Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rancho Mirage Periodontist Shows Dental Implants Designed With New Technology

Dr. Ellie Keheirkhahi-Love shows desert area residents how the latest technology is used in her periodontal practice to plan extremely precise placement of dental implants for the best possible fit and longevity. Using "cone beam" CT imagery and 3-D renderings, the placement of dental implants is customized prior to surgery. Dr. Love then shares the files and the treatment plan with the patient’s implant doctor.

Click image for video - Dr. Love with dental implant patient
"Using new technology we can perform specialized procedures with a degree of precision and predictability that was unattainable just five years ago," says Dr. Love. "Most of our patients experience less discomfort and enjoy a more efficient, streamlined treatment process.” This video shows the story on KMIR 6 News. Visit or call 760.836.1809.

Monday, August 18, 2014

New Pinhole Treatment For Gum Recession To Be Shown By Dr. Ellie Love On KMIR 6 News

Rancho Mirage - Advanced Periodontics Implant Center is treating receding gums without scalpels or stitches with Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation®, says Dr. Ellie Kherikhahi-Love. The story airs Wednesday, August 20 on KMIR 6 News at 5:00 p.m and 11:00 p.m.

“Patients in the desert now have an alternative to conventional gum grafting called Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™ which can be an appropriate option for many patients for treatment of receding gums,” says periodontist Dr. Ellie Kheirkhahi-Love.  She is the first doctor in the desert to be certified in the minimally invasive treatment also known as the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique®. To date, just 650 dentists in the entire world have been trained in the technique, which has been shown to have similar results to conventional gum grafting.

"Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™ provides an attractive option for certain patients to have gum recession corrected through tiny pinholes made in the gums rather than undergoing more invasive gum grafting surgery," says Dr. Love. The treatment is performed using specially designed dental instruments, and takes just minutes per tooth. The pinholes heal quickly and are usually undetectable within a day or two after treatment. Most patients will experience little or no downtime. Call 760-836-1809 or visit


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dr. Ellie Kheirkhahi-Love Brings Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation For Receding Gums To Rancho Mirage

“Patients with receding gums in Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert and the entire Coachella Valley may have a new alternative to gum grafting with Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™," says periodontist Dr. Ellie Kheirkhahi-Love, the first doctor in the Coachella Valley to be certified in the new technique.

"The Pinhole technique offers a minimally invasive alternative to conventional gum grafting which may encourage patients to accept needed treatment for gum recession,” says Dr. Kheirkhahi-Love. “While conventional gum grafting surgery remains the best option for certain patients, the Pinhole technique offers a new way to correct gum recession without the need to cut and transfer a section of tissue from the roof of the mouth to the affected areas of the gums. Instead, one or more tiny pinholes are made in the gum near the tooth or teeth to be treated.” Specially designed dental instruments are inserted into the pinholes and moved to guide the gums back to a more healthy position. The treatment takes about 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the number of teeth treated. When completed the pinholes quickly heal and are often undetectable the next day, with little to no downtime needed for healing. “Some patients may experience mild swelling, which dissipates in a few days. With Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™ patients can see results immediately after their treatment is completed.”

A 33-month study of 43 patients with 121 gum recessions using the Pinhole Surgical Technique was published in the October 2012 issue of The International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry. The results of this study were as successful as the standard gum grafting procedure which requires cutting and sutures, while patients who underwent the Pinhole Surgical Technique reported virtually no pain, no bleeding and high satisfaction with the almost instant transformation of the defective gum line. (Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 2012; 32: 521-531.)

For more information or to schedule a consultation on Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation for receding gums, call Advanced Periodontics Implant Center at 760-836-1809.
This animation compares conventional gum grafting to Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Frequently Asked Periodontal Questions And Our Answers

    Dr. Ellie Kheirkhani-Love DDS, MSD
    What are the consequences of missing teeth?
    There are actually several negative consequences of missing some or all of your teeth. First, missing teeth will affect the esthetics of your face. Not only will your smile be affected by the gaps from missing teeth, but if you’re missing too many teeth, the skin around your mouth won’t be supported properly and will start to sag, making your appear older than you are. Additionally, missing teeth will make it more difficult to chew your food properly and may even affect the way you speak. Finally, missing even one tooth may have emotional consequences; many people feel less confident about their smile when they are missing teeth. If you are currently missing any of your teeth, consider replacing them with dental implants, which can look and feel just like natural teeth. For more information about implants, please contact our office.
    I have big gums and short teeth, so when I smile you can almost only see my gums. I don’t smile very often anymore because I am so self conscious of my gums. Is there a way to improve my smile?
    Yes, there may be a way to enhance your smile. It’s a good idea to discuss your options with a periodontist first. He or she can explain the best way to create the smile you want, as well as answer any questions that you may have. For example, one procedure that can remove excess gum tissue is called crown lengthening. After the excess gum tissue is removed, the gum line is then reshaped in order to create the right proportion between gum tissue and tooth surface. Your general dentist and our office may also work together to coordinate additional treatments such as veneers or crowns.

    Is periodontal disease contagious?
    Research has shown that periodontal disease is caused by the inflammatory reaction to bacteria under the gums, so periodontal disease technically may not be contagious. However, the bacteria that cause the inflammatory reaction can be spread through saliva. This means that if one of your family members has periodontal disease, it’s a good idea to avoid contact with their saliva by not sharing eating utensils or oral health equipment. If you notice that your spouse or a family member has the warning signs of a possible periodontal problem (bleeding, red and swollen gums, or bad breath) you may want to suggest that they see the periodontist for an exam. It may help to protect the oral health of everyone in the family. 

    I was recently diagnosed with periodontal disease. How often should I see you for an examination?
    Regular examinations are very important to keep track of the present status of your disease and any disease progression over time. Your periodontist will work with you to create a maintenance schedule depending on how advanced your periodontal disease is at that time. Based on many variable factors such as your overall health, the severity of bone loss, and risk factors such as smoking and genetics, your periodontist will constantly tailor your care so your periodontal disease does not progress further. He or she may recommend exams every six months for mild periodontal disease, or every few months for more advanced stages. 

    Who should treat my periodontal disease: my general dentist or your office?
    Instead of leaving your treatment to one dental professional, you should consider having both your general dentist and our office be actively involved in the diagnosis and treatment of your periodontal disease. This team approach will help your general dentist (who is familiar with your dental and medical history) and our facility (we have extensive experience treating periodontal disease) collaborate to tailor a treatment plan that works best for your individual case.

    What does “board certified” mean?
    All periodontists must complete an additional two to three years of specialized training in periodontics following dental school. However, some periodontists opt to take the board-certification examination, which is offered by the American Board of Periodontology once per year. Board certification in periodontology denotes someone who has made significant achievements beyond the mandatory educational requirements of the specialty, including demonstrating a comprehensive mastery of all phases of periodontal disease and treatment and in the placement of dental implants. Recertification is required every six years.

    I lost a tooth, and I’m interested in replacing it with an implant. How much does the average implant cost?
    The costs of implants can often vary from case to case and will depend on how many implants you receive as well as the type of implant. You should discuss the financial and time commitments associated with dental implants with our office.

    My dentist told me that I have signs of periodontal disease and that I should see a periodontist for a consultation. Can I see your office.
    When you are diagnosed with symptoms of periodontal disease, seeing a periodontist for a consultation is a great first step. Many dentist in the Palm Springs area refer to our office, but you do not need a referral to visit us.

    I have heard there is a connection between gum disease and heart disease. Is this true? Where can I find more information?
    The connection between gum disease and heart disease is a very hot topic in the field of periodontics right now! Several research studies have indicated that heart disease and gum disease may be linked, and researchers suspect that inflammation may be the basis behind this relationship. If you are at risk for heart disease, it is a good idea to mention this to our office, since gum disease may increase this risk. Get additional information on the connection between heart disease and gum disease, as well as the connection between gum disease and other systemic conditions

    Is there a link between periodontal disease and diabetes?
    Research has suggested that there is a link between diabetes and gum disease. People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal problems, possibly because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered one of the major complications of diabetes. Interestingly, the relationship between the two conditions goes both ways; just as diabetes can increase a person’s chance of developing periodontal disease, research suggests that efficient and effective periodontal hygiene may positively affect blood sugar levels.

    Both of my parents have periodontal disease, and I’m worried that it may be genetic. Is there a way to determine my risk for developing gum disease?
    First of all, congratulations on being proactive about your health! Recent research has shown that genetics may be involved in a person’s risk for gum disease, but there are a variety of other factors that also play a role. The American Academy of Periodontology has an online risk assessment tool that you can use to determine your risk level for gum disease. The test only takes a few minutes to take, and you should discuss the results with our office. Take the gum disease risk assessment test.

    What can I do at home to prevent periodontal disease?
    The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to take good care of your teeth and gums at home. This includes brushing your teeth after every meal and before bedtime, flossing at least once each day, and seeing your dentist or periodontist for regular exams twice a year. Spending a few minutes a day on preventative measures may save you the time and money of treating periodontal disease!

    What are common signs and symptoms of periodontal disease?
    Periodontal disease is often silent, meaning symptoms- particularly pain- may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease. However, you should still be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms, which include:

    *Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
    *Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or when eating certain foods
    *Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
    *Loose or separating teeth
    *Pus between your gums and teeth
    *Sores in your mouth
    *Persistent bad breath
    *A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
    *A change in the fit of partial dentures 

    If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your dentist or our office right away.

    Other than diagnose and treat gum disease, what else have periodontists been trained to do?
    Most periodontists spend the majority of their time diagnosing and treating gum disease, but there are a variety other procedures that they are able to perform. Our office places dental implants when natural teeth cannot be saved. We also monitor the implants to make sure that they’re properly doing their job. We also correct gum recession and cover up exposed root surfaces which can be unsightly as well as sensitive to hot and cold. These procedures are often used to lay the foundation for additional cosmetic procedures to help create a beautiful smile. Finally, our office is integral in the comprehensive planning of your oral care, along with your general dentist.

    Can children be at risk for developing periodontal disease?
    Periodontal disease is rarely found in children, and only sometimes found in adolescents. However, children should still learn the importance of keeping their teeth and gums healthy to prevent periodontal disease in the future. Children should brush their teeth twice a day and learn how to floss properly- if children learn how to floss at an early age, they will be more likely to make it a lifetime habit. These two simple acts will help protect their teeth and gums from periodontal disease.

    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    Bisphosphonate Drugs And Their Potential Effect On Periodontal Health

    Dr. Elle Kheirkhahi-Love DDS. MSD 
    You may have heard recent reports about bisphosphonate drugs and their potential effect on periodontal health. These reports can be alarming and even misleading, especially for those taking bisphosphonates. The information below explains what bisphosphonates are, how they are related to periodontal health, and how bisphosphonates may impact your periodontal treatment.

    Bisphosphonates, also known as bone-sparing drugs, are used to treat and prevent osteoporosis, and are also prescribed to patients diagnosed with certain bone cancers. Bisphosphonates can be administered in two ways: orally and intravenously (IV). Oral, or tablet, bisphosphonates (common names include Fosamax, Boniva, and Actonel) are usually prescribed for osteoporosis, while IV bisphosphonates (common names include Aredia and Zometa) are typically prescribed for patients with advanced bone cancers to help decrease pain and fractures.

    In rare instances, some people that have been treated with bisphosphonates, especially the intravenous form, develop a rare condition called osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), which can cause severe, irreversible, and often debilitating damage to the jaw. ONJ can be worsened by invasive dental procedures such as tooth extractions or dental implants. People may not have symptoms in the early stages of ONJ, but pain can gradually develop as the condition progresses.

    Symptoms of ONJ include:

    • Loose teeth
    • Numbness or a feeling of heaviness in the jaw
    • Pain, swelling, or infection of the gums or jaw
    • Gums that do not heal
    • Exposed bone
    Currently, there is no treatment that definitely cures ONJ. However, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs may help relieve some of the pain associated with ONJ. Most people diagnosed with ONJ will also need surgical treatment.

    If your physician prescribes a bisphosphonate, especially IV bisphosphonates, it is very important to tell your dental professional, because your dental treatment plan may be affected. There have been other risk factors associated with ONJ including age, gender, and other medical conditions, so it is important to share all health information with our our periodontal office.

    It is also important to maintain your oral health if you are taking bisphosphonates. Even though the risk of developing ONJ while taking a bisphosphonate remains very small, if you need periodontal surgery, your dental professional may recommend that you interrupt your bisphosphonate therapy prior to, during, and/or after your procedure. Be assured that both the medical and dental communities are studying ways to ensure the safest outcomes for patients taking bisphosphonates who require invasive dental procedures.

    Osteoporosis and Tooth Loss
    Osteoporosis is a condition that causes low or decreasing bone mass. Untreated osteoporosis can often lead to tooth loss, mainly because the disease diminishes the density of the bone supporting the teeth. Since both osteoporosis and periodontal disease have shared risk factors such as tobacco use and age, and because both can result in bone loss, an association between the two diseases has been difficult to prove. However, if you are at risk for or being treated for osteoporosis, it is still important to keep your oral health at its best. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice every day, floss at least once every day, and see our office every six months.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Why You Should Choose An Periodontist To Place Your Dental Implants

    Dr. Elle Kheirkhahi-Love DDS, MSD
    Dental implants have become the clear choice for replacing single or multiple missing teeth. Although the procedure is extremely technical, when performed by an experienced periodontist, the results are typically very predictable. As you begin to explore your options with dental implants in Palm Springs/Rancho Mirage, you can be confident that our office in Ranch Mirage has the expertise to permanently restore your smile.

    The dental implant procedure is an amazing combination of science and cosmetics. After extensively reviewing your medical history, your 
    periodontist will implant a surgical grade titanium post into your jaw bone. Using state of the art imaging technology, the periodontist can evaluate the anatomical curvatures of your bone in order to identify the exact location for your implant.

    When the jaw bone is not dense enough to support an implant, your 
    periodontist may suggest a bone grafting procedure to improve stability.

    During the planning and placement of your implant, the 
    periodontist will pay particular attention to the esthetic aspects of the procedure. How will the implant be angled to align with the neighboring teeth? How is the jaw bone shaped near the implant? Does the gum tissue look healthy and natural around the implant? These aspects are just as important as the clinical success of the implant. You deserve a tooth replacement solution that is both strong and beautiful.

    By trusting our
    office to restore your smile, you have access to a specialist who possesses a wealth of knowledge. With surgical expertise, an periodontist is the most likely specialist to deliver superior implant dentistry.

    Maybe you have been curious about the ways that dental implants can improve your smile. Perhaps you have questions about how to proceed with your choice to replace your missing teeth. If so, then call our dental implant team at
     (760) 836-1809 to schedule a consultation today.

    Saturday, August 27, 2011

    Stress May Leave Your Mouth A Mess

    Dr. Ellie Kheirkhahi-Love DDS,MSD
    A literature review published in the August 2007 issue of the Journal of Periodontology (JOP) saw a strong relationship between stress and periodontal diseases; 57% of the studies included in the review showed a positive relationship between periodontal diseases and psychological factors such as stress, distress, anxiety, depression and loneliness. Literature Review Abstract 
    “More research is needed to determine the definitive relationship between stress and periodontal diseases” said study author Daiane Peruzzo, PhD. “However, patients who minimize stress may be at less risk for periodontal disease.”

    Researchers speculate that the hormone cortisol may play a role in the possible connection between stress and periodontal diseases. A study in the July issue of the JOP* found that increased levels of cortisol can lead to more destruction of the gums and bone due to periodontal diseases. It is well known that periodontal diseases left untreated can ultimately lead to bone loss or tooth loss.

    “Individuals with high stress levels tend to increase their bad habits, which can be harmful to  periodontal health. They are less attentive to their oral hygiene and may increase their use of nicotine, alcohol or drugs,” explained Preston D. Miller, DDS and AAP president. “Patients should seek healthy ways to relieve stress through exercise, balanced eating, plenty of sleep and maintaining a positive mental attitude.”

    Patients should to also keep in mind their “pocket size guide” to periodontal health; periodontal probing depths of one to two millimeters with no bleeding are not a concern but probing depths of three and four millimeters may need a more in depth cleaning called scaling and root planing. Probing depths in excess of 5mm may require more advanced treatment and patients should consult with our office.