Posts for: March, 2017


Periodontal (gum) disease is a serious infection that can damage more than periodontal tissues — supporting bone structure is also at risk. Any bone loss could eventually lead to tooth loss.

To stop it from causing this kind of damage, we must match this disease's aggressiveness with equally aggressive treatment. The various treatment techniques all have the same goal: to remove bacterial plaque, the source of the infection, from all oral surfaces, including below the gum line. Buildup of plaque, a thin film of food particles, after only a few days without adequate brushing and flossing is enough time to trigger gum disease.

The basic removal technique is called scaling, using hand instruments called scalers to manually remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) above or just below the gum line. If the disease or infection has advanced to the roots, we may use another technique called root planing in which we shave or “plane” plaque and tartar from the root surfaces.

Advancing gum disease also causes a number of complex problems like abscesses (localized infections in certain areas of gum tissue) or periodontal pockets. In the latter circumstance the slight normal gap between tooth and gums becomes deeper as the tissues weaken and pull away. This forms a void or pocket that fills with inflammation or infection that must be removed. Plaque buildup can also occur around furcations, the places where a tooth's roots divide off from one another.

It may be necessary in these more complex situations to perform a procedure known as flap surgery to gain access to these infected areas. As the name implies, we create an opening in the gums with a hinge, much like the flap of a paper envelope. Once the accessed area has been cleansed of plaque and infected tissues (and often treated with antibiotics to stop further infection), the flapped tissue is closed back in place and sutured.

To avoid these advanced stages it's important for you to see us at the first sign of problems: swollen, red or bleeding gums. Even more important is to reduce your risk for gum disease in the first place with dedicated daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque and regular dental visits for more thorough cleaning.

Gum disease can be devastating to your long-term dental health. But with diligent hygiene and early aggressive treatment you can stop this destructive disease in its tracks.

If you would like more information on treating gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treating Difficult Areas of Periodontal Disease.”

By Sean Stannard, DDS
March 28, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental visits  

How your dentists in Waterford can help your smiledental procedures

Dental procedures can do a lot to restore and enhance your smile. You don’t have to put up with damaged or lost teeth or to settle for an uneven smile. Your dentists at Stannard & Studt & Wolf in Waterford, MI want to share the facts about dental procedures that can give you an outstanding smile.

If you have gaps in your smile due to lost teeth, there is an innovative, state-of-the-art way to complete your smile. It’s called dental implants and they are just like your natural teeth. You can clean them like natural teeth too, with regular brushing and flossing. One of the major benefits is that dental implants are permanent and will never move around when you eat or speak because they are embedded in the bone of your jaw.

If you have poorly positioned or crooked teeth, or a badly aligned jaw, you should consider Invisalign orthodontic treatment. Invisalign is different from conventional braces because Invisalign uses clear plastic appliances called aligners. These aligners are smooth with no metal parts, making Invisalign one of the most comfortable orthodontic treatments available. It is also discreet and virtually invisible to others. Treatment takes about nine to fifteen months.

Root canals can save damaged, broken or badly decayed teeth, helping you keep your complete smile. Diseased, infected tissue is removed from your teeth and replaced with an inert material. Treatment relieves pain completely and still allows you to keep your teeth. After root canal treatment, it is advisable to place crowns on treated teeth to prevent breakage.

Dental crowns protect your teeth from breakage. You can restore your teeth and biting function with dental crowns. You can also improve the look and function of your smile with porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, which provide aesthetics and strength. The most cosmetically beautiful crown material is porcelain, which reflects light just like your teeth; these crowns are virtually indistinguishable from your existing teeth.

These are just a few of the procedures your dentist in Waterford can provide to improve the health and beauty of your smile. For a complete list of dental services, please visit the dental services page on the website at

For excellence in dentistry, call your dentists at Stannard & Studt & Wolf in Waterford, MI. Get started on a great new smile by calling today!


Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.

“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into cavities. How did this happen?

Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.

While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.  Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.

This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”

Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:

  • Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
  • Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
  • Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.

Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.

“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”

If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”

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