Patient Education

Dental care and treatment can improve your smile and boost your self-confidence. Our highly experienced, board-certified dental professionals and compassionate staff make keeping healthy, attractive teeth for your lifetime a reality.

Mark Forrest, D.M.D. provides a full range of dental services including the following:


Cone Beam CT Scan Imaging

Radiology is an important tool in diagnosing and assessing dental abnormalities in patients. It is especially helpful in treating patients with problems in the dentomaxillofacial region. Cone Beam CT Scan Imaging, also known as CBCT, is considered an important innovation in dental X-ray diagnostics, particularly for dentomaxillofacial surgery. Unlike regular X-rays, CBCT scans can differentiate among many types of tissue including bone, teeth and nerves. ...


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Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening, also known as crown exposure, is a surgical procedure performed when there is not enough exposed tooth structure to place a restoration on the tooth. This procedure removes gum tissue and/or bone to expose more of the tooth, allowing a crown or filling to be put in place. Crown lengthening is often performed after a tooth breaks off at the gum or a crown or filling is removed and the tooth underneath is significantly decayed. A decent amount of healthy tooth structure is needed in order to properly perform a restoration. ...


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Dental Bone Grafts

Bone grafting is a regenerative treatment option for patients who have lost quality and quantity of supporting bone tissue as a result of periodontal disease. This procedure is often needed before dental implants can be placed. It also helps protect the teeth from bacteria, trauma and further degeneration. ...


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Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are natural-looking tooth replacements that help maintain facial structure, reduce stress on the jaw and fill in the gaps caused by missing teeth.

A dental bridge can be used to:

  • Restore an attractive smile
  • Reduce the risk of gum disease
  • Restore the ability to bite and chew
  • Improve speech
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position

Types of Dental Bridges

There are three main types of bridges: ...


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Dental Fillings

Dental tooth fillings are a restorative treatment, used to improve the appearance and functionality of teeth affected by damage or decay. The filling materials, which can be made from several different substances, help to even out tooth surfaces for more efficient biting and chewing. Dental fillings can last for many years and help keep the tooth looking and functioning at its best. ...


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Dental Implants

Dental implants are an option to replace missing teeth and provide a fixed solution to removable dentures. Dental implants are natural-looking replacement teeth that are fixed in the jaw. Implant treatment provides an option to correct the most troublesome cases associated with missing teeth and ill-fitting dentures. ...


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Dental Implants FAQs

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are titanium anchors implanted into the jawbone that hold replacement teeth in place. The root of the implant sits in the jawbone beneath the gum line and the visible tooth, or crown, is attached to the root. Implants look and feel much like natural teeth. They support individual artificial teeth, bridges, and dentures. ...


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Digital Imaging

Digital imaging, or digital radiography, is a valuable diagnostic tool frequently used in dentistry, as well as other disciplines. It is an innovative technique that uses a computer to efficiently manipulate and store X-ray images. Using this technology provides immediate results, readily available for sharing and discussion with patients and with other medical or dental professionals. ...


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Gingivectomy

A gingivectomy is a periodontal surgery performed to treat severe cases of gum disease, also known as periodontitis, that do not respond to antibiotics or root planing alone. This procedure is necessary when the gums have pulled away from the teeth, creating deep pockets. Plaque and tartar often form in these pockets, causing gum disease. If the disease is left untreated, it progresses to the point that it damages the roots of the teeth and potentially leads to tooth loss. The gingivectomy procedure is designed to remove loose or diseased gum tissue in order to prevent tooth loss and is performed by either a periodontist or an oral surgeon. ...


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Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the inflammation of gums that is caused by a buildup of bacteria between the teeth and gums. Gingivitis is a common periodontal condition that can be effectively managed, however if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease and possible tooth loss.

Causes of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is often caused by a buildup of plaque, a film composed of bacteria that coats the teeth after eating. Plaque that is not removed by brushing the teeth can eventually irritate the gums. Gingivitis may also be caused by: ...


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Guided Bone and Tissue Regeneration

Guided bone and tissue regeneration is a relatively new process of eliminating pockets in the gum in order to combat progressive periodontal disease. Instead of the previously used method of recontouring uneven bone tissue, this new technique is now routinely used to stabilize teeth or to prepare the jaw for dental implants. Gum pockets have to be treated because otherwise they promote bacterial growth and spread infection. ...


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Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is caused by a build-up of plaque and bacteria between the teeth and gums. When left untreated, the gums become infected and if gum disease progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult and painful to treat. Progressed cases of gum disease can also lead to tooth loss. ...


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Gum Grafting

Gum grafting (soft tissue augmentation) is a surgical procedure that helps protect the tooth roots and improve the smile for patients who are self-conscious about receded gums. Gum grafting also helps protect the mouth from bacteria and trauma.

Gum recession is a common problem, usually resulting from gingivitis, that can lead to exposure of an excessive amount of tooth, or even of the tooth root. This can not only result in pain and damage, but can adversely affect the appearance. Gum recession is a gradual process, often not noticed until an exposed root appears, looking unpleasant and causing extreme tooth sensitivity, particularly to hot or cold. In order to repair gum recession, a graft procedure may be necessary both to restore oral health and for aesthetic reasons. ...


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Impacted Tooth

An impacted tooth is a tooth that has not broken through the gums. This condition is most commonly associated with wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth may remain in the gums causing no symptoms or side effects, however, in many cases, an impacted tooth can cause swelling and pain.

Causes of an Impacted Tooth

An impacted tooth may occur because of an overcrowded jaw or because the tooth is coming in at an odd angle and there is no room for the tooth to descend into the mouth. ...


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Invisalign Orthodontic Treatment

For people who are dissatisfied with their smiles but have not done anything about them because they are not interested in a mouthful of metal, Invisalign "braces" may be a good option. They eliminate both the discomfort of metal wires and the inconvenience of adjustments. The Invisalign system uses virtually invisible aligners that straighten teeth without metal bands, brackets or wires. The custom-made trays are comfortable, and easy to remove for eating, brushing, flossing and special occasions. The clear-plastic Invisalign aligners are so inconspicuous that it is difficult to tell when someone is wearing them. ...


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Laser Gum Treatment

Laser gum treatment is a noninvasive, painless procedure that uses advanced laser technology to treat a wide range of gum conditions. More commonly used than they once were to treat certain types of gum problems, lasers allow many procedures to be performed with great precision, few complications and little pain. ...


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Oral Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene is essential for healthy teeth and gums. People older than 35 lose more teeth from gum disease than from cavities. Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a broad term that encompasses several different gum conditions, including gingivitis and periodontitis. Many adults are affected at some point in their lives. The best way to prevent periodontal disease, as well as cavities, is through a regimen of thorough daily brushing and flossing. ...


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Periodontal (Osseous Surgery)

If you're diagnosed with periodontal disease, Dr. Forrest may recommend periodontal surgery. Periodontal surgery is necessary when Dr. Forrest determines that the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired with non-surgical treatment. The two types of surgical treatments most commonly prescribed are Pocket Reduction Procedures and Regenerative Procedures.

In advanced cases of periodontal disease, the first line of treatment, scaling and root planing, combined with excellent home care to keep new bacterial deposits from forming, is sometimes not enough to bring the disease under control. In some cases, periodontal surgery is necessary.

When is periodontal surgery necessary?


Surgery is only rarely needed to control periodontal disease, a disease that affects almost everyone. Most people can keep their teeth and gums healthy by careful daily removal of the bacterial film which causes the disease, in combination with periodic visits to a dentist or dental hygienist for the removal of bacterial deposits below the gum line. However, when there is periodontal disease, and the gum has unzipped so far down the root of the tooth that dental instruments are no longer effective (about 5-6 millimeters), periodontal surgery may be necessary. If not done, the bacterial deposits will remain on the tooth and cause further bone destruction; ultimately causing the teeth to develop painful abscesses or simply to loosen and fall out.

What exactly is periodontal surgery?


It is a minor surgical procedure generally done in the dental office with a local anesthetic. It involves folding the gum back away from the tooth just enough so that a Periodontist, a dentist specializing in the treatment of gum diseases, can see the tooth root surfaces. Once they are seen, the deep bacterial deposits crusted on the tooth can be removed. In this way, the root surfaces can be made once again acceptable to the body, and the gum can reattach, at least to a degree. Surgical access also makes it possible to graft bone into defects to repair some of the damage. After root preparation, the gum is closed back with sutures and a dressing is often placed to keep the area undisturbed, especially for the first week.

Is periodontal surgery a cure for periodontal disease?


No, it is not. The bacteria which cause the disease are normally in the mouth, and continually form on the teeth as a thin film, requiring meticulous personal removal on a daily basis. Periodontal surgery can achieve a complete cleansing of deeply hidden bacterial deposits at a point in time. If the bacteria are kept off of the teeth long enough afterward for re-attachment and healing to occur, then a healthy and maintainable periodontal attachment can be achieved, and the teeth can be saved. However, if the bacterial film is allowed to build up during the healing period when the gum is actually less resistant to the destructive effects of bacteria, the result may be less than desired. Many people have undergone periodontal surgery to little avail when bacterial deposits have been allowed to quickly accumulate afterward, and consequently further extensive treatment has been necessary. To prevent a poor result, Periodontists are extremely choosy as to which patients receive periodontal surgery. Excellent home care is a strict requirement, and numerous postoperative visits are insisted upon to ensure frequent and complete removal of bacteria.

How much will it hurt?


Of course, some soreness is normal the first day or so after periodontal surgery. Many persons, however, have very little discomfort. A more common complaint afterward is sensitivity to hot or cold liquids. This is caused by exposure of more of the tooth root surface, and may last for a short period of time.

Finally, what else do I need to know about periodontal surgery?


Depending on exactly what types of defects or problems are present, many techniques may be used. These may include grafting of gum tissue and bone if needed, the correction of gum contours to improve their appearance and the ability to be cleaned more easily, the placement of dental implants, and the use of recent techniques for guided tissue regeneration. By the appropriate use of these of surgical procedures, as well as proper use of antibiotics, antiseptics, and anti-inflammatory agents, much can be done to control periodontal disease and save teeth from otherwise certain loss.

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Periodontal Disease

Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth. A leading cause of tooth loss, it is most often caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that can be brushed and flossed away with proper oral care. However, when left on the teeth, plaque produces toxins that attack below the gum line and in the crevices between the teeth and gums, causing the bond between teeth and gums to break down. ...


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Periodontal Disease FAQs

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth. Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that is brushed and flossed away with proper oral care. When left on the teeth, plaque produces toxins that attack below the gum line in the sulcus, a shallow V-shaped crevice between the tooth and gums. This causes the bond between teeth and gums to break down. If left untreated, periodontal disease may also cause tooth loss. ...


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Periodontics

Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that treats conditions and diseases of the teeth's supporting structures, especially the gums. Periodontists commonly treat severe cases of oral inflammation, including gum disease.

Periodontic Specialties

Periodontics typically focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease. Gum disease is a broad term that encompasses several different conditions. Periodontists treat different phases of gum disease, including: ...


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Periodontitis

Periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria between the teeth and gums. It causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, creating deep pockets in which the bacteria can grow, damaging bone that supports teeth. When periodontitis is left untreated, gums become increasingly painful, and tooth loss may result. ...


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Ridge Preservation

Ridge preservation, also known as socket preservation, is a type of bone grafting. Designed to stimulate bone growth in an empty tooth socket following a tooth extraction, ridge preservation is a type of periodontal surgery. While tooth extraction is normally uncomplicated, at times, particularly following several extractions, bone at the site may collapse, becoming unable to support incoming implants. In such cases, ridge preservation is necessary before dental implantation can successfully take place. The purpose of ridge preservation is to prevent the area from collapsing by establishing enough bone growth to support the implants. ...


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Root Canal

A root canal is the most commonly performed endodontic procedure. It involves treating problems within the tooth's soft core, also known as the dental pulp. The dental pulp is the soft tissue found inside the tooth; it extends from the top of the tooth all the way down to the end of the root. It contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue that provide nutrients to the tooth as it grows. ...


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Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is a treatment usually performed during the early stages of periodontal disease to help remove plaque and tartar that has built up beneath the gum line. This procedure is considered a deep cleaning, and may be performed to prevent the disease from progressing to a more advanced stage, or to improve the quality of a patient's tissue before surgery. ...


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Sedation Dentistry

Many people experience anxiety about undergoing dental work or visiting the dentist at all, a fear known as dental phobia. It can keep them from seeking dental care, and may compromise their dental health. Dental phobia can be helped by sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to provide a relaxing and anxiety-free experience for people undergoing dental treatment. Although sometimes referred to as "sleep dentistry," most patients remain awake but feel sleepy. There are several different methods available to achieve varying degrees of sedation. Which method is used depends on the type of procedure and the preference of the patient. ...


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Sinus Lift

A sinus lift is a surgical procedure that raises the membrane on the floor of the sinus to create a space that can be filled with enough bone to support rear-upper-jaw dental implants. The bone is added between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are located on both sides of the nose. Sinus lifts are performed on patients who need dental implants, but do not have enough bone to support them. ...


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Specialty Therapeutic Oral Rinses

Periodontal treatment is concerned with keeping the gums and bone around the teeth healthy and managing periodontal, or gum, disease. Periodontal disease is caused by a build-up of plaque and bacteria between the teeth and gums. When left untreated, the gums become swollen and infected and may bleed easily. As gum disease progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult and painful to treat and can lead to tooth loss. ...


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Trench Mouth

Trench mouth, also known as necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (NUG), is a bacterial infection of the mouth and gums. Trench mouth is identified by painful swelling, bleeding and ulcers in the gums. It is a severe form of gingivitis.

Causes of Trench Mouth

Not all causes of trench mouth are known, however, it may be caused by: ...


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