Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Periodontal Associates

Happy Holidays from Periodontal Associates!

Periodontal Associates would like to take a moment to share a few words about what we are thankful for, news about our practice, and even a couple of yummy recipes!

Giving Thanks!

As the year ends, we think about all for which we are grateful.   First and foremost, Periodontal Associates is thankful and honored to work with such amazing patients.  Our relationship with you is one thing we truly treasure and we are thankful for the opportunity to serve you.  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!  In addition, each of our team members has many wonderful things to be thankful for this year.  Here are a few of their responses:

I am thankful for the health and well-being of my friends and family.  – Dr. Versman

I am thankful for my healthy family, and am fortunate to work at a place with such a great team and terrific patients.  - Dr. Heller

I am thankful for all the wonderful people in my life including friends, family, co-workers, referring doctors and of course amazing patients.  – Dr. Beckman

I am thankful for my family, friends, and good health. – Barb, Office Manager

I am always thankful for my family, good health and a warm house to celebrate Thanksgiving in!!  - Erin, Assistant

I am thankful that we have a wonderful, new daughter in the family as well as a daughter who is moving home next week!  - CeCe, Hygiene Coordinator

I am so thankful for the support my family and friends have given me through this difficult journey of losing a child.  - Ilene, Assistant

I am thankful for life! And all that it has to offer.   – Michelle, hygienist

I am thankful for my puppy, my friends and being an independent person.  –Kristi, Assistant
I am thankful for working with such a great team of people and the very best doctors in town!!  -Diane, Patient Coordinator

I am thankful for my family and friends, for the opportunity to work at such a great office, and for the Broncos great season this year.   – Stephanie, Front Desk
I am thankful for all my wonderful friends, family and co-workers who have supported me during and through this wonderful new adventure I have taken on!  - Ashley, Patient Coordinator

I am thankful for my Higher Power who has gifted me with a supportive husband, a daughter who is making the way for women in the automotive industry and for my two amazing boys (my man children). Life is a blessing and everyday an adventure.  –Carolyn, Hygienist
I’m thankful for my family, my friends, and my health.  – Paul, Insurance Coordinator

I am thankful to have a year of wonderful opportunities, having amazing people in my life, and for my adorable and sweet puppy!  - Ariel, Patient Accounts Coordinator
I am thankful for my sense of humor that gets me through the day, my family, and great friends.  –Amelia, Assistant
What’s New!!
2013 has been a very exciting year for each of our doctors:

Dr. Versman dancing with Allison at her wedding
Dr. Versman was a proud and over-joyous father as he and his wife, Linda, walked his beautiful daughter Allison down the aisle on November 9th, 2013.  They held the wedding at the Grand Hyatt in Denver and they said, “It was one of the happiest days of our lives!”    He was also busy with his trip to South Africa in September.   He spent the month going on adventures and exploring the wildlife.


Dr. Heller and Rigley
Dr. Heller is proud to announce he had his first parent-teacher conference for his son Rigley and the teacher says that he is a “model student”.  His ability to play well with others, as well as his expert ability to color in the lines, has been a good example for all the other kids in the class.  His daughter, Teagan, is now almost a year and a half and is growing every day! 


Dr. Beckman and his wife, Lauren

As you may remember, Dr. Beckman joined our practice over a year and a half ago and is doing great!  He and his wife, Lauren, have truly loved living in Colorado and spend their free time enjoying all the beautiful activities this state has to offer.   When asked about the previous year at Periodontal Associates, he said, “It has been such a pleasure getting to know my patients and I am inspired by the fact that they are referring friends and family to see me!”

Yummy Recipes!

Old-Fashioned Roasted Pecans

“Oven-toasted pecans made Southern-style with a light coating of sugar, cinnamon and a bit of salt, are a treat at Christmas or any time of the year.”
·         1 egg white
·         1 tablespoon water
·         ½ cup white sugar
·         2 ¼ cups pecan halves
·         ¼ teaspoon salt

1.       Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (105 degrees C). Lightly grease a rimmed backing pan.
2.       Combine the egg white and water in a mixing bowl; beat until fluffy.  Fold in the pecans to coat evenly.  Combine the sugar, salt, and ground cinnamon in a shaker or cup with a lid.  Dust the pecans evenly with the sugar mixture.  Spread the nuts over the prepared pan.
3.       Bake in preheated oven until toasted and fragrant, stirring every 15 minutes, about 1 hour.  Cool on pain, and store in an airtight container.
Not Your Mama’s Green Bean Casserole

For the topping:
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Nonstick spray
For beans:
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
For sauce:
1.       Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
2.       Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Bake in the oven until golden brown, tossing every 10 minutes, for approximately 30 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use.
3.       Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.
4.       While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
5.       Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Add the half-and-half and cook until the mixture thickens, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
6.       Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

We hope you enjoy these yummy recipes as your home fills with great smells and better company.  As you enjoy the holiday treats, be sure to brush and floss away that sugar!

As a friendly reminder, we will be closed to spend time with our family and friends from December 25th, 2013 until the New Year on January 2nd, 2013.  We wish you abundance, happiness, and peace in a new year filled with hope. Happy holidays! 


Warmest wishes,

Drs. Versman, Heller, Beckman and Periodontal Associates’ Staff

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bacteria in your Mouth

How Much Bacteria is in Your Mouth?

Bacteria can be found everywhere: on your hands, when you touch a doorknob, at a restaurant, in the bathroom, etc.  We sometimes get so caught up worrying about not touching things that carry bacteria that we forget that more than a large cup of bacteria can be found inside you!

More specifically, at any one time there can be up to 6 million bacteria found in your mouth; your mouth is a huge carries for bacteria.  GROSS!  The presence of bacteria in your mouth can cause bad breath and, more importantly, can eat away at your teeth causing cavities, dental infections, and gingivitis.  Even worse, some mouth bacteria can cause heart disease and kidney disease.

Here at Periodontal Associates, we stress the importance of controlling how much bacteria is in you mouth and not letting it get out of hand.  While we understand that bacteria can always be found in your mouth, and some bacteria is even good for you, it is important to maintain a strict hygiene regimen so that you don't have painful and potentially costly dental issues.   Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Douglas Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman  can teach you the proper techniques so that you are knowledgeable.  In addition, it is important to schedule routine dental check-ups with your dentist so that any serious damage can be noticed and prevented. 

Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Douglas Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman can help you keep your mouth healthy before bacteria does any serious harm.  To schedule your appointment, do not hesitate to call us at (303) 755-4500, click here for an appointment, or visit our website at

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Evolving Diet

Evolution and Infection
The human race has evolved greatly from living in nature, hunting and gathering, to the modern day person stopping at McDonald's on the way home from work.  This change in lifestyle and diet has impacted the human health, both bodily and orally, in a negative way.  This new diet has increased the need for periodontists like Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman as many Americans are now living in a permanent diseased state. The soft and sugar based foods we are eating are changing the way bacteria lives and the physical components of the jaw resulting in discomfort and infection.
Gum Disease
Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman know that periodontal disease (gum disease) is a silent and unnoticeable disease that can be caused by many factors such as: home care, genetics, smoking, missing teeth, and the list goes on.  However, it is now seen that the evolution of our diet has been added to the list of causing gum disease.
These changes occurred when diet transferred from hunting and gathering to farming and then again to manufacturing food.  Scientists extracted DNA from calcified tartar from 34 prehistoric skeletons, and oral bacteria found in these aged teeth were more greatly diverse than those found in our teeth today. Professor Keith Dobney stated, "I had shown tartar deposits, commonly found on ancient teeth, were dense masses of solid calcified bacteria and food, but couldn't identify the species of bacteria.  Ancient DNA was the obvious answer." The correlation is between the decreasing types of bacteria and increases periodontitis in the American population. As some of the scientists have said, this has "shed some light on the health consequences of the evolving diet and behavior from the Stone Age to modern day." 
In fact, gum disease is now affecting over 75% of Americans.  Patients may not be brushing as much as Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman would like, but there also must be another change sparking this growth in the disease.  Diet has a huge effect on teeth as the oral cavity is the first point of contact, and it is scary to think about what chemicals and compounds are now in our food.  Most diets are composed of food coming from a conveyor belt, not fresh from the land.  For example, sugar can now be found in almost every food and drink item.  Sugar not only causes cavities, especially in combination with highly acidic drinks, but sugar feeds infection causing bacteria.

Wisdom Teeth
There are approximately 10,000,000 wisdom teeth removed each year.  Why is that?
During times of hunting and gathering, jaw bones were long and narrow. In the present day, our jaws have transformed to be both shorter and wider.  It is believed that the jaws found in our ancestors were better suited to grind and decompose hard food items.  In today's world, we heavily rely on agriculture and farming which creates a softer diet.  Over time, the jaw has conformed to the physical needs of a new diet.
This theory was researched when von Cramon-Taubadel studied skull specimens from 11 populations around the world.  Five of the groups lived off hunting and gathering while the remaining six groups relied on a farming lifestyle.  It is through this quest of understanding evolution that supported the interactions between culture, farming, and the effects on our evolving anatomy.
Our modern day noggins are now crowded, leading to the misalignment of our teeth, and often the need to remove wisdom teeth. Since jaws of modern societies are now shorter, they "are not big enough to accommodate the size of our teeth," von Cramon-Taubadel said.  Periodontal Associates is not surprise that there are an estimated 5 million Americans with braces trying to straighten, align teeth, and fight against the natural progression of crowding. 
Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman have to, at times, extract teeth due to this crowding, but a more prominent problem treated at Periodontal Associates caused by orthodontics is gum recession.  When teeth are moved too quickly, the gums can retract and gum grafts are needed to prevent sensitivity and tooth loss.
If you are fighting gum disease or an un-even, painful smile, Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman can help you.  You can't fight evolution, so click here to schedule an exam or call (303) 755-4500 to answer all your questions. Remember, gum disease is a sneaky disease as often people do not realize they have it until it reaches a severe state.  At that point, it can result in tooth loss, bone loss, and the need for dental implants.  Don't let gum disease sneak up on you.  Visit Periodontal Associates in Aurora today. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer and Poor Hygiene
When visiting the dentist, it is easy to ignore the warnings from doctors and hygienists about the importance of brushing, flossing, and bi-annual visits.  Often patients disregard these concerns, but Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman want you to know that home oral care is more than just keeping a clean mouth. Oral health is closely connected with the entire body as it is a gateway to the blood stream and to new diseases.  Periodontal Associates is constantly educating patients about the secondary effects on health and the progression of dangerous bacteria in the mouth.  In fact, gum disease resulting from poor oral hygiene and gum disease has been linked to the development of pancreatic cancer in men.
A study conducted out of Boston correlated the unnoticeable disease of periodontitis and pancreatic cancer after reviewing health related data from 51,000 men starting from 1986.  The study found men with history of gum disease have a 64% increased risk for developing pancreatic cancer versus men with great oral health.  (Maybe this is why there are so many male doctors like Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman in the Periodontal field.)  Furthermore, the more severe the gum disease is the higher the risk.  For example, gum disease can progress to the extent of recession, pocketing, and tooth loss.  These patients not only need to visit our Aurora, CO office for dental implants, but they now have higher chances of forming cancer in the pancreas.
This study has not been the only link between these two seemingly different diseases.  Former studies have also found links between tooth loss and risk of cancers like pancreatic.  Those suffering from gum disease have a higher level of C reactive protein (CPR) in their blood.  These are inflammatory markers responsible for the first response to inflammation in the gums caused by infection and have been specifically noticed in persons with pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer, versus other cancers, has the highest fatality rate among American men and women where less than 5% of patients survive longer than 5 years after diagnosis.  These numbers can be scary, and although it is not confirmed that gum disease is a cause or a direct link to pancreatic cancer, it is important to preserve your health as best as possible to fight off any chance of this and other diseases. 

At Periodontal Associates, Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman are experts and professionally trained to diagnose and treat gum disease. Many of our Denver metro patients are sent by their general dentist as only Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman are specialists in curing the infections of the mouth.  Don't hesitate to visit our Aurora office for your next exam.  This visit could save your life and your smile.  Call us at (303) 755-4500 to schedule your comprehensive oral exam today.   

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Is Periodontal Associates the Right Fit for You?

Welcome We extend to you a very warm welcome to Periodontal Associates in Aurora.  If you were referred to us by your dentist, relative or friend, we commend this person for their concern for you and your health.  If you sought us out on your own, then congratulations on taking the first step to a happy and healthier life. Be assured we will do our utmost to live up to this trust and provide you with fine health care on which our reputation is established.
You are Worth It!

 In the final analysis, the best reason for taking care of your mouth is-

v  Your Well-Being

v  Your Confidence in Yourself

v  Your Social and Personal Life

v  Your General Health
The rewards of investing in better health can be yours! 

Our Philosophy It is Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman's belief that optimal oral health and dental implants enhances self-esteem and rewards you with a better quality of life.  Our goal is quality – in comfort, service and dental care.  It’s a goal to which we are committed and a standard which our patients have come to expect.

Our Team We have brought together one of the most experienced, caring and dedicated staffs in Denver to assist you with your individual needs.  We work closely with your general dentist – a key member of our team – to combine our expertise and experience to formulate the best treatment plan for you.  Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, Dr. Beckman and staff keep themselves abreast of the latest advances in the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease and the placement of dental implants.
Your First Visit 
What should you expect during your first visit to Periodontal Associates in Aurora, CO?
v  We will ask you to share with us your health history

v  Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, or Dr. Beckman will perform a comfortable implant/periodontal and oral cancer exam.

v  Your questions and concerns are our number one priority and we invite you to discuss them with us

v  We have the most modern equipment available in an office designed especially for your comfort

v  We would be proud to take you on a tour of our office

Dental Implants

 What are the benefits and joys of dental implants?
v  Have solved many problems associates with tooth loss and dentures

v  Preserve jawbone and prevent facial collapse

v  Look, feel and function as natural teeth

v  Are placed in our office using a local anesthetic

v  Can provide a lifetime of comfort and function

v  Allow better chewing and taste of food

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and bone surrounding your teeth.  As it progresses, it destroys the bone which supports your teeth.  It is the major cause of tooth loss in adults.  The disease is painless and often not taken seriously, especially in the early stages when treatment is most effective.  Gum disease is something your general dentist or Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman can spot despite it's disguise which is another reason bi-annual exams and cleanings are crucial and a necessary step for good oral health.  With proper care, periodontal disease can be treated – even prevented.

Treatment Your treatment options will depend upon the severity of your condition and Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman will explain them to you thoroughly with every opportunity for your input and questions.  Together we will arrive at a treatment plan which fits your personal needs.  During the course of your therapy we will maintain close communication with your general dentist.

The Benefits of Periodontal Therapy
Periodontal treatment is your first step toward restoring your mouth and teeth to optimal health and keeping your teeth for a lifetime.  Periodontal therapy will also help to improve:
v  Systemic Health               

v  Appearance

v  Chewing

v  Elimination of Bad Odors and Tastes

v  Increased Self-Esteem and Happiness

Fees and Insurance

Our fees are based on the time, skill and judgment necessary to provide optimal care.  You will be given an explanation of costs and time involved for your treatment, and we will assist you with financial arrangement if they are needed.  If you are fortunate to have dental insurance, we will gladly help you in filing dental insurance claims.  Periodontal Associates has an in-house insurance coordinator dedicated to fight for you with your insurance company to get the best coverage possible.  We also accept most major credit cards.  Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions you may have about your benefit plans, services, or our fees.

Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman look forward to working with you and helping you meet your health goals and providing a life-changing smile.  Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to make you feel at home in our office, and do not hesitate to call with any questions!