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When to See Our Aurora / Littleton Periodontists

A periodontist is a dentist specializing in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infections and diseases in the supporting tissues (bone and gums) of teeth and dental implants. Periodontists train an additional three years beyond the four years of regular dental school, and are familiar with the most advanced techniques necessary to treat periodontal disease and to replace missing teeth with dental implants. Our Aurora and Littleton periodontists also perform a vast range of cosmetic procedures to enhance the smile to its fullest extent.
Periodontal disease begins when the toxins from bacteria found in plaque or tarter start to attack the gum tissue surrounding the teeth. As the infection progresses, it starts to burrow deeper into the tissue causing inflammation or irritation between the teeth and supporting bone and gums. The response is bone destruction, causing gum pockets to deepen or gum recessions to progress. The resulting pockets between the supporting tissue and teeth deepen and as a result, teeth can become unstable or be lost. Oral hygiene habits (brushing or flossing) can only reach the top few millimeters into the gum pockets, therefore, as pockets get deeper they also become less hygienic despite all efforts of the patient. Thus, even with perfect oral hygiene habits, the infections will continue to progress until treated by a dental professional.

Many times a therapy called “deep cleanings” or “periodontal root treatment therapy” or “scaling and root planing “ are an appropriate first line of treatment. This involves removing the bacterial plaque and tarter from the depth of the gum pockets and typically requires patients to be numbed for their comfort. This treatment is not meant to regenerate the lost bone support but instead to prevent progression of disease. Sometimes this treatment is effective in reducing the pockets to a maintainable level but many times in more severe cases additional therapies are required. General dentists and hygienists routinely perform these deep cleanings and will re-assess the gum healing several weeks later. If the disease is not controlled, then a periodontist will be involved with treatment.

Referrals From General Dentists and Self-Referrals

There are several ways treatment from a periodontist may be sought. As described above, if resolution of gum disease is not resolved after deep cleanings or if the general dentist or hygienist finds symptoms of periodontal disease during a regular hygiene visit, a consultation with a periodontist may be recommended. However, a referral is not necessary for a periodontal consultation. You may contact us at any time if you have questions or would like to schedule an initial consultation or appointment.

Signs You Should See a Periodontist in Aurora or Littleton, CO

Bleeding while eating or brushing
Unexplained bleeding while consuming food or during the course of daily cleaning is one of the most common signs of periodontal infection.
Bad breath
Continued halitosis (bad breath) which persists even when a rigorous oral hygiene program is in place, can be indicative of periodontitis, gingivitis, or the beginnings of an infection in the gum tissues.
Loose teeth and gum recession
Longer looking teeth can signal recession of the gums and bone loss due to periodontal disease. As this disease progresses and attacks the jawbone, the teeth may become loose or be lost.
Related health conditions
Research has found associations between gum disease and heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, osteopenia, and osteoporosis. The bacterial infection from gum disease can cause inflammation that spreads through the blood stream and affect other parts of the body.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Before initiating any dental treatment, the periodontist must extensively examine the gums, jawbone, and general condition of the teeth. When gingivitis or periodontal disease is officially diagnosed, our Littleton / Aurora periodontists have a number of options available to treat the underlying infection, halt the recession of the soft tissue, and regenerate supporting tissues, or replace teeth which may be missing.

Gingivitis/Mild Periodontal Disease
When the gum pockets exceed 4mm in depth, the periodontist or hygienist may perform scaling and root planing to remove debris from the pockets and allow them the opportunity to heal. Education and advice will be provided for an effective dental cleaning regime.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
If the gum pockets reach 4-5mm in length a more extensive scaling and root planing might be required. This cleaning is usually performed when the teeth and gums are numbed (under local anesthetic) for the patient’s comfort.
Advanced Periodontal Disease
Gum pockets in excess of 5mm are usually accompanied by bone loss and gum recession. The periodontist may recommend non-surgical or surgical treatment to reduce pocket depth or regenerate the supporting bone. Each case is unique so we will discuss the best therapies for you.
Tooth Loss
Where one or several teeth are missing, dental implants are a wonderful option for tooth replacement. If the bone is strong enough to provide a suitable anchor for the prosthetic tooth, the implant can be placed. However, if the bone has eroded, we may need to regenerate jawbone to provide a suitable anchor for the new dental implant.

What If I Have an Infection of My Dental Implant?

Implants are (in most cases) the best option for replacing lost teeth. They do not get cavities (caries) and prevent the damage to adjacent teeth as seen with bridges and partial dentures. Unfortunately, they can have problems, including stress overload from grinding or can have gum disease called Peri-implantitis. As with natural teeth, there can be bone loss, recession, or inflammation around dental implants. Periodontists are the main dental professional who have the tools and skills needed to treat these ailing implants. Not all implants could or should be saved but we will give you guidance on what treatment will be best for those with this disease. Because we treat many of these cases, we also know what implants have had problems and which have worked out well. Thus, having the initial implant with us will lower the chances of needing your implant replaced or treated in the future.

Contact Periodontal Associates

Contact Periodontal Associates in the Denver, Colorado area if you have questions about periodontal disease, periodontal treatment or dental implants. We have offices serving the Aurora and Littleton areas.

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Or call — 303-755-4500
  • Brenda S.Brenda S.

    Excellent experience! I had a tooth removed and implant placed during the same visit. It was the easiest dental procedure I've ever had done. Dr. Beckman is...

  • Bridget B.Bridget B.

    Wow, from the moment I walked in I felt welcome. Super nice people and caring. I am a chicken and do not like dentist anything. Doctor Heller explained...

  • Paul BeauchampPaul Beauchamp

    Dr. Dan Thousand and staff were amazing. Having gum grafting done is not a pleasant experience by any means, but I was very impressed with Dan Thousand and his staff through this whole process. Several things Dan Thousand and I discussed really resinated with me, such as how damaging smoking cigarettes is to the tissue inside my mouth, ect. Long story short, I took everything Dan Thousand said to heart and I was able to quit smoking as result of this surgery, and for me this is a very huge accomplishment. Dan and I actually celebrated 46 days of no smoking on my final follow up today. I was very pleased at the results of the surgery as I no longer have any negative areas of gum recession in my mouth. The day of the surgery was a very difficult day due to the pain, but it was very nice to receive a call from their office checking up on me to see how I was doing. The follow up phone call was very comforting. I would highly recommend Dr. Dan Thousand and his staff to anyone who ever needs to have gum grafting done. 😃

  • Sara KluhsmanSara Kluhsman

    Dr. Thousand is pure genius! He fixed a failing implant & placed a new 1 as well. I will never go anywhere else. That man preforms miracles!

  • Karen Pelling LevineKaren Pelling Levine

    Dr. Doug Heller is one of three of the doctors that make up the driving force in my efforts to save my teeth and my overall health. What started out as one broken tooth led to the possibility of my losing all of my teeth to gum disease. Panicked, I reached for a second opinion and found Dr. Heller, along with my regular Dentist & Orthodontist. I am now the proud owner of only 5 implants, as opposed to full upper and lower implants OR full dentures. Though dental procedures are hardly fun, Dr. Heller and his staff have made it a smooth process, from financial to face-changing....I couldn't be happier. 😁 You be the judge. My profile pic, there on the left, is a fine example of their handiwork.
    Double Bonus: Doorbell just rang. Beautiful plant has just arrived to cheer me in my recovery....Thank you, Dr. Heller and your wonderful Staff!

  • Jerome GilmerJerome Gilmer

    I was sent to Dr. Beckman on a referral from my dentist because of a slightly loose tooth. Dr. Beckman evaluated the situation and recommended a gum graft and bite adjustment. It is now six weeks since the procedure, and while the recovery was not painless, it was pretty much exactly as he said it would be. Upon evaluation earlier this week it was clear that the procedure was successful.

    Dr. Beckman and the staff were very nice, supportive and professional and I would highly recommend this practice to anyone needing this kind of help.

  • Tori Horton HamillTori Horton Hamill

    Dr Beckman performed a gum graft. I was nervous, but he explained everything clearly and thoroughly. The staff were very accommodating when I had to reschedule and they keep the schedule flowing on time so I was not sitting and waiting beyond the appointment time. The only downside was having to ask multiple times about the cost and what my calculated out of pocket would be. Would definitely recommend.

  • Ashley SingletaryAshley Singletary

    5 stars! Dr. Beckman and the entire office staff provide superior customer service and care. I recently had a gum graft performed and from the very first meeting I felt at ease. Dr. Beckman took his time explaining the procedure and patiently answered any questions I had. On the day of the procedure they go the extra mile to make sure you are comfortable- they use top of the line medical treatment for an effective procedure and speedy recovery. The team was very supportive and available through the entire process and even calls to check on you post procedure. I highly recommend Dr. Beckman and his team!

  • Doris BinderDoris Binder

    I needed to get some implants and Dr. Heller was recommended. Thankfully, he was absolutely wonderful. I wasn't sure what to expect, but he explained everything that needed be done and the procedure began. Now it's not an over night process, but the weeks after each step was a piece of cake. I am so happy with my implants. I had to have a tooth pulled a few weeks ago, and I don't know how he does it, but I had zero pain, no complications and I needed no pain Meds. The staff is so friendly and I highly recommend them.

  • Kenneth McCallKenneth McCall
  • Jan BernsteinJan Bernstein

    Dr. Beckman and the staff couldn't have been nicer or more professional. I highly recommend the practice to anyone in need of a periodontist.

  • Chelsy LaForceChelsy LaForce

    Dr. Heller and the rest of the team is absolutely amazing. They are super helpful through the entire process and I knew I was in great hands. Thank you so much!

  • Terry Lavitt SeiverTerry Lavitt Seiver
  • Aprille Tripler MooreAprille Tripler Moore

    Dr. Beckman and the entire staff at Periodontal Associates are amazing! Dr. Beckman performed a gum graft procedure on me and to my surprise and relief I felt no pain. Not during the procedure or post op. The entire experience from consult through my last follow up appointment was topnotch.

  • Terry SandahlTerry Sandahl

    I have been a patient of first Dr. Versman and then Dr. Heller for over 20 years. This is an amazing periodontal group! I feel so comfortable having them take care of my needs~and there have been many! Dr. Heller is so easy going and I never feel like whatever he does will fail. They have a great support staff too! All their assistants are competent and friendly, and my hygienist Michelle is the best! Love these guys and wouldn't think of going anywhere else!

  • Scott A MiddlemistScott A Middlemist

    I had a great experience with Dr Helller and his staff. The procedure was fairly quick and painless with a great outcome. I fully recommend him and his office.

  • Connie BuhlkeConnie Buhlke

    Not that I loved going to the Periodontist but if you have to, Dr. Heller and all of the staff in the office are simply the best! I wouldn't trust anyone else with my periodontal needs! Thank you for taking such great care of my mouth! You all are the best! �

  • David HeadDavid Head

    When I recently visited Dr Versman for a dental implant I was very pleased. I had been a client many years ago and remembered that Dr Versman' wonderful care. This time Dr Versman needed to place a new implant and extract one that had gone bad. His care and concern were exemplary. His staff was extremely efficient and all members in the office were always friendly and helpful. I would certainly recommend Dr Versman and his staff to anyone who needs an implant or Periodontal care. Thank you to everyone.

  • Christina StewartChristina Stewart

    I had a complicated tooth situation, with treatment options. My situation and all my options were explained in detail and all my questions answered. I had a debridement, and bone graft by Dr Beckman. He and the entire staff are welcoming, kind, compassionate and gentle. All my questions always answered and excellent communicational around. They called me the day of surgery and the day after to check on me. I am amazed, every single person here is wonderful and caring. And Dr Beckman is fantastic

  • Joan Schooler BaileyJoan Schooler Bailey

    Dr. Beckman did my third gum graph. I love the whole staff. They listen to me every time I have a question, and are very knowledgeable. I like their idea of listening to music on my cell phone while they do their magic. I recommend them all.

We Are Colorado’s Premier Provider of Dental Implants & Periodontics


Mon - Thu: 7:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fri - 7:00 am – 2:00 pm
Sat, Sun: Closed


26 W Dry Creek Circle

Littleton, CO 80120


Mon - Fri: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sat, Sun: Closed