Friday, March 22, 2013

Drink Away Teeth

T(ea) for Tooth Loss

The letter “T” can stand for many things, but to one unfortunate woman, T stood for tea and tooth loss.  With dental troubles like that it sounds like she could use another “T” word as in Team – The Dental Implant Team at Periodontal Associates to be more specific.

One Michigan mother relied heavy on tea to keep her hydrated and alert throughout her day.  Every day for the past 17 years this 47 year old woman drank 100 tea bags a day.  This habit was discovered to be damaging when she started experiencing bone pain in her extremities.  In conjunction with pain, she most likely visited a periodontist like Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman to remove all of her teeth after they became damaged and brittle.

These strange symptoms concerned her to contact her primary physician in fear she had cancer, but the cancer was not detected.  Instead, tests revealed high bone density and extreme levels of fluoride in her blood. 

With missing teeth, pain, and no answers, she was directed to Dr. Sudhaker Rao, section head of bone and mineral metabolism and director of the bone and mineral research laboratory at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Dr. Rao was the one responsible for discovering her bizarre habit of drinking one pitcher of tea made with 100-150 tea bags at a time.   Due to this tea strength, she had a fluoride concentration in her blood of 0.43 milligrams per liter, while the normal concentration is less than 0.10 mg per liter, Rao reported.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman recommend flouride but not these levels!  In fact, her habit and dangerous flouride ingestion lead to a bone disease called skeletal fluorosis.

Flouride, in the proper doses, is a great means to prevent tooth decay, tooth loss, and eventually the need for dental implants.  In fact, fluoride is even prescribed as a topical use to adults and children who live in home without fluoride in their water. However, dangerously high levels of fluoride can lead to bone disease as seen in this Michigan woman.  

Flouride does not make teeth harder or more dense like it did in this woman’s bones, but it does help them fight plaque, decay, and cavities.  Most children who grow up drinking water infused with fluoride generally have better overall oral health. 

When proper habits such as uses of fluoride, brushing, flossing, and good diet are not followed, many patients come to see Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman.  Here at Periodontal Associates in Aurora, CO we specialize in treating gum disease and dental implants.  This tea obsess woman would be a smart woman to visit with our periodontists as placing dental implants can sometimes mean the needs to other procedures first such as: bone grafts, sinus lifts, or extractions.

Many people suffer from bone loss or a bone disease if their missing teeth are not replaced, and Dr. Ken Versman, Doug Heller, and Eric Beckman are specially trained to strengthen bone to create a natural and dependable smile. 

If you are concerned about pain you may be experiencing in your jawbone, mouth, or teeth, we urge you to call our Periodontal Associates office at (303) 755-4500 where we serve all of the Denver metro area.  We will be happy to overview your health history, dietary habits, and radiographs while performing a full comprehensive exam to detect disease such as bone disease or gum disease and create an individualized plan for you.

Please visit our website for more information at  We look forward to protecting your health while providing you with an esthetically pleasing smile with dental implants. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Women's Dental History

Women’s History Month – in Dentistry 

March is a month to celebrate the successes and battles women have overcome throughout history.  March is known as Women’s History Month, and Drs. Ken Versman, Doug Heller, and Eric Beckman want to take a moment to travel back in history to review the timeline of women in dentistry and how it has affected us here in Denver, Colorado and worldwide. 

Dentistry has been around for many years; however, it has not always been as glamorous as Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman make it today.  If you come visit Periodontal Associates in Aurora, Colorado, we greet you refreshments and entertainment, but back in the 18th century, when it was the beginning of the profession, patients were greeted with a storefront covered in a display of old rotten teeth.  Dentistry started with local barber-surgeons extracting teeth with no anesthetic. This profession was filled by men only as women were thought to be unskilled and unintelligent. However, the times have changed (thank goodness) and many women are making their mark in the dental field.
A century later, in 1855, Emeline Roberts Jones became the first woman to practice dentistry in the United States.  When Emeline was 18 years old she married her husband, Daniel, who was a dentist.   Emeline was curious and passionate about her husband’s work, and after learning about her secretly filling and extracting several hundred teeth, he hesitantly allowed her assistant him.  Daniel believed women had “frail and clumsy fingers,” but her skilled work for hundreds of patients proved him wrong. She began openly working as his assistant in 1855, and then in 1859 she became his partner, out living and out working him at their dental practice

Dentistry did not evolve into the industry we know today as a licensed profession until the end of the 19th century, and once it did, women made a rush to become educated and practicing.  Lucy Hobbs Taylor was the first woman to graduate with a dental education, and she made that happen at Ohio Dental College.  She first pursued entry to Eclectic College of Medicine, but due to her gender she was denied.  She did not get defeated, and instead she pursued dentistry as a means of medicine. Of course, Lucy was also denied admission to dental college as a female pupil.  Without a degree, Lucy opened her own practice, and after 4 years of proving her skill and expertise in dentistry, she was allowed entry to the Ohio Dental College in 1865.  Just a few months later, Lucy was the first woman to graduate from dental school.  

Emeline and Lucy helped pave the way for women in the health field, primarily dentistry, and in 1880 women became more openly admitted into dental colleges.  According to a dental survey in 2011, the total pre-doctoral enrollment was at its highest level during the late 1970’s or early 1980’s.  This could be due to the ending of the women's liberation and civil rights movements with the new federal assistance in funding grants to encourage women in professional health schools. In 1979, fewer than 2% of working dentists were women, but by the year 2000, 40% of dental students were female.  Now and since the year 2009, most dental schools in the U.S. are over 50% women, and the percentage of women students are steadily increasing worldwide.  By 2020, it is predicted that 20% of all dental practitioners in the United States will be women.

At Periodontal Associates, we work closely with your general dentist to create an individual treatment whether you need dental implants, gum grafts, or treating Periodntal diease (gum disease).  Many of the dentists that refer to Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman are smart and skilled women whom they are honored to work with. During this month of Women’s history, we want to say thank you to all our female colleagues for all your hard work and dedication.  

For more information about Periodontal Associates and our doctors: Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman please call us at (303) 455-7500 or browse our website at    Our doctors are specialists in providing dental implants and treating gum disease.  We are located in Aurora, Colorado and serve patients from the Denver metro area.  We look forward to working with you and giving you a beautiful, healthy smile you deserve. 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dental Assistants

We LOVE our Dental Assistants

At Periodontal Associates, we have a great team and enjoy taking the time to say thank you and appreciate our co-workers.  This week it happens to be Dental Assistants Recognition week, March 3-9th, and Drs. Ken Versman, Doug Heller, and Eric Beckman wants everyone to know that our Aurora periodontal office has the most professional, caring, and high class assistants. 
Before we go into more detail about how and why specifically Periodontal Associates’ staff is so wonderful, let us first explore the role of a dental assistant as a key in productivity.  Productivity at Periodontal Associates is very important as many of our clients focus on not only getting quality care but also in a timely manner.  Ashley, a Denver patient of Periodontal Associates states, “Dr. Heller and his staff are courteous, timely, and very sincere in their efforts to make patients feel more comfortable with their smile. Thank you again for your exceptional customer service."

Dental Assistants have a broad spectrum of duties and their contributions help support every aspect of the dental office from Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman to the office manager and to the patients.  These key players are responsible for preparing rooms and equipment for the doctors, assisting doctors during procedures such as placing dental implants and gum grafts to make the procedure easier and more comfortable for both Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman as well as our patients, keeping track of all dental supplies such as bone grafts and implants, scheduling patients for their post-operative visits, taking radiographs, assisting our dental hygienists, and many other duties.

Periodontal Associates is proud to recognize our amazing dental assistants: Erin, Amy, and Ilene as their dedication and enthusiasm for helping change peoples' lives is something to admire.  Our Aurora patients describe these ladies as “nice, caring and also funny” and “outstanding, professional, friendly, comforting, caring, and gentle with me.”  Please click here to see more testimonials about our staff and Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman.
With all the great reviews we have, it is no surprise that Periodontal Associates has assembled one of the finest staffs in the Denver - Aurora, Colorado area that is dedicated to treating gum disease, gingivitis and the replacement of missing teeth with dental implants.  Because the practice of periodontics requires specialized training and excellent teamwork in dental implants and gum disease, we have brought together one of the most experienced, skilled, caring and dedicated professional assistants and staff in all of Colorado, to assist with your individual comfort and care. We call ourselves a team because we enjoy what we do and we like working together.  We also consider our patients part of the team as each patient require their own individualized treatment plan. 
We urge you to come see us for the highest skilled and upper class treatment in periodontics.  If you are interested in making an appointment, please click here, or please call Periodontal Associates at (303) 755-4500.  Let us care for you and transform your smile!