontal problems may be associated with mild cognitive impairment, such as memory problems that can make daily life more difficult.

If you’d like to find out more about the effects of gum disease, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

I Have Receding Gums – Now What? | Camp Hill Dentist

Have you noticed your teeth looking at bit longer and more prominent lately? Have your teeth been feeling more sensitive? If you’ve answered yes, then you may be suffering from gum recession.

Gum recession is often times one of the many early signs of periodontal disease and if ignored, it will eventually lead to severe oral health issues. If you feel that your gums are receding, it’s best for you to know what your treatment options are.

Receding gums can develop because of many things, one of which is periodontal disease, commonly referred to as gum disease. Other habits, such as brushing too hard or brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush, can also cause your gums to recede. Bruxism (teeth grinding), smoking and having a tongue or lip piercings can also cause gum recession.

While receding gums don’t look good, how they affect your appearance should be the last of your worries. If gum recession is left untreated, it can result in tooth loss, among many other oral health problems. Here are the current treatment options available:

Gum grafting. One common type of oral surgery used to treat gum recession is gum grafting. This procedure is where periodontists take tissue from another area of your mouth and uses it to cover the exposed areas of your tooth and its roots. The tissue typically come from the palette of your mouth, but it may also come from a tissue bank.

Pinhole Surgical Technique. Unlike gum grafting, Pinhole Surgical Technique is a modern approach that produces natural looking results. The main difference between the two procedures is that it is less invasive, considering that the procedure doesn’t involve any cutting or stitching.

If you’d like to find out more about gum recession treatment options, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Why You Should Consider Pinhole Surgical Technique® | Camp Hill Dentist

When you find that your teeth have become more sensitive to cold and hot temperatures, it is a wise decision to make a dental appointment to find out why. Many times, as we age, we become victim to gum recession. Unfortunately, gum recession can lead to several problems from chronic tooth sensitivity to making your teeth more prone to tooth decay and erosion. And if left untreated, it only gets worse and causes more dental issues.

The common fear about gum recession is the treatment option. In the past, receding gums were treated with gum grafting, a painful procedure that includes a long recovery period. Fortunately, there’s is a procedure that can correct and repair your receding gums quickly and painlessly. The Pinhole Surgical Technique®, also known as PST®, has been deemed the “revolutionary” technique for treating gum recession. Unlike gum grafting procedures, the Pinhole Surgical Technique® is a scalpel- free, suture-free procedure resulting in almost immediate results. Additional benefits of the Pinhole Surgical Technique® include the following:

  • Minimally invasive treatment
  • Less discomfort after treatment
  • Immediate cosmetic benefits
  • Quick recovery time
  • No sutures or incisions needed
  • Multiple recession sites treated in one visit
  • Beautiful, natural looking, long lasting results

This is a new year and the future is ours. Why not enjoy it as much as possible? If you find that gum recession is an issue for you, consult your dentist. Pinhole Surgical Technique® may just be the solution to a smile you can be proud to start the new year with.

If you’d like to find out more about gum recession treatment options, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Why You May Need a Night Guard | Camphill Dentist

In order for us to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we need to adhere to a few basic rules. Keep a healthy diet, stay away from smoking, keep active and get a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, many of us suffer from some type of sleep disorder. And if this is the case, you should have a sleep test done to diagnose the issue. Many times, you will find relief wearing a night guard while you sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping, it is important that you see if you’ve developed a sleep disorder.

For those that don’t know, a night guard is a mouthpiece you wear while you sleep to help a myriad of dental problems and relieve the systems of TMJ or bruxism. But because it is a foreign object in your teeth, it takes a minute to get used to it. As you become used to your new night guard, follow the following instructions:

  • Ask your dentist to start out with a thin night guard that will be easier to get used to
  • Have your family dentist fabricate both an upper and lower night guard in order to see which one you find more comfortable
  • Put your night guard in right before you go to bed to lessen the chances that you’ll find it bothersome

Be aware that night guards are an aid for bruxism, but it doesn’t fix the dental problem. Find out why you are grinding or clenching your teeth and make changes to your lifestyle to quit the habit. Wearing a night guard won’t do anything but protect your teeth.

If you’d like to find out more about night guards, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Sinus Lifts: Your Dental Implant’s Best Friend | Camphill Dentist

We all want a great smile to show off, but most of us aren’t born with a naturally brilliant grin. Thankfully we have our dental professional around to help fix any issues that may be preventing us from having that dynamic smile. But what if you find out that your jaw isn’t able to support your needed dental implants? Nothing could be more discouraging. Introducing the sinus lift

What is a sinus lift, you ask? A sinus lift is surgery that is done to add bone to your upper jaw in order to support your dental implants. This procedure becomes necessary when there isn’t enough bone height in the upper back jaw, where your molars and premolars are, and your teeth need replacing with dental implants.

So, how does it happen? Well, over time sinuses have a tendency to grow, which can lead to insufficient bone height. Bone loss in that that area can also occur due to reasons such as periodontal disease or tooth loss, in which case you may not have enough bone to place dental implants and will need a sinus lift.

Curious how it’s done? Bone grafting material is added to the area between your jaw and maxillary sinuses to promote bone growth. However, before the adding the bone grafting material, your oral surgeon or periodontist has to make room for the bone by moving the sinus membrane upward or by “lifting” it, hence the name sinus lift. After the procedure, there is 6-9 month healing period before you can have dental implants placed, but a sinus lift surgery can increase your chances of successful dental implants for a lifetime.

If you’d like to find out more about sinus lifts, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Dental Implants Are a Great Idea | Camphill Dentist

When we develop dental issues, only the worst comes to mind. When we realize the fix is a dental implant, it gives even more cause for concern. But there is nothing to worry about – dental implants are a great option to replace damaged or missing teeth and serve many benefits to your oral health. But that’s not all – there are plenty of reasons you really need to consider dental implants:

Natural looking. They are very durable and have a natural appearance, while also functioning just as your natural teeth would.

Long-lasting. Due to how durable dental implants are they can last a lifetime, but only if you take care of them properly. But they’re new teeth – why wouldn’t you take care of them?

Preserves bone. When you have missing teeth, it results in empty spaces between your teeth which can eventually lead to additional health problems, such as jawbone deterioration. Dental implants are the only dental restoration that can maintain and stimulate bone growth.

Retain your facial profile. When you have several missing teeth it can result a sad, sunken in or saggy facial profile. Replacing those missing teeth with dental implant can give your face the new lift it needs.

Improved speech. Missing several teeth can cause slurred speech or pronunciation problems. Dental implants can help improve speech.

Eat regularly. Unlike the alternative options for missing teeth, your dental implants won’t being going anywhere when you bite into your favorite meals.

Confidence booster. Replacing your missing teeth with dental implants can help boost your self-esteem by restoring your smile.

If you’d like to find out more about dental implants, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

What is an Occlusal Adjustment? | Camphill Dentist

It sounds like something quite intimidating, but in actuality, an occlusal adjustment is somewhat painless. This procedure makes corrections to the bite by means of a dental drill using a fine stone, but not like the one for cavities.

The reason to receive an occlusal adjustment is to correct the alignment of the bite. A bite may be misaligned due to loosened, shifting, crowded, or missing teeth. Once the adjustment is made the result will be an evenly distributed bite that eliminates irregular pressure on one side of the mouth and your teeth will meet properly. Signs you may justify an occlusal adjustment:

Loose or shifting teeth. One sign is increased spacing between the upper front teeth. Occasionally, you may feel that your teeth do not hit correctly.

Grinding or clenching of your teeth. This stress-related habit can cause an unevenly distributed and excessive biting force on several of your teeth and subsequently on the bone support which holds the teeth in your jaw.

Headache. Headaches accompany the grinding or clenching of your teeth and will occur in the temporal regions of your head.

Pain. Biting pain is usually caused by the eruption of a tooth beyond the normal plane of the bite, such that only one or two teeth contact prematurely.

Sensitivity to temperature. Again, this is due to the premature contact between one or more teeth. With the knowledge that one can bite with a force of up to 200 pounds per square inch, the nerve within the tooth gets irritated and hypersensitive.

New technology allows dentists to accurately identify the areas, which need adjustments. That data allows the dentist to make only the adjustments that are absolutely necessary.

If you’d like to find out more about occlusal adjustment, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Sinus Lifts: What You Need to Know | Camphill Dentist

Sinus lifts became more popular when the demand for dental implants started to grow. They are common procedures that are not expected to affect the sinuses, breathing ability or cause allergies. The sinus augmentation procedure is one of the most successful bone grafting procedures that can be performed for dental patients. A sinus lift can be your best option for a successful dental implant.

A sinus lift is surgery that is done to add bone to your upper jaw to support dental implants when there isn’t enough bone height in the upper back jaw, where your molars and premolars are, and your teeth need replacing.

Over time the sinuses have a tendency to grow, which can lead to insufficient bone height. Bone loss in that that area can also occur due to reasons such as periodontal disease or tooth loss, in which case you may not have enough bone to place dental implants and will need a sinus lift.

The sinus augmentation procedure begins with an incision into the gum, after which the lateral wall of the sinus is exposed. The surgeon continues by cutting into the membrane covering the sinus and lifting that membrane to make room for the placement of the bone graft material. The bone graft can be taken from the patient (autogenous), from a tissue bank (allogenic) or it can be made from synthetic materials. However, before the adding the bone grafting material, your oral surgeon or periodontist has to make room for the bone by moving the sinus membrane upward or by “lifting” it, hence the name sinus lift.

Please note: there is 6 to 9-month healing period before you can have dental implants placed.

If you’d like to find out more about sinus lifts, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Dental Implants: Tips to Aftercare Treatment | Camphill Dentist

You are finally getting the dental implant you’ve been needing and soon your smile will be good as new. But this isn’t a reason to become lax on your dental hygiene. In fact, if you would like your dental implant to last as long as possible, it is important that you follow your dentist’s instruction when it has to do with the days following your procedure. Here are some aftercare tips that will help ensure your dental implants heal properly:

Don’t touch. It’s vital that you refrain from bothering your dental implant immediately after having it placed. If you agitate the implant, it will prolong the healing process and could lead to additional issues.

Watch your diet. After having dental implants placed, stick to eating soft food for the first few days, then introduce harder foods as time goes on. Avoid chewing with your dental implants and swishing around liquids in your mouth for the first week.

Ice it. Your face may swell in certain places, but this is completely normal for the first 3-5 days. You can help reduce the swelling by applying an ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the affected area.

Proper oral hygiene. It’s important that you clean the affected area where the dental implant is placed in order for the implant to heal properly. Your dentist will prescribe you a medicated mouthwash – be sure to use as directed. It’s also very important that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Slow down. Throbbing and bleeding can occur if you do choose to exercise, and if it does you should stop working out immediately.

If you’d like to find out more about dental implant aftercare, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.