Our Periodontal Practice

Based in Upstate New York, our practice has provided the highest standard of periodontal care for decades. We offer patients a comfortable and trustworthy place to discuss their teeth and gum conditions, and provide the best recommendations and procedures to safely and painlessly treat gum disease for a healthier smile.

Dr. Jeffrey A. Peck

DDS

Dr. Jennifer A. Lopes

DMD, MS

Meet the Doctors

About the Area

Our practice is based in Utica, New York at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. Families and individuals across New York State are referred to us or have sought us out for our approachable and unique periodontal care, always providing patients with consistent oral screenings, thorough and honest communication about their condition, and advanced procedures to save teeth and treat gums for better oral health.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are several options for replacing teeth including removable dentures, a fixed bridge, or dental implants. All options come with pros and cons.
The timeline depends on several factors, including availability of bone and gum tissue for the implant, if the implant is able to be placed the same day as the tooth extraction (immediate implant), presence or absence of active gum disease, and the healing ability of the individual. In general, however, when a tooth is extracted, we place a dental bone graft to preserve the bone which takes approximately 3 months to heal. After the bone graft is healed, we place a dental implant which normally takes about 3 months to heal and stabilize in the bone. At this point we test the implant and, if it is stable, your restoring dentist can take an impression and have the crown made. So in general, it is approximately 6-7 months from tooth extraction to tooth replacement.
When teeth are taken out, the bone begins to shrink. Approximately 2/3 of the total shrinkage happens in the first 3 months after a tooth extraction. A dental bone graft is used to maintain the space of the socket and encourage the body's bone growing cells to form bone in the space provided by the graft. Dental implants require a certain amount of bone to be present for predictable success and it is always harder and less predictable to graft bone after the bone has already shrunk.
Smoking is a big risk factor for implants. If you are a smoker, you are at a 6-12x increased risk of bone graft failure, implant failure, early implant complications, and complications related to periodontal disease. Other risk factors include uncontrolled systemic disease (Diabetes), previous or current history of active periodontal disease, and osteoporosis.
No. But with treatment and regular maintenance, it can be stabilized and bone loss may be reversed.
In a variety of ways, including non-surgical and minimally-invasive surgical techniques such as LANAP (laser procedure).
The LANAP protocol is minimally invasive and requires no cutting or sutures. Most patients experience very little tenderness and often comment on their lack of discomfort throughout treatment.
Electric toothbrushes have been proven to provide better plaque removal than manual toothbrushes in general. Use of an electric toothbrush is recommended for two minutes. The Sonicare and Oral B Braun rechargeable electric toothbrushes are well respected and do an excellent job. However, by using proper technique, manual toothbrushes can effectively remove plaque and maintain gum health. For manual brushing, we suggest a soft toothbrush used for at least two minutes.
It depends. There are several brands of toothpastes available that will aid in home care. Mechanical cleaning of the teeth (through brushing and flossing) is by far more important in maintaining healthy gums.
Gum disease is a chronic infection of the gum tissue. There are many types of bacteria that live in the mouth and some do not harm us while others can. The disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth that will grow and multiply over time. If they are not removed, they will invade the tissue where the gum and tooth meet and continue growing in this area and form a pocket. These “bad” bacteria continue to grow and destroy gum and bone tissue. If enough gum tissue and bone are lost, the teeth loosen and are lost. Unfortunately, this can be a relatively painless and unnoticed process and can advance with few symptoms. Risks factors include poor oral hygiene, infrequent dental cleaning visits, smoking, diabetes, stress, a sugar-rich diet, tooth position, failing dental fillings, and numerous other factors.
Wrong! The number one reason dental implants are lost or fail is due to an infection around the implant. Remember, proper brushing and flossing is needed to decrease the possibility of dental implant problems.
Yes, but with some cautionary advice. Do not use this on the highest setting and never point or aim this into a periodontal pocket around a tooth or implant. This can force food or bacteria deeper into tissue of a pocket causing a problem. Always use this device on a medium or lower setting perpendicular to the teeth to flush out the area between the teeth. It is great for use around orthodontic wires and dental bridges. If you have had the LANAP procedure, ask your LANAP surgeon when it is acceptable to use.
Most mouthwash are effective at killing bacteria above and slightly below the gum line. However, once pockets have formed below the gum tissue, it is unlikely any mouthwash will reach the bacteria in these pockets.
Yes! Past periodontal surgery was very difficult to endure. This is being replaced by a much more elegant and less painful procedure called LANAP. This is a surgery using a laser to gain access to the diseased gum tissues and roots of the teeth where the bone supporting the teeth is being lost. The LANAP procedure requires no use of scalpels, sutures, or packing, and post-operative side effects are minimal. It has been approved by the FDA as an effective treatment for periodontal disease. Our dental specialists are highly trained and certified to perform the LANAP surgery.