Maximize Your Oral Health
Specialty Dental Care, P.C.
By Angella A. Arndt
Do you have tender, swollen, or bleeding gums? Do you have loose teeth or receding gums? These worrisome symptoms may be signs of periodontal (gum) disease. According to the CDC, almost half of Americans aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease, including 70 percent of adults aged 65 and older. With over 40 years of experience, Dr. Timothy McVaney and his team at Specialty Dental Care diagnose and treat periodontal disease to improve the health of gums and the lives of patients.
Dr. McVaney is a second-generation dentist who founded Specialty Dental Care in 1991. An Omaha native, Dr. McVaney earned his DDS and his MS in periodontics from the College of Dentistry at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. He is a Fellow in the American and International College of Dentistry, a Fellow in the American Society of Geriatric Dentistry, and a Diplomate for the American Board of Periodontology. Dr. McVaney believes that patient relationships are essential to maintaining good oral health, which led him to specialize in periodontics.
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating periodontal disease (that is, disease of the gums). Bacteria that live in the plaque build-up on teeth is the leading cause of gum disease. Tender, swollen, red, or bleeding gums are signs of gingivitis, the earliest form of the disease. Untreated gingivitis can lead to complications like periodontitis, characterized by receding gums, bone loss, and loose or lost teeth. A periodontist’s goal is to save teeth and keep them healthy.
On an initial visit, patients receive an examination that consists of a medical and dental history review and periodontal and dental exam. The initial exam also includes a complimentary head, neck, and oral cancer screening and oral hygiene education. After the examination, Dr. McVaney reviews the patient’s oral health and recommends a personalized treatment plan. “We do a lot of planning with our patients, so they understand ahead of time what’s involved and what they can achieve,” he relates.
Specialty Dental Care provides a full spectrum of services to return gums to a healthy state. Treatments range from non-invasive procedures to dental implants. Scaling and root planing involve deep cleaning to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the teeth and gums. Severely damaged, decayed, or impacted teeth may require extraction. Gum grafts repair excessive gum recession, and bone grafts increase the amount of jaw bone to replace lost bone or provide additional support for dental implants.
Dr. McVaney’s goal is to help patients keep their teeth; however, not all teeth can be saved. In some cases, dental implants are the best course of action. Dental implants are titanium posts or frames placed in the jawbone that act as artificial tooth roots. These implants provide a stable base for single or multiple natural-looking replacement teeth, and the titanium bonds with the bone, allowing the new root to promote bone growth. “Implants allow us to intervene earlier and help patients maintain their teeth longer,” Dr. McVaney explains.
Dr. McVaney and his staff are passionate about providing patients with excellent periodontal care and customer service. “I have a very well-trained staff with longevity,” he notes. His practice includes three dental hygienists. “Many people are afraid to visit the dentist,” he says. “We provide a comfortable environment to put patients at ease. We’re here to take care of our patients and do what’s best for them. We will go the extra mile to find what works for each patient.”
Dr. McVaney recommends that patients ask questions before choosing a periodontist. Gum disease may involve a long-term treatment process, and it’s important to feel confident in your choice of professional. What are the periodontist’s credentials and continuing education? How is a treatment plan developed? What steps are involved in the treatment process? Will your family dentist be involved in coordinating care? Are you comfortable with the periodontist and staff? Do they listen and understand your goals? Asking questions will help you choose a periodontist to meet your needs.
Although periodontal disease can be treated, it doesn’t go away. Ongoing care is vital in maintaining good oral health. “We build long-term relationships with our patients,” Dr. McVaney says. “I have patients who have been coming to me for over 20 years. It’s rewarding to see patients with their big, bright smiles after treatment when they realize they can function and do what they want to do.”
Specialty Dental Care, P.C., is located at 12242 K Plaza, Suite 113, in Omaha. Call 402-334-8083 to make an appointment. You can also find them online at omahaspecialtydental.com.
Dr. Tim McVaney