Dental Specialists of Southern Colorado, PC

About

Experience that matters

Periodontics & Implant Surgery

Dr. Reece Cochran, DDS


Dr. Cochran specializes in periodontics, implantology and micro surgery. He is a specialist in the treatment of gum disease. In addition, he is highly experienced in cosmetic procedures that can compliment your smile as well as placing dental implants to replace missing teeth. well as in the production of dental implants that replace a patient’s missing teeth.

Our Mission

Our mission is to use our expertise with compassion and integrity for the improvement of our patients’ oral health and the creation of beautiful, healthy smiles. We aim to provide excellent treatment and remarkable customer service, which consistently exceed both our patients’ and referring doctors’ expectations.

Procedures

Gum Graft


(Subepithelial Connective Tissue Or Soft Tissue Allografts)

When gum (periodontal) disease has progressed to the advanced stages, you may develop gum recession and the body loses a natural defense mechanism in fighting bacterial infection. This causes a higher gumline and exposed tooth roots. At DSSC, part of your periodontal disease treatment could include surgical gum grafting to revive your gumline. With several different gum graft surgery options, board-certified periodontist Dr. Reece Cochran will create your custom treatment plan to restore your receding gums.

With gum recession comes the loss of the body’s natural defense mechanism in fighting bacterial infection. To reverse the damages caused by gum recession, the technique of gum grafting is used to reconstruct a receding gum line.
If a patient has minor gum recession, healthy gingiva likely remains and continues to protect the teeth. In this case, the only treatment recommended is to modify the patient’s daily at-home dental care.

Nonetheless, if recession is advanced and reaches the mucosa, bacteria can more easily penetrate and can lead to root sensitivity when eating hot and cold foods and a disfigured appearance of the teeth and gums. If gum recession reaches its advanced stages, the surface of the root can be revealed, causing root caries and root gouging.

In order to solve these potential problems, a gingival graft is used and can hide exposed parts of a root. A thin piece of tissue is taken from nearby regions of the mouth to serve as a stable attachment around the tooth. The gingival graft procedure is highly predictable and allows for a healthy band of gum tissue surrounding each tooth.

Frenectomy


A frenum, which appears between either the upper or lower set of front teeth, connects the inner lip with the gum line. It is a naturally occurring muscle attachment, and without sufficient attached gingiva, recession can occur. Similarly, a frenum that is excessively large can hinder teeth from aligning, causing a gap to form between the front teeth. In the event that pulling occurs, or if the frenum is too large, a frenectomy is used to surgically remove the frenum.

In conjunction with orthodontic treatment, removing an abnormal frenum allows for an increase in stability and will improve the final result of the orthodontic treatment.

Tooth Extractions


You and Dr. Cochran may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.

The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.

To avoid these complications, in most cases, Dr. Cochran will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth to restore the bite back to function.

The Extraction Process

At the time of extraction, the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jaw bone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.

During the extraction process, you will feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal.
You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.

If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction, please let us know right away.

Sectioning A Tooth

Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved, and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections, then removes each section one at a time.

After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.

After the blood clot forms, it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted, you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Use pain medication as directed. Call our office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days, you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.

Oral Pathology


Mucosa, a smooth, pink-ish skin that lines the inside of the mouth, can be used as a preventative measure against the development of a pathological disease. If the skin is noticeable altered, consult your dentist or periodontist, as this can be a strong indication of oral cancer. Signs of the development of a pathological process or potential cancerous growth include:

- Red or white patches around the mouth
- A sore that remains for a long period of time and that bleeds easily upon contact
- A lump lining the inside of the mouth
- Chronic hoarseness or sore throat
- Difficulty when swallowing and chewing

These signs can be seen on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue that surround the teeth, mouth, face, or neck. It is important to note that pain does not always occur alongside the progression of oral cancer. Still, if you are experiencing any pain around the mouth or face and cannot attribute an obvious cause to the pain, consult your dentist or periodontist. It is also recommended that you perform a self-examination on a monthly basis and take note of any suspicious sores or lumps that develop.

Sinus Lift


What Is A Sinus Lift?

Behind the cheek and upper teeth region lie the maxillary sinuses. The maxillary sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces that sometimes house roots which extend from the upper teeth. Upon removal of the upper teeth, the maxillary sinus is separated from the mouth by a mere wall of bone. Since dental implants require a sufficient amount of bone, it is not possible to insert implants when the maxillary sinus wall is exceedingly thin.

In order to ensure a successful dental implant process, the jawbone must be sufficient in both quantity and quality. The possibility of a sinus augmentation is offered to patients who have undergone injury or periodontal disease, as it can raise the sinus floor and enable new bone to form. A sinus lift is typical among patients who have experienced bone loss in the upper jaw region. The sinus lift promotes the growth of bone in the area above the gum on which teeth are anchored. Through this process, dental implants are more successfully implanted into the new, stronger bone growth.

Am I A Candidate For A Sinus Lift Procedure?

A sinus lift is recommended for patients who are:
- Missing more than one tooth in the back of the jaw
- Missing a large amount of bone in the back of the jaw
- Missing teeth because of a condition or birth defect
- Missing most maxillary teeth, but need support for dental implants

How Is This Oral Surgery Accomplished?

Typically, in order to expose the jawbone, a small incision is made on the premolar or molar region. This opening enables the membrane that lines the maxillary sinus to be lifted. The space below is filled with bone grafting material, which is taken from either a cadaver or another bone from the patient’s body.

Occasionally, synthetic materials are used to replicate original bone formation. Once the artificial bone has been implanted, Dr. Cochran will stitch up the incision and thus begin the healing process. The dental implants can be inserted several months later, once the new bone becomes integrated into the jaw.

In the event that there is sufficient bone to stabilize the implant with necessity for synthetic bone, the procedure can be performed in one part. However, if it is required that Dr. Cochran perform a sinus augmentation, it can take several months before the graft has matured. Only after the graft has become mature can the dental implant procedure take place.

The availability of the sinus graft as a technique for implants provides a renowned solution to tooth loss that replaces the previous need for dentures.

Local anesthesia is usually administered while Dr. Cochran is performing the sinus augmentation. Oral or intravenous sedative medication is also available upon request.

Operating requirements


The Carestream 9600 system gives our oral and maxillofacial practice state-of-the-art technology to help Dr. Cochran diagnose potential issues more accurately and provide treatment with unprecedented confidence. Unlike a traditional spiral CT scanner, this 3D system utilizes cone beam CT technology and provides precise, crystal-clear digital images while minimizing your exposure to radiation.

Our new 3D system enables us to perform a wider range of diagnoses and treatments in our office, helping to reduce multiple visits. The Carestream 9600 scanner allows us to choose the field of view, or scanning area, that best suits your specific treatment needs. This helps to limit your radiation exposure because we are focusing specifically on your area of concern.

The Carestream 9600 system brings the latest 3D technology to Dr. Cochran, providing unmatched visualization of anatomical detail which aids in treatment planning and helps us to better explain the particulars of your case, as well as address any questions you may have. Dr. Cochran can use this innovative technology to quickly and easily share 3D images of the area of concern with your referring doctor – allowing the doctors to collaborate on your care, improving your experience, and delivering a positive treatment outcome


Many times, the early stages of periodontal disease are best treated with non-surgical periodontal therapy. Even in severe cases, non-surgical periodontal therapy often precedes surgical therapy. This is done to improve the overall tissue quality prior to surgery and also to help limit the areas requiring surgery.

Scaling & Root Planing
The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling or root planing. The objective of these non-surgical procedures is to remove etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which cause gingival inflammation and disease. Scaling and root planing can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or a preventative measure. They are commonly performed on cases of gingivitis and moderate to severe periodontal disease.

What Do The Procedures Entail?
Dr. Cochran will only perform scaling and root planing after a thorough examination of the mouth, which may include taking x-rays and visually examining the mouth. Depending on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar present, the depth of the pockets, and the progression of periodontitis, Dr. Cochran may recommend scaling and root planing. In some cases, a local anesthesia may be used during the procedure.

Scaling:
When scaling is performed, calculus and plaque that attaches to the tooth surfaces is removed. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Scaling is performed with a special dental tool called an ultrasonic scaling tool. The scaling tool usually includes an irrigation process that can be used to deliver an antimicrobial agent below the gums to help reduce oral bacteria.

Root Planing:
Root planing is performed in order to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar. The root of the tooth is literally smoothed, which promotes healing, and also helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in the future.An animated illustration showing the process of scalingAn animated depiction of a root planning procedure

Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. In some cases, Dr. Cochran may place antibiotic fibers in the periodontal pockets after scaling and planing. This may be done to control infection and to encourage normal healing.

When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult for Dr. Cochran to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.

Benefits Of Treatment
If treatment is successful, scaling and planing may have many periodontal benefits. One is that it can help prevent disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the bloodstream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria that cause these conditions.

Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival and bone tissue. This leads to tooth loss.

Finally, scaling and root planing may make the mouth more aesthetically pleasing, and should reduce bad breath caused from food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and planing, adding an extra bonus to the procedures.

Periodontal Maintenance/Supportive Periodontal Care
After Dr. Cochran has completed the active phase of periodontal treatment, your periodontal disease will be under control. He will provide you with a personalized maintenance program of care to keep your gums healthy.

Maintenance therapy is an ongoing program designed to prevent disease in the gum tissues and bone supporting your teeth. Adherence to a program of conscientious home oral care and regularly scheduled maintenance therapy visits with your dentist and Dr. Cochran will give you an excellent chance of keeping your teeth for your lifetime.

Why Is Supportive Periodontal Care Important?
As you have learned, you are susceptible to gum disease. And, you have probably learned, too, that the main cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. The bacteria in this plaque produce toxins, or poisons, which constantly attack your gums and teeth. Unless plaque is removed, it hardens into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. Daily brushing and flossing will help to minimize the formation of calculus, but it won’t completely prevent it. No matter how careful you are in cleaning your teeth and gums, bacterial plaque can cause a recurrence of gum disease from two to four months after your last professional cleaning. Therefore, a dental professional must check for hidden problems and remove the hardened plaque at time intervals appropriate for you so that your teeth and gums stay healthy.

Who Should Perform Supportive Periodontal Therapy?
The answer depends on you and the severity of your gum disease before treatment. Generally, the more severe your periodontal disease is initially, the more often Dr. Cochran needs to oversee your care. Together, you, your general dentist and Dr. Cochran will work out the most effective schedule for your supportive periodontal care.

Your Maintenance/supportive Periodontal Care Visit May Include:
D
iscussion of any changes in your health history examination of your mouth tissues for abnormal changes measurement of the depth of pockets around your teeth assessment of your oral hygiene habits and provision of instruction removal of bacterial plaque and tartarx-ray film studies to evaluate your teeth and the bone supporting your teeth examination of your teeth for decay and other dental problems checkup on the way your teeth fit together when you bite application or prescription of medications to reduce tooth sensitivity or other problems you may have.

How Often Should You Have Supportive Periodontal Care Visits?
Your periodontal condition is the deciding factor. The interval between your supportive periodontal care (spc) visits might be as often as every few weeks or as frequent as every six months. Everyone’s situation is different. The frequency of your supportive care visits will be influenced by:
- The type of periodontal disease you have
- The type of periodontal treatment you have
- Your response to treatment
- Your rate of plaque growth
- Your personal commitment to good oral care at home.

Esthetic Crown Lightening


Crown Lengthening is often used to advance the health of gum tissue or to emend a gummy smile. A gummy smile occurs when teeth are hidden by extra gum tissue and creates a smile that can be unsightly. The procedure of crown lengthening includes reshaping gum tissue and bone surrounding the teeth and can be done on a single tooth, several teeth, or the entire gum-line.

The procedure is recommended for patients whose teeth need a new crown or other form of restoration. Usually, the edge of the restoration is too close to the bone. Crown lengthening enables a lengthening of tooth structure, allowing a patient who undergoes the procedure to brush and floss the edge of the restoration in order to further prevent gum disease and decay.

Though crown lengthening depends on the number of teeth requiring treatment and may be prolonged if bone needs to be removed, the procedure usually takes about one to two hours.

Often, local anesthetic is used, and various small incisions are made around gum tissue to separate it from the teeth. In the event that only one tooth requires crown lengthening, adjusting surrounding teeth is probably still necessary to give room for an even looking reshaping. Sometimes, it is also necessary to remove a small amount of bone.

Upon completion of the procedure, Dr. Cochran will clean the incisions with sterile water. In order to secure the newly developed gum-tooth relationship, sutures and bandages will be utilized. Even right after surgery, your teeth will appear noticeably longer. After a week or two, it is necessary that you return for an evaluation appointment to ensure that you are healing properly. Patients are fully healed in about two to three months after the procedure.

Pocket Reduction


(Osseous Surgery)

Osseous Surgery reshapes deformities and extracts pockets that appear in alveolar bone that surrounds teeth. The procedure, despite being termed a surgery, is similar to receiving a thorough cleaning. It is commonly used in advanced periodontal treatment, and is ultimately used to remove periodontal pockets that lead to periodontal disease. The goals of the surgery are:

Reducing Bacterial Spread: Life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and respiratory disease can result form the spread of bacteria that originates in the mouth. By removing the bacteria, the spread to other parts of the body is halted.

Preventing Bone Loss: Periodontal bacteria can cause bone loss in the jaw, ultimately leading to tooth loss. Osseous surgery is used to hinder the spread of periodontal disease before it reaches a more severe stage.

Enhancing the Smile: Periodontal disease can alter appearance and cause gums to turn brown, teeth to rot, and a sense of self-consciousness in patients. Through osseous surgery, bacteria and disease are removed, allowing patients to feel confident when smiling and restoring the mouth’s former radiance.

Facilitating Home Care: Proper brushing and flossing is nearly impossible when gum pockets become increasingly deep. Osseous surgery makes the size of the pockets in the mouth smaller, enabling patients to brush and floss more easily and helping to prevent the spread of periodontal disease.

IV Sedation


If you are feeling anxiety about receiving a periodontal procedure, IV Sedation may be the right solution for you. Before surgery, a small IV is inserted, usually in your arm, and sedative medications are spread through the body to relieve stress associated with the procedure. Local anesthesia is still used on treatment sites before the procedure, and the IV is attentively monitored until the surgery is completed.

Patients who undergo IV Sedation are strongly encouraged to refrain from driving or operating machinery in the 24 hours following the procedure. For this reason, patients must arrange a driver to transport the patient before and after the appointment.

Ridge Preservation


After a tooth extraction, common dental procedure is performed in order to ensure that the jaw’s natural contour remains unaltered.

The alveolar ridge surrounds the roots of the teeth and houses the empty socket in the jaw once a tooth is extracted. Often, the empty pocket in the ridge heals without any further treatment, filling the space with tissue and bone. However, if the bone that surrounds the empty pocket is broken, the alveolar ridge cannot heal on its own. In this case, facial contours will change as the height and width of the empty socket degenerates.

Although reestablishing the previous height and width of the ridge is not required, it is recommended before dental implant surgery or for aesthetic pleasure. Having a ridge augmentation increases the success rate of dental implants, as they need bone to accommodate their structure.

Dental Bone Graft DSSC


If you have experienced bone atrophy following


















Upon your first visit, the following information will be asked to be provided in order to ensure quality doctor-patient interactions and optimum results:
A referral slip and x-rays from your dentist (if you have one).A list of the medications that you are currently taking (please note that you can fill out your patient registration and medical history form on our website.)If you have dental insurance, please bring any forms or insurance cards with you to the appointment.

Contact Us

332 S Orchard Springs Dr.

Suite #110

Pueblo West, CO 81007


Phone Number: 719-569-5959


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