What We Do
Dr. Barnett and his team believe that their practice model enables them to provide their patients with the same level of care they would deliver their own families. They believe that the first step is to fully educate patients on how to best care for their smile. If you do need surgery, Dr. Barnett will create a customized, evidence-based treatment plan. Your surgery will always use the most minimally-invasive techniques in combination with the highest-grade materials to yield optimal results.
Dr. Barnett strongly believes in post-operative care and is always available to his patients.
Through all phases of care, Dr. Barnett and his team are confident they will exceed your expectations.
A Comprehensive Approach to Periodontics
Gum disease and missing teeth can have a significant impact on your oral health, but they can also affect your total health and wellbeing. Dr. Barnett offers periodontal and implant services to not only resolve these issues aesthetically, but also to improve your health, wellbeing, and confidence. As a traveling periodontist with advanced expertise and training, he will provide you with personalized service you need in an office where you’re already comfortable.
Has your general dentist recommended a bone grafting procedure or osseous surgery in the wake of advanced gum disease? Do you have missing teeth and want to restore them with dental implants? Do you have an excessively gummy smile you’re afraid to share with your loved ones? Dr. Barnett offers transformative surgical care for each of these instances and more.
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For patients who need to replace one or more teeth, dental implants can provide the most seamless and lifelike results. A dental implant is a biocompatible titanium screw that is placed in the bone of your jaw to replace the root portion of your tooth. After healing, a crown can be placed on the implant to restore the tooth. Dr. Barnett’s advanced training has given him the knowledge to ensure your implant has the greatest chance of success during its placement, as well as ensuring its easy maintenance in the future. The team at Barnett Periodontics will come to your general dentist’s office for a consultation, paving the way for your fully restored smile.
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What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, or “periodontitis,” is a chronic infection of the gums, affecting half of the adult population in America. The tell-tale signs of periodontal disease include red or swollen gums, bleeding when brushing or flossing, tooth sensitivity, and tooth mobility. However, because this infection is hiding under the gums, most patients with active gum disease don’t have any symptoms. That’s why it’s important to visit your dentist or hygienist regularly for proper periodontal exams.
Gum disease develops when bacteria grow on the tooth surface, developing into a thick film or “plaque” and eventually creating calcified tartar or “calculus.” If not removed, the infection progresses, the soft tissue pockets around your teeth deepen, and the bone supporting teeth is lost. To avoid a compromised periodontium, or even tooth loss, it is imperative that patients seek proper periodontal therapy. Ask your hygienist or dentist if you need a consultation with Dr. Barnett.
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Treatment of Gum Disease
For most patients, the first line of defense for treating periodontitis is a deep cleaning or “scaling and root planing” with your hygienist. However, if your diseased has progressed further than can be treated non-surgically, you will be referred to Dr. Barnett. After a consultation, he may recommend pocket reduction surgery wherein Dr. Barnett anesthetizes the gums and gently accesses the bottom of your pockets to ensure complete removal of the bacteria and calculus that are causing the infection. After healing, the pockets around your teeth should be shallow enough that all the bacteria can be effectively removed by your hygienist during routine 3-4 month maintenance visits.
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Gum (Soft Tissue) Grafting
When gum disease takes its toll, patients can experience a significant recession of their gum line and an increased vulnerability to additional infection. Thankfully, Dr. Barnett can provide a soft tissue graft. By removing a small amount of natural tissue from one part of the mouth and attaching it over teeth that are in danger, he can protect exposed roots and strengthen your oral health.
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Bone Grafting with Extractions
Bone grafting may also be necessary for patients who need a tooth extracted and are interested in restoring the space with a dental implant. Without bone grafting, following any extraction, the bone shrinks or “atrophies” as it heals. If the lost bony dimensions are considerable, it may make future implant placement very difficult, if not impossible. If you are considering implants, Dr. Barnett can talk to you about the indications and added benefits for bone grafting at the time of the extraction.
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Guided Bone Regeneration
If a tooth is already missing, dental implants may still be the best treatment option for restoring the edentulous space. However, what if there isn’t enough bone present for an implant? Several factors determine the degree of bone loss or atrophy following an extraction, including how long ago the tooth was extracted, where in the jaw the tooth was located, the age of the patient, and whether or not there was an infection associated with the tooth at the time of its extraction.
If you have lost a fair amount of bone but still wish to have implants, Dr. Barnett can assess whether guided bone regenerative surgery can be performed to grow back the bone and allow for dental implant placement. Techniques include “sinus augmentations” in the maxilla, “block grafts” in the mandible, and “ridge splits” on either jaw. At your consultation, Dr. Barnett will discuss the details of your site-specific treatment to ensure there is adequate bone height and width at the time of the implant placement.
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Does your smile have a “gummy” appearance? It doesn’t have to be that way forever. By performing an esthetic crown lengthening procedure, Dr. Barnett can remove excess tissue from your gums and leave you with a shapelier, more pleasing smile. This procedure could also be important for your oral health, as it allows our team to treat cavities or properly attach a crown.
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Restorative Crown Lengthening
When your tooth has extensive decay or a large chip, your dentist may choose to restore your tooth with a crown. But what if crown needs to be extended deep below the gumline? When a crown is placed too close to the bone, it acts like a splinter and your body treats it like a foreign body, resulting in an inflammatory reaction. To avoid this problem, your dentist may refer you to Dr. Barnett to assess if he can surgically expose more tooth structure.
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Exposure of Impacted Teeth
Sometimes, as teeth are growing in the jaw, they are not oriented properly. As the tooth continues to develop, instead of erupting in its proper place in the jaw, it becomes impacted. In some circumstances, Dr. Barnett can work closely with your orthodontist to expose the tooth and place a bracket with a chain on it. The orthodontist can then pull the tooth into its proper position.
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A frenum is a muscle attachment that connects your lip to your jaw. Although usually benign, if this muscle attachment extends too far onto your jaw and impinges on your teeth, it can cause some problems. If it pulls the gums away from any teeth, it can lead to recession. If it is prominent and between two teeth, it can act like a wedge that either separates teeth or does not allow your orthodontist to fully close a gap between two teeth. If a frenum is problematic or “aberrant,” Dr. Barnett will remove it so that your gums and can teeth are no longer affected. It is important to note that a frenum is an extremely minor muscle with no actual function, so its removal does not affect the lip’s position or speech.
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Oral Cancer Screenings
While certain behaviors, like tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption, will put you at a greater risk of developing oral cancer, more than a quarter of cases appear in patients with none of the normal risk factors. That’s why all patients should take routine oral cancer screenings very seriously.
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Wisdom Tooth Extractions
Sometimes, the extraction of a tooth is necessary to preserve your oral health, and this is never truer than with wisdom teeth (third molars). If the tooth is impacted, you are experiencing pain or infection, or the misaligned wisdom tooth is affecting the health of your other teeth, Dr. Barnett can provide a consultation so that he can determine whether extraction is the right choice for you. As with all his surgeries, Dr. Barnett will take the most minimally-invasive approach to ensure optimal healing and the least possible post-operative discomfort.
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Dr. Barnett always wants his patients to have a positive experience with their surgery. In addition to providing exceptional surgical care, he also offers sedation to all his patients. All too often, patients who struggle with anxiety put off important care. With proper sedation, patients can look forward to a comfortable, relaxing experience that also furthers their health and wellbeing. To cater to all his patients’ needs, Dr. Barnett offers three levels of sedation to all his patients: nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV conscious sedation.
The mildest level of sedation is nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” and for most minor dental procedures, it produces enough anxiolysis (or relief of anxiety) for most patients. The greatest benefit of nitrous sedation is that there are no dietary restrictions before or after the procedure and the effects are so short-term that a patient can drive themselves home, meaning that no rides will have to be coordinated.
For more advanced dental procedures, or with patients with a little more dental anxiety, Dr. Barnett may recommend oral sedation. Benzodiazepines will be given one hour prior to surgery to ensure the produce is completed at the time of the medication’s peak effect. In addition to its anxiolytic effect, benzodiazepines produce temporary amnesia so that the patient does not remember most or all of the surgery. Patients commonly fall in and out of sleep during the procedure. Due to the greater effect of oral sedation, however, patients cannot eat or drink 6 hours prior to their surgery, and they must have a ride arranged. The patient cannot drive for the remainder of the day.
For the greatest level of anxiolysis, Dr. Barnett recommends IV (intravenous) sedation. Dr. Barnett will normally combine a benzodiazepine with narcotics and other drugs to achieve the ideal level of sedation. While the same dietary restrictions apply as with oral sedation (no eating or drinking 6 hours prior to surgery), the effects of the drug are almost instantaneous following the placement of the IV since the drugs can be administered directly into the bloodstream. This allows Dr. Barnett to have greater control over the level of sedation each patient achieves. Patients are more likely to sleep through the entire duration of the procedure.
Regardless of the route of administration for sedation, Dr. Barnett will always ensure you are calm and comfortable for your procedure. Local anesthesia is always given to ensure the surgical site is numb and the patient is never in any pain. Hospital-grade monitoring equipment is always used to ensure the sedation is properly controlled. Ask Dr. Barnett about what type of sedation is best for you and your procedure.
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