By Erika Webb
For Hometown News
You have to have gum surgery. You're not looking forward to it. Or are you, sort of?
What if your procedure included the latest technology: lasers to minimize pain, treatments to accelerate healing, a beautiful office - complete with ultra-leather chairs, which conform to your body, and floor to ceiling windows revealing colorful, lovingly tended gardens? Let's say a cheerful, friendly office staff was on hand to lift your spirits. And just suppose a graduate of Notre Dame, Boston and Emory Universities, with a kind demeanor, great sense of humor and passion for incredible medical gadgetry - along with advanced treatment options - was going to perform your procedure?
If you are rolling your eyes and dismissing possibilities, you probably are not a patient of Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik, DDS, PA.
Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection that destroys tooth- supporting tissues. Plaque and tartar irritate and inflame the gums. Bacteria and the toxins they produce cause the gums to become infected, swollen and tender.
Certain infections, and systemic diseases, poor dental hygiene, pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes and misaligned teeth can all contribute to periodontal disease.
With systemic diseases, the reverse can also be true.
According to The American Academy of Periodontology's website, perio.org, periodontal bacteria have often been thought to play a role in many of the possible links between oral health and overall health.
"Perio is evolving. There are a lot of connections between periodontal bacteria and other systemic diseases like heart, pancreatitis, cancer and diabetes," Dr. Kenzik said. "So it's important to keep gums healthy."
Using Laser Periodontal Therapy, Dr. Kenzik removes only diseased tissue, leaving healthy tissue intact. The laser maintains the height of tissue around teeth, minimizes pain and discomfort, closes the wound and allows healing. Controlling periodontal disease makes it possible to save and restore otherwise hopeless involved teeth.
There is less pain, bleeding, swelling, tissue removal, and recovery time.
"Technology in dentistry has changed hugely," Dr. Kenzik said. "Laser has allowed us to treat common-variety periodontal conditions, the kind that cause tooth loss, comfortably and with equal or better success than in the past."
The i-CAT, cone-beam 3-D imaging system is one of several seriously advanced instruments Dr. Kenzik implemented to save patients time and money.
"It reduces the radiation field to exactly what we need, delivering much more information, not only for implants but for other procedures," he said. "Before this, patients had to go to the imaging center, then wait for their results. This system saves them time and hundreds of dollars," he said.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy uses platelets from the patients' own blood to aid healing. Bone morphogenetic proteins induce formation of bone and cartilage. Dr. Kenzik uses both to improve the health and appearance of his patients' smiles.
He said the use of titanium roots has significantly reduced the need for dentures in many patients.
He's not all gums. Dr. Kenzik also offers teeth whitening, TMJ treatment, pediatric care, dentures and partials, implants, bridges and sports dentistry.
How many continuing education credits must all of this require?
"The state requires 30 every two years. I probably average about 120 a year. I always was kind of a nerd," he said smiling.
He and his staff get along which, he said, results in very positive staff-patient relations. It's a comfortable work environment. Since he opened the Ormond Beach practice in 1982, huge strides have been made in dentistry. Those advancements make patients happier to see him.
"It makes things enjoyable when your perio patients can give you a hug after surgery," Dr. Kenzik said.
By the way, don't forget to ask for a dental floss business card when you visit.
Raymond A. Kenzik, DDS, PA, Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, is located at 220 S. Nova Road, Ormond Beach. Call (386) 672-9440 or visit online at www.drkenzik.com.