Friday, December 21, 2012

Dental Implant History

Where did Dental Implants Come From?
Have you ever wondered how dental implants became what they are today, and why more and more people are seeking out Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman?  Dental implants and other cosmetic practices have been around since 600 AD, and Periodontal Associates is on the cutting edge of dental implant therapy.

Implants are not a new phenomenon.  Taking good care of your oral hygiene has always been a priority since early civilizations, and Periodontal Associates urges everyone to continue to make oral care a habit or even obsession. Implants have been around for hundreds of years; however, dental implants have become more and more successful throughout its evolution.  Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman are specialists here in Denver, CO, and every implant they perform successfully gives their patients a cosmetically beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime.

But before Periodontal Associates, the Mayan civilization was investing their time in developing the first version of dental implants.  Archaeologists have uncovered ancients skulls displaying teeth made out of other inorganic materials.  The first dental implants were carved from jade, different stones, or even seashell fragments.  These materials may seem unconventional, because they are, but proof that implants are conceivable is the fact that even seashells were seen to be fused to the jawbone.  Also, a human jaw bone found in Slovenia 6,500 year old showed traces of beeswax fillings.  The founding researcher stated, “This is perhaps the most ancient evidence of prehistoric dentistry in Europe.” 

If particles found on the beach can fuse to the bone to make a somewhat stable implant, think about how durable, comfortable, and what high-quality the dental implant used by Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman are!  

The advances in dental implants that made them as successful as they are today was unexpected.  An orthopedic surgeon discovered the ability for small a small titanium cylinder to heal to bone back in 1952.  The capacity for bone and titanium to fuse is call osseointegration. Drs. Versman and Heller were one of the first U.S. dentists to study directly with the inventors of today's implants. They have educated dentists, periodontists and dental students about dental implants and implant procedures for many years, and have lectured on the subject in the Denver/Aurora, Colorado area, nationally and internationally! 

Dental implants were first used for patients who could not properly use dentures due to the increased loss of bone in the jaw.  However, it is best for osseointegration to be used in dense bone which is mostly seen in the front of the lower jaw.  

Most recently, dental implants are used to replace anywhere from one to multiple missing teeth.  The original implants were made in a one-size-fit all design with no variety in width or length. 

The first versions were also manufactured to be very smooth and sleek. Now dental implants come in an assortment of shapes and sizes to better fit each individual as well as the particular prosthetic tooth.  There texture has also been replaced with more grooves, resembling a screw, to enhance the fusing process.   

Now that you have learned about dental implants, you will finally realize that there is a way to improve your quality of life. Even if you have lost just one tooth – whether it is a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself. Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman are uniquely qualified to provide a full range of implant dentistry procedures. They have been performing a full range of implant dentistry for more than 20 years at Periodontal Associates in the Denver/Aurora, Colorado area.  At Periodontal Associates, The Dental Implant Team, we are the market leader and we are driving the development of new dental implant standards and protocols.

Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman wish to share this exciting information with you and answer all of your questions.  Please give Periodontal Associates a call today at (303) 755-4500 to visit our Aurora, CO office.  We serve patients from Denver, CO and all surrounding areas. You can also visit our website at to learn more or click here for an appointment.  We look forward to helping you with your dental implant needs as well as helping those with gum disease.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Cavities

 Christmas Cravings and Cavities
Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy Kwanzaa from your friends at Periodontal Associates - the dental implant team!  With the Holiday season among us and treats eaten, carols sung, parties thrown, and gifts given, Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman want to take a look a closer look about what that means.
The end of the year is often a time of over indulgence, and with the constant snacking on sweets, Americans run the risk of increasing cavities and weight gain.  One study suggests that the average American citizen gains 7-10lbs over the holiday season (Thanksgiving to New Year’s).  Now brace yourself, if we estimate that everyone in American gains 9lbs that means the nation would gain 3 BILLION POUNDS!
Don’t worry, there is hope as another study by Yanovsky in 2000 in the New England Journal of Medicine stated the average American gains less than 1lb.  However, this weight is never lost in the upcoming year. Even so, that equates to a gain of almost 315 million pounds that are never lost!  Each kid eats about 6,000 calories on Christmas Day alone, and Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman fear this is mainly all in sweets.  No wonder The Biggest Loser is planned to air at the beginning on January.
Now let’s think about how this weight gain and the consumption of sweets affect your health, and most importantly, your oral health.  Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman wants everyone to enjoy themselves and celebrate over the holidays, but they wish to pass along some advice to make sure the next year is not negatively affected by these holiday traditions.
First thing first, sugar! Between the sugar cookies, egg nog, candy canes, and pumpkin pie, sugar can be found everywhere!  Christmas is the 3rd largest day for candy consumption after Halloween and Easter.  Each household spends and average of $94.04 on holiday candy and the nation spending $1.4 billion.  Americans use an average of 7lbs of sugar over the holidays in baked good, drinks, etc. There are 1.8 billion candy canes are made every year which is enough to travel from Arkansas to the North Pole and back 32 times!
Just writing those statistics almost gives Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman a heart attack.  Here at Periodontal Associates, our Denver and Aurora clients are not immune to the holiday sugar high, and we want to make sure you are taking care of your teeth and gums to help prevent cavities, gum disease, and the need for dental implants in 2013.  Dr. Versman says, ‘You don’t have to brush your teeth, just the ones you want to keep.’
Yes, brushing is one of the best things you can do, along with flossing, on a regular basis.  Dr. Heller often tells his patients that slowly snacking on sugar is worse than sugar itself as it continuously feeds bacteria in the mouth, and most people only brush once or twice a day.  Think about eating a breakfast cake at work around 9am then letting that sugar sit on your teeth for another 13 hours until brushing before bed!
Go ahead and make a New Year’s resolution with Periodontal Associates - The Dental Implant Team before the New Year begins.  Let us all brush often, floss regularly, graze less, and visit our great doctors (Ken Versman, Doug Heller, and Eric Beckman) along with our specially trained hygienists for bi-annual cleanings and check-ups.  By developing these great habits, Periodontal Associates can help treat and prevent periodontal disease (gum disease), fight bad breath, and give you a cosmetically beautiful smile with or without dental implants.
Periodontal Associates is located in Aurora, CO, but we happily serve patients in Denver, CO and all surrounding areas like Centennial, Parker, Lone Tree, Thorton, etc.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman are specialists in gum disease, dental implants, gum grafts, bone grafts, sinus lifts, and other dental needs.  Please give us a call at (303) 755-4500 to schedule your dental implant consultation or hygiene cleaning today! To learn a little more about us, please visit our website or visit us on Facebook We look forward to getting to know you and helping you keep your New Year’s resolution for a healthier smile!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ke$ha's Teeth Couture

Ke$ha’s Teeth Couture 

Open wide and spit them out! Ke$ha has been collecting teeth from her fans.  With an awkward and somewhat offensive request like this, one could believe she wanted to be a dentist when growing up, but it is a good thing she didn’t as a teeth hungry dentist is a nightmare no one wants to see come true.  Periodontal Associates is the complete opposite of Ke$ha as Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman do everything they can to save and enhance our patients’ smiles.
Ke$ha asked her fans to send her their teeth, and believe it or not, her fans sent her over 1,000 teeth! What exactly did she do with them?  Ke$ha made a bra out of them, a crown, and other accessories.  'I asked for them to send me their teeth and I got, like, over 1000 human teeth. I made it into a bra top, and a headdress, and earrings, and necklaces. I've worn it out!” says the Ke$ha the tooth fairy, I mean singer.
Ke$ha says she loves feeling a connection with her fans and if she's ever feeling down, she arranges to meet one of them.  Now that she has 1,000 teeth, from what is assumed 1,000 fans, she feels closer to them than ever before.      

If you have contributed to Ke$ha’s collection, just remember that Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman are here to help replace those missing teeth.  Periodontal Associates are Denver’s specialists in dental implants, creating beautiful and natural smiles. We are located in Aurora, CO, and even though Ke$ha does not live here, she may still be wearing some Denver smiles. So call us at (303) 755-4500 or click here for an appointment.  Want more information?  Please visit our website at 

We don’t suggest you knock out your own teeth to send as fan mail, but if you already have or have suffered from gum disease or trauma, today is your day to correct your smile.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman have changed lives, and you could be next. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Newsletter

Happy Holidays!

With the end of the year approaching and the holidays among us, Periodontal Associates would like to take a moment to share a few words of what we are thankful for, practice news, and even a couple of must have recipes!

Let’s Give Thanks
Everyone has something to be thankful for this holiday season.  First and foremost, Periodontal Associates is thankful and honored to work with such amazing patients.  We strive to give each and every one of our patients the highest quality care, and in return we often find sincere gratitude and affection given right back.   We also asked each team member what specifically they were giving thanks for this Thanksgiving. Here are a few of their responses.  I am thankful for…

·      All the smiling faces that come in our front door.  – CeCe, Hygiene Coordinator

·      My beautiful wife.  – Paul, Insurance Coordinator

·      The integration of recycling programs in public schools.  – Drew, Patient Coordinator

·      My sweet dog, Mica, and cinnamon vanilla coffee creamer.
                    – Maggie, Patient Accounts coordinator

·      Family, friends, and good health. - Barb, Office Manager

·      Working with such gifted doctors and team, my patient’s trust and confidence, living in this beautiful state of Colorado, and of course my friends and family.  - Dr. Eric Beckman

·      The birth of my two sweet children, my family, working with a fantastic and dedicated team, my friendship with all my patients, and my health.  - Dr. Doug Heller

·      My loving family, good health, my talented staff, and all my appreciative patients of whom some I have worked with for over 35 years.  - Dr. Ken Versman

·      My employment during these economic times, and my family and friends.         
                - Diane, Implant Coordinator

·      My new family, husband, and sons.  - Carolyn, Hygienist (married on Sept. 8, 2012)

·      Awesome patients that make my job worth it.  - Michelle, Hygienist

·      -My freedom, my family, my daughter, and a new job I look forward to growing with.
                - Genevieve, Scheduling Coordinator

·      My beautiful family.  - Shani, Assistant

·      Family, great health, and coffee.   - Erin, Assistant

·      Life and each new day.   - Amy, Assistant

What’s new?

As you may all remember, back in July of this year Dr. Eric Beckman joined the Periodontal Associates family, and we could not be more excited!  His background and education only further enhances the Periodontal Associates.  

Dr. Beckman and his wife, Lauren, are looking forward to their new life in Colorado and are excited to explore the city of Denver and the Rockies.  They both enjoy traveling, telemark skiing, fly-fishing, and hiking/camping when they find the time.  Dr. Beckman looks forward to meeting all of our patients, and extending Periodontal Associates commitment to a strong partnership with our patients, enabling them to achieve optimal health through an individualized approach to treatment.
In fact, please click here to view a recent interview of Dr. Eric Beckman.  Or you can visit Periodontal Associates YouTube channel. Go to to see a list of all of our videos including Dr. Beckman, patient reviews, and instructional videos.
Also, instead of what is new, let’s take a look at what is old.  It is that time of the year where your insurance benefits are coming to an end.  Please take advantage of these services now as in most cases, any benefits left in Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Savings Accounts are lost at the end of the year. Please contact us to schedule your next appointment in order to utilize these benefits and improve your health.  Not to mention, Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman would love to visit with all of our patients during this holiday season. 

As a friendly reminder, we will be closed to spend time with our friends and family from December 24th, 2012 until the New Year on January 2nd, 2013.  We look forward to seeing you before then!

MMM, MMM Recipes

Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

·         1 pumpkin, about 3 pounds
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruyère, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2–4 garlic cloves (to taste), split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped (my addition)
  • About 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives or sliced scallions (my addition)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme (my addition)
  • About 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment, or find a Dutch oven with a diameter that's just a tiny bit larger than your pumpkin. If you bake the pumpkin in a casserole, it will keep its shape, but it might stick to the casserole, so you'll have to serve it from the pot—which is an appealingly homey way to serve it. If you bake it on a baking sheet, you can present it freestanding, but maneuvering a heavy stuffed pumpkin with a softened shell isn't so easy. However, since I love the way the unencumbered pumpkin looks in the center of the table, I've always taken my chances with the baked-on-a-sheet method, and so far, I've been lucky.
Using a very sturdy knife—and caution—cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (think Halloween Jack-o-Lantern). It's easiest to work your knife around the top of the pumpkin at a 45-degree angle. You want to cut off enough of the top to make it easy for you to work inside the pumpkin. Clear away the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet or in the pot.
Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, and herbs together in a bowl. Season with pepper—you probably have enough salt from the bacon and cheese, but taste to be sure—and pack the mix into the pumpkin. The pumpkin should be well filled—you might have a little too much filling, or you might need to add to it. Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin. Again, you might have too much or too little—you don’t want the ingredients to swim in cream, but you do want them nicely moistened. (It's hard to go wrong here.)
Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours—check after 90 minutes—or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. Because the pumpkin will have exuded liquid, I like to remove the cap during the last 20 minutes or so, so that the liquid can bake away and the top of the stuffing can brown a little.
When the pumpkin is ready, carefully, very carefully—it's heavy, hot, and wobbly—bring it to the table or transfer it to a platter that you'll bring to the table.
You have a choice—you can either spoon out portions of the filling, making sure to get a generous amount of pumpkin into the spoonful, or you can dig into the pumpkin with a big spoon, pull the pumpkin meat into the filling, and then mix everything up. I'm a fan of the pull-and-mix option. Served in hearty portions followed by a salad, the pumpkin is a perfect cold-weather main course; served in generous spoonfuls, it's just right alongside the Thanksgiving turkey.

We hope you enjoy these yummy recipes as your home fills with great smells and better company.  We look forward to visiting with you during this next month, and if we do not see you then, we wish you happy holidays! And as you enjoy the holiday treats, be sure to brush and floss away that sugar!

Warmest wishes,

Drs. Versman, Heller & Beckman and Periodontal Associates Staff

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dads, Be Brave!

Dads, Be Brave!

Want your kids to be friendly and fear free at the dentist? It is up to you, Dads!  A new study reveals that parent’s attitude towards oral health and dental visits predict how their children will react in the same situations.  It is a good thing Dr. Doug Heller is a periodontist, his two kids will have some bright oral health futures.  

The University of Madrid conducted a study comparing the views of children versus their parents when it comes to visiting dental offices like Periodontal Associates. Participants included 183 children between the ages of 7 and 12.  Forty-three experimental studies from across six continents were also included in this review. 

The majority of studies confirmed a relationship between parental and child dental fear. This relationship is most evident in children aged 8 and under.  The study then concluded that, yes, there is an association between parental and child dental fear.  This is good to know as many people have anxiety and negative thoughts about dental work, and if we know where it begins, then Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman and others can put a stop to the fear.

América Lara Sacido, one of the authors of the study, said that “along with the presence of emotional transmission of dentist fear amongst family members, we have identified the relevant role that fathers play in transmission of this phobia in comparison to the mother.” 

More so than mothers, fathers sway their children in how to react to the dentist.  In fact, the reaction from their dad will often over shadow the mother’s regardless if it is negative or positive.  

 “Although the results should be interpreted with due caution, children seem to mainly pay attention to the emotional reactions of the fathers when deciding if situations at the dentist are potentially stressful,” said Lara Sacido.

To help this cycle, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman strongly suggest finding a steady, primary dental provider that the entire family can bond with and trust like Periodontal Associates.  Then, both parents should be active in the children’s dental appointments to assure they will be in good hands.   Anxiety is a strong consequence of trips to the dentist office; however, as the industry advances routine dental procedures are becoming more and more comfortable.

 “Through the positive emotional contagion route in the family, the right attitude can be achieved in the child so that attending the dentist is not a problem.”

Need a dentist to trust? Call Periodontal Associates today as Dr. Versman, Dr.Heller, and Dr. Beckman are the best doctors in Denver! We provide dental implants, gum grafts, bone grafts, treat gum disease, and even provide regular hygiene cleaning appointments.  Our patients travel from all over Denver, CO to see our specialists here in Aurora,CO, and some of our patients have even been with us for over 35 years!  We can be reached by call (303) 755-4500 or by clicking this link.  Visit our website for more information about common dental practices and more about Periodontal Associates.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Coffee and Cancer

Coffee may Lower your Risk for Oral Cancer

Periodontal Associates has good news for a 100 million Americans out there. Your daily coffee drinking habit may not be as bad as you once thought! The University of Milan published findings that suggested coffee could help decrease the chances of developing mouth and throat cancers. 

In fact, coffee drinkers have 39% less risk if drinking less than five cups of caffeinated coffee a day.  400,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year, and it is the sixth most common cancer.   This new finding could prevent 156,000 people from oral cancer. 

In Denver, CO this news is very important as the cool weather makes snuggling up to a warm cup of coffee so inviting, especially since over half of the American population over the age of 18 drinks coffee every day.  For all of these great reasons, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman always keep a hot and fresh pot of coffee on hand at the Aurora office. 

The study was published in the Cancer and Epidemiology Biomarks and Prevention journal.  The researches reviewed nine other oral cancer studies comparing 5,139 people with head and neck cancer to 9,028 people without cancer, and they found a common variable.  Coffee contains 1,000 different chemical and anti-oxidants that were also found in decreasing the risk of cancer in former studies.  These anti-oxidants have cancer fighting properties.  

Between all the contents, Professor André van Zyl said it was not yet known which specific substances provided anti-carcinogenic properties in coffee. ”Which of these substances actually protect against cancer in humans is a question for future studies,” he said.

It was also not clear which type of coffee was more beneficial, “but espresso is regarded as more concentrated beverage than percolated coffee – up to a factor of three”, said Van Zyl.  However, researchers do know that it is not the caffeine component as green tea drinkers did not experience the same effect.

The cancer fighting properties in coffee and certain foods does not stop at oral cancer, but coffee has also been linking to lowering the risk of womb and colon cancers while also helping cardiac disease.

Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman hope these studies can better promote the important of early detection and prevention instead of focusing on treatment.  Visiting us at Periodontal Associates is a huge step in the right direction as each doctor completes a full oral exam designed for cancer screening.  Patients need to be educated about the danger signs and how they may play a role in ensuring earlier diagnosis and, consequently, better survival rates.

Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman are specialists in oral health, and are prime fighters of not only oral cancer but gum disease as well.  Periodontal Associates works closely with each of our patients and their general dentist to give them individual treatment plans and optimum health! You cannot have a healthy body without a health mouth. If you have any questions or have not been in to see a dentist in over 6 months, give us a call at (303) 755-4500 and Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman will be sure to give you a through exam.  You can also schedule an appointment by clicking here or visiting us at