When it comes to groundbreaking dentistry offering everything from a state-of-the-art dental hygienist session to wiping out gum disease and proffering top of the line implants TopGums Remuera and Takapunahave you covered.
What is a periodontist? A periodontist is a dentist who specialises in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gum disease.
TopGums is led by renowned periodontist Dr Richard Longbottom (left) who also specialises in dental implants and regularly lectures to his peers around the world. Both practices offer a one-stop shop. The Como Street practice in Takapuna (pictured) is designed by architect Richard Furze and is sleek and sophisticated—you’ll want to make an appointment there with Richard himself just to experience the stupendous view from his dentist chair.
Under the TopGums banner is a talented team specialising in everything from periodontics (gum disease), prosthodontics (dental prosthetics), endodontics (root canals) to orthodontics (braces). Even the hygienist appointments are as advanced as you can get.
The catchy moniker is courtesy of Richard’s mentor, the late Dr Steven Offenbacher PhD who was a leading researcher and periodontal scientist known as ‘the father of periodontal medicine’. “He was a great soul, we did some research together around bone regeneration and implants,” says Richard.
Richard’s craft is his passion. “I’m all about giving people advanced gum treatments; in many cases, we can save teeth even when people have been told they’re a lost cause. The disappointing thing is that that they’re often sent to us too late.”
An estimated 50 per cent of the global population suffer from gum disease, which can lead to irretrievable tooth and bone loss. “Periodontal disease, not tooth decay, is the main reason for tooth loss in the world,” says Richard. “It’s also systemic and is linked to serious afflictions like heart disease and diabetes.”
The disease occurs when bacteria causes inflammation of the gums. At best they become red, swollen and bleed easily (gingivitis), at worst loose (or lost) teeth become infected and tissue pulls away from the teeth causing pockets, with bone destruction (periodontitis) being the outcome.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Poor oral hygiene plays a role, but it’s not always to blame. Genetics can be a prime cause. “You’re genetically prone or you’re not,” says Richard. “Things like smoking and general health can also increase risk of tooth loss.”
Wiping Out Gum Disease
TopGums employs perioscopy, a state-of-the-art non-surgical procedure, which uses 24-48x magnified views, and the finest scopes to reach deeply into loose pockets around the teeth and clean out infections. “There are only 15 clinics in the world that use these and we’re one of them,” says Richard. “Often, we take a 3D scan of the jaw and teeth so we can see what we have to work with and get in there and get rid of infections. The body then heals itself because that’s what it wants to do.”
What is perioscopy? A process that uses a miniature dental endoscope with advanced video, lighting and magnification technology to zap gum infections.
Education Is Key
Richard’s on a mission to educate people and help prevent gum disease. In fact, he’s hired staff specifically to educate the public. “Gum health is a bit like cancer—if we find it early enough we can treat it reducing the huge burden of cost and loss of time for people,” says Richard.
The Free GRABGUM Deal
“For a limited time, we’re offering a GRABGUM deal for people to have a no-obligation free screening, and if they do qualify for work we’ll give them a quote on the spot,” says Richard.
“I’ve got a social conscience; I want to make this accessible. Lost teeth can impact a person’s confidence as well as affect their nutritional profile because they can’t chew their food.”
“I’m all about giving people advanced gum treatments; in many cases, we can save teeth even when people have been told they’re a lost cause.”