December 3, 2018
A reason to smile
Our teeth let us live life with confidence, which is why Peter Chen and Jennifer Kraatz from Cotton Tree Implant Dentistry and Perio Care are dedicated to finding the root of the problem, to help their patients eat, laugh and talk more comfortably.
Going to the dentist can be a daunting experience, particularly when you’re booked in for implant surgery, but one look at Jennifer Kraatz’s brilliantly bright smile and learning about Peter Chen’s personal experience with dental implants you know you’re in the right hands.
Having graduated in 2007 from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Dental Science, Peter worked as a general dentist for five years before taking up his post-graduate training in periodontics at Griffith University on the Gold Coast.
“I became interested in dental implants when I underwent dental implant treatment as a fourth year dental student, due to trauma to my middle front tooth,” he says.
Peter joined the Perio Care team three years ago, and caters to patients in their Sunshine Coast and Chermside practices.
“It has been great to deliver dental implant treatment to our patients,” he says with a smile, “and to see patients chewing and smiling with the dental implant restoration made by their dentists.”
Meanwhile, Jennifer graduated as a dentist from Griffith University in 2009, and worked in both the private and public sectors in Queensland and Tasmania before honing her skills, and becoming a periodontal specialist, joining the Perio Care team in 2017.
“I wanted to learn about periodontics and implant dentistry, and I enjoy the relationships we build with our patients because we look after them long term, working closely with our patients’ general dentist and other dental specialists,” she says.
Established in 1983, Perio Care is a specialist periodontal practice with locations in Cotton Tree, Chermside and Brisbane City.
“We have quite a diverse profile of patients, many of whom attend our clinic for treatment and ongoing care of their gum disease. Often these cases are severe and require more complex care,” says Peter.
“We also look after patients requiring dental implants, often after trauma or after teeth are lost due to dental decay, tooth infection or gum disease.”
As Peter and Jennifer explain, regardless of whether you are missing a single tooth, have several teeth missing, or a completely toothless jaw, dental implants are a popular alternative to conventional dentures and have revolutionised dentistry.
“Implants can offer a fixed-in replacement of missing teeth, and with good long term care, we anticipate the restoration will last a long time,” says Peter.
“Implant supported teeth may feel slightly different initially, but after a couple of weeks, patients often do not notice their implant is there anymore.”
As Jennifer highlights, the key to a successful implant treatment is ongoing dental care, which is why they draw on the skills of their dental hygienists and oral health therapists to ensure every patient has a good long term outcome.
“Our Sunshine Coast based oral health therapist, Alan Timmerman, has been with the practice for over five years providing ongoing care for both our periodontal and implant patients,” she says.
“Dentistry can be a journey, and we’re here to help support our patients on that journey in a warm, and inviting environment.”
As one of the larger periodontal practices in Queensland, Perio Care sees patients from as far as Toowoomba, Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and Mackay, seeking specialist periodontal and implant treatment.
“For our more nervous patients, we offer twilight sedation and general anaesthetics, we try to cater for everyone,” says Jennifer.
Once the surgery is complete and the implant is in place, the Perio Care team works with the patients’ dentists who look after the restoration process and create the tooth/crown on top of the implant.
Perio Care has over 35 years of experience in the industry, and both the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane locations have many patients who have continued their care with the practice throughout the years.
“Looking after our patients over time ensures their periodontal disease is being controlled and helps the patients to maintain their natural teeth for as long as possible,” says Peter.
“Periodontal disease is a condition affecting the supporting structure of the teeth – the gums, bone and ligament supporting the teeth with the jaw. It is a chronic inflammatory condition triggered by a host-immune response to bacteria,” Jennifer adds.
“It’s normal to have bacteria in your mouth, but some of us have immune systems that are genetically predisposed to ‘overreact’ to the bacteria. This immune response progresses around the teeth leading to destruction of bone and other tissues that support the teeth in the jaw. This may eventually lead to gum recession, wobbly teeth and in severe cases, teeth can fall out. This can then affect the way patients chew and function.”
Perio Care also conducts aesthetic gum surgery to manage gummy smiles, gum augmentation procedures to improve gum height and thickness and a variety of other oral surgeries.
In addition to this they also do sinus augmentation procedures for patients who do not have sufficient jaw bone in their upper jaw area to place dental implants. The procedure increases the bone in the sinus area to enable implants to be placed to replace upper back teeth.
The practice also receives referrals from orthodontists for procedures called canine exposures, where the canine teeth haven’t come through and requires surgery to help bring them into position.
If you require treatment for periodontal disease, dental implant surgery, and aesthetic gum surgery contact them directly on 5443 8733 or obtain a referral from your dentist.
What are dental implants?
• Dental implants are small, solid screws made of pure titanium or titanium zirconium that are surgically implanted into your jaw.
• They are a proven technology backed up by more than 40 years of development.