Dr. Gavin M. Aaron and his friendly team are pleased to introduce you to our dental practice, specializing in the placement of dental implants, cosmetic soft tissue grafting, and the treatment of advanced periodontal disease.
Gavin M. Aaron, DDS, MS has offices in both Roanoke and Lynchburg, Virginia, and is limited to periodontics and implant dentistry.
The Roanoke office routinely serves dentists and patients from the surrounding cities of Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Lexington, Bedford, Covington, Smith Mountain Lake, and Martinsville.
The Lynchburg office also serves the surrounding cities of Forest, Bedford, Amherst, Alta Vista, Appomattox, and Moneta.
From educating his patients about dental health to developing a friendly approach with them, Dr. Gavin M. Aaron creates a special and unique environment.
Digital technology is incorporated throughout the office, including digital charting and digital xrays, which vastly reduces the amount of radiation exposure to the patient! Dr. Gavin M. Aaron and his staff are an upbeat and friendly team of professionals committed to taking care of your needs. You will find quality services that can give you a perfect smile.
We thank you for allowing us to take care of your dental needs and look forward to helping you.
Dr. Gavin M. Aaron was born in Canada, but spent the majority of his childhood in Martinsville, Virginia. He is married to Dr. Misty Lenk, who owns a successful orthodontic practice in Daleville, Virginia. Together they have four children and live just north of Roanoke, Virginia.
Dr. Aaron received his B.A. from the University of Virginia, his D.D.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University, and his M.S. from the University of Florida. He is active in a number of dental oragnizations, including the American Dental Association, the Virginia Dental Association, the Academy of Periodontology, and the Academy of Osseointegration.
In addition to private practice, Dr. Gavin M. Aaron devotes his energy towards community service. He has served in every Mission of Mercy dental project in Roanoke, which provides free dental services to those in need. Dr. Aaron has also been a prominent member of the local dental organizations, and served as the President of the Roanoke Valley Dental Society in 2009-2010.
Dr. Gavin M. Aaron supports a number of charities, including the Salvation Army, the Southwest Virginia Food Bank, the Boys and Girls Clubs in Roanoke and Lynchburg, Camp Alta Mons, and the Henry Fork Service Center in Franklin County.
Dr. Aaron is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Periodontology, meaning that he is a board certified clinician. Board certification is a distinction achieved by only half of all periodontists and ensures he is proficient and safe in all procedures he performs.
The team at Aaron Periodontics & Dental Implants has continuously upgraded themselves and the practice on the newest and latest techniques in modern, state of the art dentistry.
|Leia – Dental Assistant/ Receptionist||Helen – Dental Hygienist|
|Heather – Treatment Coordinator||Katie Beth – Dental Hygienist|
|Sherry – Office Manager||Raven – Receptionist|
Our dental team is well experienced in all areas of modern dentistry:
Dental implants are essentially titanium screws that replace the roots of your teeth. The implants are placed, and then crowns are placed on top of the implants.
What patients enjoy the most about implants is that they closely resemble their natural teeth. With implants, patients are able to brush and floss normally.
And because implants are so strong, patients are able to eat without fear that the tooth will break.
Unlike dentures, dental implants are permanently fixed in your mouth so you can eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
This is why implants are often the treatment of choice for a growing number of people.
In most cases, dental implants replace single teeth that cannot be saved.
For instance, if you have a fractured tooth below the gumline or very severe tooth decay.
Other times dental implants are used to restore spaces in your mouth where teeth have been missing for a long time. For example, if you had some molars extracted (pulled) several years ago.
A recent trend has been people with full dentures who want to have implants placed to increase stability and retention. In many cases, as few as two implants can make a denture so stable that the patient has to use quite a bit of force to take the denture out. People are also replacing their partial dentures with dental implants. This way, they don't have to take anything in or out of their mouths, no metal clasps are seen, and for upper dentures, nothingcovers the roof of the mouth.
The procedure involves getting the toothless areas anesthetized, making an incision, and reflecting the gum tissue. The jawbone is prepared with the implant handpiece, and the implants are placed. From there, the gum tissue is either sutured back together over the implants or temporary crowns are placed directly onto the implants. If the gum tissue is repositioned over the implants (the implant screws are underneath the gum tissue), then a partial or full denture may be worn by the patient so that he/she will have teeth showing during the healing period.
The surgical sites are usually sore for approximately 24-48 hours, and medication is prescribed to alleviate any discomfort. A 1-week follow-up appointment is needed to ensure proper healing.
After a healing time ranging from 6 weeks to 6 months has passed (the duration depends on the complexity of the surgery), the final steps leading to the placement of a post and crown on the implant are completed. Then feel free to eat whatever your heart desires! Dental implants are the closest equivalent to natural teeth. Contact your general dentist or periodontist to learn more about how dental implants can improve your life!
The difference between periodontal disease and periodontitis should be clarified before continuing. Periodontal disease is a broad term that encompasses all sorts of conditions of the gums and supporting bone, including gingivitis and periodontal abscesses. Periodontitis is a severe form of periodontal disease, which involves bone loss around the teeth.
This is important to understand because bone is necessary to anchor the teeth into the jawbone. If left untreated, bone loss will continue until the teeth eventually become loose and need to be removed.
Many patients have asked, "Why do I need to receive treatment if my teeth don't hurt?" Periodontitis involves very gradual destruction of the bone around the teeth, so most of the time it doesn't cause pain. In fact, the gums may appear completely normal, pink, and healthy, even though bone loss has occurred.
This explains why the dentist or periodontist observes a "deep gum pocket". When a measuring device, called a probe, is inserted into the gum pocket, it essentially measures the distance from the gum tissue to the bone. So if the gums appear normal but there is bone loss, then the probe will measure deeper than gum pockets with healthy bone levels.
Other patients have asked, "Why do I need to have this loose tooth extracted if it isn't painful? Can't I just leave it in until it falls out on its own?"
The problem with leaving a loose tooth with extreme bone loss is that the infection that lead to that tooth's bone loss could lead to infection and bone loss of the adjacent teeth.
The key to avoiding having the teeth removed is to receive treatment as soon as periodontal disease is recognized. When caught in the early stages, periodontitis can be managed by a "deep cleaning", as known as "scaling and root planing" of the teeth roots.
But if the bone loss and infection are more extensive, then surgical modalities are employed.
The goal of surgery is to reduce the gum pocket to a depth that will allow proper cleaning of the root surface.
This is accomplished by removing the infected gum tissue, re-contouring the damaged bone, and re-positioning the gum tissue.
In certain cases. the bone loss is better treated by placing a bone graft (described in another section). As long as the teeth and their roots can be adequately cleansed, bone loss and infection will not re-occur.
The advantages of periodontal treatment are numerous, including healthy gums, fresher breath, a beautiful smile, and more self-confidence. Your body's overall health may also benefit from reducing any periodontal infection. Contact your general dentist or periodontist for more information on how periodontal therapy can add years of life to your teeth!
Periodontists often perform a biopsy on the gums when the appearance is abnormal. In almost all cases, the suspicious looking tissue is benign. However, by sending a tissue sample to a lab, the exact nature and cause of the tissue’s appearance can be determined. Of course, the primary goal of a biopsy is to rule out oral cancer.
The procedure itself is very straightforward. The affected area is anesthetized, a tissue specimen is removed with a scalpel, and then placed in a vial, which is sent to an oral pathology lab.
The oral path lab then dissects the tissue into thin slices so that it can be observed under a microscope.
It usually takes 7-10 days for the final results to be returned. You will be contacted with the results as soon as possible.
The surgical sites will be sore for 24-48 hours, and medication will be provided to alleviate any discomfort experienced. A week follow-up appointment is usually needed to ensure proper healing and to discuss the results.
A biopsy is an important and safe procedure which can ensure your oral health.
Over time, periodontal disease can lead to breakdown of the bone and supporting structures that anchor the teeth into the jawbone. Bone Grafts are placed by periodontists with the goal of regenerating the bone lost from periodontal disease.
The bone grafting procedure, also known as "guided tissue regeneration", is comprised of a few basic steps.
The first step after getting the affected tooth comfortable and numb is to gently reflect the gum tissue. Any diseased gum tissue is removed, and the root of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned. What often remains is a crater in the jawbone that has resulted from infection.
Sometimes the periodontist will deposit a substance onto the root of the tooth and into the bone crater, which enhances the success of the Bone Grafting .
Then a completely sterile Bone Grafting is placed, which over time will become replaced by the body's own natural bone.
A membrane is placed over the Bone Grafting to prevent the gum tissue from growing into the Bone Grafting and to help contain the particles of the graft.
The gum tissue is re-positioned over the Bone Grafting and membrane, and sutures are placed.
The periodontist will go over home instructions and provide prescriptions for the appropriate medications. A one-week follow-up is needed to observe healing and to make sure no infection develops.
Bone grafting ing is a remarkable procedure that can adds years of life to teeth with bone loss.
During the course of orthodontic treatment, sometimes certain teeth fail to naturally erupt into place. A surgical exposure of a tooth facilitates its eruption and allows the orthodontic treatment to be completed in a timely manner. In most cases, the canine teeth need to be surgically exposed due to delayed eruption.
Why would a canine not erupt into place when it is supposed to?
There are many theories, but oftentimes the canine does not move into place because the enzymes that usually dissolve the bone ahead of the crown of the tooth fail to do so. In fact, the canine frequently is encased in bone, stuck in a state of immobility.
The canine can be impacted either on the cheek side or the roof-of-the-mouth side (the palate). X-rays can help the surgeon determine which approach to take.
The procedure involves getting the area anesthetized, making an incision and reflecting the gum tissue, and removing any bone that is surrounding the crown of the canine.
An orthodontic bracket is bonded into place and tied to the patient's archwire, and the gum tissue flap is repositioned and fixated with dissolvable sutures.
The surgical site is usually sore for 24-48 hours, and medications will be prescribed to alleviate any discomfort experienced. A week follow-up is needed to ensure proper healing.
The surgical exposure of a canine or any other tooth is a necessary procedure to allow timely eruption.
Crown lengthening is a procedure intended to increase the amount of tooth exposed above the gums. Dentists often need more tooth exposed above the gumline in order to prepare the tooth for a crown (or cap as some call it).
The procedure is very simple and straight-forward. After the tooth area is anesthetized, and incision is made around the tooth and the gum tissue is gently reflected.
Then a small of amount of the bone around the tooth is removed.
Finally, the gum flaps are sutured together in their new position, which is lower on the tooth.
Although some soreness is to be expected, most patients are able to continue with their daily routine the same or next day. Best of all, the general dentist will soon have enough tooth structure exposed to allow the tooth to be prepared for a crown - thereby transforming a potentially unmanagable tooth into a work of art and function.
The crown lengthening procedure is a gently, effective, and safe procedure.
Frenums are strands of tissue in the mouth which extend from the lips and the cheek to the gums.(You can probably detect one of your frenums by placing your tongue in the space between your upper lip and your central incisors.)
While the frenums have no definitive purpose, in certain cases a frenum can prevent teeth from staying in place after they have been orthodontically moved together. For example, after a patient's central incisors have been brought together in order to close the space between them, an excessive frenum can possibly cause the teeth to separate again.
Why would a single strand of tissue cause the teeth to re-separate after they have been closed?
Because studies have shown that frenum can be composed partly of muscle fibers. The muscle fiber component causes tension and force on the surrounding teeth, causing them to move apart.
Frenectomies are very predictable, easy, and safe procedures. All that is involved is getting the frenum area anesthetized, releasing the frenum with an incision, and then placing some dissolvable sutures to facilitate healing.
For children and adolescents, oftentimes nitrous oxide ("laughing gas") is employed to help reduce the patient's anxiety. The frenectomy site will be sore for 24-48 hours, and medications will help alleviate any discomfort. The site will usually be observed a week later to ensure proper healing.
The frenectomy is low-risk, high-reward procedure which will help prevent orthodontically-treated teeth from re-separating, with results that will last a lifetime.
A gingivectomy is a periodontal procedure which eliminates excess gum tissue. The term "gingivectomy" is derived from "gingiva", or gum tissue, and "-ectomy", which means to remove.
There are several reasons why a gingivectomy would be needed. Oftentimes, gingivectomies are utilized for cosmetic reasons; for instance, to make teeth appear longer and more proportional.
Gingivectomies are also used to remove excess gum tissue (gingival hyperplasia) that has formed as a result of certain drugs, such as anti-seizure medications, organ-transplant medications, and certain high blood pressure medications.
Finally, gingivectomies have been used to shrink deep gum pockets (see section on periodontal disease), although most of the time more than just the removal of gum tissue is warranted to repair deep pockets.
The procedure itself is very straightforward. The affected areas are anesthetized, and then the excess gum tissue is removed - either with a scalpel blade or a laser. (Both the scalpel and the laser each have their own pros and cons, and the technique used is primarily based on the surgeon's preference.)
The surgical sites will be sore for 24-48 hours, and medication will be provided to alleviate any discomfort experienced. A week follow-up appointment is usually needed to ensure proper healing.
The gingivectomy is a predictable, easy, and safe procedure with results that can last a lifetime.
A sinus lift, also known as a sinus augmentation, is a procedure employed by periodontists to increase the amount of bone in the upper molar areas for dental implants. This procedure only pertains to patients who want implants in the upper molar areas. Why would a patient need a sinus augmentation procedure prior to implant placement?
Basically, after the upper molars are removed (extracted), the sinus cavity tends to drift closer to the jawbone ridge. Over time, the borders of the sinus cavity may drift so close to the crest of the jaw that there may not be enough bone to place implants.
By "lifting up" the membrane that covers the sinus floor, is able to add bone graft material into the sinus cavity, which will later be replaced by your own natural bone.
After allowing 3-9 months for the bone graft to become solid and mature, dental implants can be placed. In some cases, implants can be placed at the time of the sinus lift procedure; however, that decision is up to the discretion of the surgeon.
The sinus augmentation procedure is a safe and predictable method to increase the amount of bone necessary for dental implants.
Gum grafts, also known as soft tissue grafts, are performed to increase the amount of gum tissue on teeth with recession. Recession of the gums (gingiva) can be caused by many factors, including heavy toothbrushing, clenching of the teeth, and/or incorrect alignment of the teeth.
The primary role of the gum tissue is to cover and protect the underlying jawbone that anchors the teeth. When the gums recede, that means that the bone that had covered the root is gone too.
So in actuality, a soft tissue graft is not just for cosmetics; a soft tissue graft helps prevent further gum recession and bone loss around the affected teeth.
Usually, a very small portion of gum tissue from the roof if the mouth is removed and then sutured in the area with gum recession. Both the roof of the mouth and the recession site will be numb, so you will not feel any pain or discomfort.
The periodontist will prescribe adequate medications to control any soreness and infection. After the first 24-48 hours, the soreness tends to dramatically subside. The sutures are removed after 1 week, and the soft tissue graft will continue to heal and blend with the surrounding gum tissue for the next few weeks.
Soft tissue grafts are a gentle, predictable method for treating teeth with gum recession with results that can last a lifetime.
As dental implants become safer and more predictable, new applications have been developed. One such extraordinary procedure involves the use of implants to allow immediate function of a full arch of teeth. Previously, a period of time ranging from 3-9 months was required prior to functioning on implants. Now, the implants and the replacement teeth can be united on the same day.
The patient can immediately begin to eat, using replacement teeth which are fixed in place. This differs significantly from the traditional protocol, which involves having to use a removable denture during the entire healing time.
Imagine having immediately-functioning teeth that are fixed in place - all completed in a single day!
While there is a lot of planning behind the scenes between the periodontist and the restorative dentist, your part is very simple and safe. To begin, an evaluation is needed to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure. This often involves undergoing a CT scan of the jaw to determine if sufficient jawbone is available. If so, then the CT scan is used to virtually plan where the implants are to be placed. A few appointments with the restoring dentist are also needed to fabricate the replacement teeth.
Once all of the information has been collected, a date will be set for the actual procedure, which is done using local anesthesia in the dental office. The periodontist will remove teeth if needed, and then place the implants using a surgical guide created from the CT scan and computer software. The restoring dentist then attaches the replacement teeth to the implants, and adjusts your bite. From there, feel free to commence eating.
Moderate discomfort will be experienced during the initial 24-48 hours, and appropriate medications will be prescribed. A series of quick follow-up appointments will be needed to monitor healing.
After a few months, a final prosthesis will be created by the restoring dentist, which is more esthetic and form-fitting. Remember, during this entire time the teeth are fixed in place, with nothing to take in or out.
The following forms can be downloaded to your computer and printed at home.
By filling out these forms ahead of time you will save significant time on your visit. If you have any questions when filling out the form, please do the best you can, and our staff will assist you with your questions on the day of your appointment.
Smoking has negative consequences for the body’s overall health, and periodontal health is no exception. Smoking has been shown in numerous studies to be related to periodontal disease.
Smoking can accelerate bone loss around the teeth, can contribute to calculus (or tartar) build-up, and decreases the blood supply to the gums and teeth. The body’s immune system is also repressed by smoking, which in turn represses the body’s ability to combat infection in the gums. Smoking can also result in staining of the teeth and bad breath.
Most importantly, smoking can lead to oral cancer which can be life-threatening.
On the bright side, research has indicated that a smoker’s risk of developing periodontal disease will be equivalent to a non-smoker’s approximately 10 years after quitting the habit.
It’s never too late to stop the smoking habit. Consult your physician or dentist today.
Dr. Aaron’s staff will file insurance pre-estimates on your behalf prior to undergoing any procedures beyond the initial exam.
The pre-estimate normally takes 4-6 weeks to be processed. You will receive a written explanation of your estimated insurance coverage once it is received by Dr. Aaron’s staff. Also outlined in the letter will be your estimated co-payment, which will be due at the time of service.
Should you not want to wait for the insurance pre-estimate, payment in full will be expected at the time of service. From there, an insurance claim will be filed, and you will be reimbursed for any insurance payment.
Dr. Aaron is a Delta Dental provider, which means he accepts their fee structure. Patients who do not have these insurances are expected to pay in full the cost for the initial consultation and any x-rays at the end of the appointment.
Dr. Aaron and his staff value your business, and we hope to gain your trust by providing excellent customer service in regard to handling insurance.
Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs that inhibits bone re-modeling (inhibit osteoclast activity). They are the essential component of most osteoporosis medications and intravenous drugs used to treat cancer. Concern has arisen because in rare cases, the bisphosphonates can result in severe bone necrosis after certain dental procedures.
Necrosis is when the bone dies and sloughs away due to a lack of blood supply. Osteonecrosis refers to sloughing of the bone. Theoretically, the inhibitory effect of the bisphosphonates on the osteoclast cells doesn’t allow the jawbone to re-model. Without the capacity to re-model, the surface layer of the jawbone loses its blood supply and dies away.
Osteonecrosis from bisphosphonates only primarily occurs after exposure of the jawbone to the outside environment. In other words, unless the jawbone is exposed, such as after tooth extractions or periodontal flap surgery, there is extremely minimal risk to experiencing bone necrosis. Undergoing root canal procedures, fillings, or crowns do not expose the underlying bone and thus are safe (however medical clearance is still needed prior to treatment).
Even after procedures where the jawbone is exposed, the risk of osteonecrosis is extremely rare. Research is beginning to show that patients taking oral bisphosphonates, like those used to treat osteoporosis, are safe to proceed with surgical procedures. It is the IV form of bisphosphonates that creates a greater concern and may be a contraindication to oral/periodontal surgery.
In any event, consultation and clearance from the physician is mandatory prior to proceeding with treatment. In addition, consent forms must be signed allowing the dental practitioner to proceed.
Overall, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with bisphosphonate medication; however, oral bisphosphonates are not an absolute contraindication to receiving dental treatment.
Lasers are becoming increasing used in dentistry, and periodontics is no exception. Many dental professionals are replacing the traditional scalpel blade with lasers during procedures which involve the removal of soft tissue or bone. Lasers are also being utilized during non-surgical procedures, such as scaling-and-root planing.
For surgical procedures, the primary advantage of lasers is that any bleeding is immediately cauterized (sealed off), which decreases the time of the procedure and arguably is less traumatic to the patient. Another advantage of lasers is that the tissue adjacent to the site that is being worked on is not as traumatized as compared to using a dental drill. On the other hand, the patient still has to be anesthetized regardless of whether a laser or scalpel is used. In addition, a scalpel allows for a tissue flap to be created, which can later be precisely sutured together for faster healing (primary intention), while the wound created from lasers has to “fill in” similar to an abrasion (secondary or tertiary intention).
When it comes to non-surgical procedures, evidence is mounting that lasers provide additional benefit. For instance, lasers used in conjunction with scaling and root planing (also known as a deep cleaning or deep scaling) can result in additional improvement. I am optimistic that lasers will replace the scalpel blade or curette as the instrument of choice for periodontal procedures. For now however, lasers are only employed in limited situations.
Dr. Aaron did an excellent job on a dental implant. All procedures were explained and Dr. Aaron is considerate and caring.
Years of major dental problems and knowing I can trust Dr. Aaron to continue to treat and care for me makes me feel fortunate and thankful.
Dr. Aaron and his staff did a great job for me. Efficiency, caring, and fun to work with are descriptive of the experience, even when the process may be frightening. No need to worry; you're in good hands.
Dr. Aaron was the BEST dentist I have ever had. When I needed him, he answered his cell phone.
Watch Dr. Gavin Aaron on TV as he talks about whether flossing is necessary for healthy teeth or if daily brushing is good enough. This was aired on Fox News and you can watch the video here.
Dr. Aaron says there is decades worth of research proving the benefits of flossing, and that it will save your dental costs down the line.