Periodontics and Periodontal Services are highly specialized area of dentistry that treats the area “around” a root. This is inclusive of gums, bone and the supporting ligaments of your teeth. Some of the more common periodontal services are of scaling and root planing (“deep cleaning”), crown lengthening and dental implants. For periodontal treatment, we have a dedicated periodontal specialist (or Periodontists) who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease and other conditions as well as surgical procedures.
As a comprehensive dental provider, we are happy to offer a wide range of Periodontal Services that include:
Cosmetic Gum Surgery
With periodontal plastic surgery procedures, we can reshape gum and bone tissue to enhance and restore the appearance and function of the smile. Our doctors are trained to perform ridge augmentation, ridge preservation, gum grafts, and gingivectomies to rebuild and restore the smile.
Some examples of how this may be applied are indicated below:
- If you have too much gum showing when you smile, causing your teeth to look short, we call this a gummy smile.
- If your gum line is uneven, causing some teeth to look shorter than others, we call this a crooked smile.
Both situations are easily remedied with a procedure referred to as a gum lift or crown lengthening. During this procedure, we remove excess gum tissue and reshape the contour of your gums to lengthen the crowns of your teeth and provide a natural-looking gum line.
Patients with gum disease may benefit from osseous surgery, otherwise known as flap surgery. This procedure decreases pocket depths and eradicates infected gum tissue. The treatment makes it easy to brush and floss the teeth in areas that were previously inaccessible and stops periodontal infection in its tracks. Osseous surgery may be recommended in moderate to advanced cases of periodontal disease.
Receding Gums Treatment
There are several ways to treat receding gums. The surgeons at South County Smiles are well versed in all of them.
1. The PINHOLE Technique is a non invasive alternative to traditional gum grafting surgery. The procedure involves gently repositioning existing gum tissue over areas with gum recession. There is no gum grafting or incisions involved. Patients love it because its quick, easy, and instantly pleasing. It typically takes 1-2 hours and you are back in action the next day!
2. A Connective Tissue graft allows the periodontist to take tissue from the roof of the mouth and graft it on the gum line where needed.
3. AlloDerm® Regenerative Tissue Matrix enables your clinician to restore your smile without retrieving tissue from the palate. AlloDerm® RTM provides a natural esthetic outcome and a predictable alternative to using your own tissue.*
4. Coronally Positioned Flap with EMDOGAIN which is designed to treat and reverse the effects of gum recession without a secondary surgical site!
When a tooth falls out or is removed, an indentation can appear in the gums and jawbone just above the spot where the tooth used to be. This occurs because the jawbone slowly atrophies or disappears in response to the empty space. In combination with replacing your missing tooth, we can provide ridge augmentation, a procedure in which we smooth out the indentation to recreate the original curvature of your gums and jaw. This procedure generally includes bone grafting to restore the missing bone, and in some cases must be performed prior to the placement of implants to ensure that sufficient bone is available to securely retain the implant.
Dental implants have become a leading tooth replacement solution, but patients also need adequate bone density for them to work. Bone grafting and Gum Indentations is a way to address bone loss so that patients with missing teeth can get the strong, dependable, healthy looking smile they desire.
Pocket Reduction Treatment
There are multiple methods of non-surgical and surgical periodontal treatments that can be performed to resolve your periodontal needs depending on how far the disease has progressed. If caught in the early stages, non-surgical procedures can be performed to sustain the infection. If the disease has advanced to the point where the periodontal pockets are deep and the supporting bone is lost, further surgical treatment may be necessary.Reducing pocket depth and eliminating existing bacteria are important to prevent damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease and to help you maintain a healthy smile.
The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling or root planing. The objective of these non-surgical procedures is to remove etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which cause gingival inflammation and disease. Scaling and root planing can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or a preventative measure. They are commonly preformed on cases of gingivitis and moderate to severe periodontal disease.
What do the procedures entail?
We will only perform scaling and root planing after a thorough examination of the mouth, which may include taking x-rays and visually examining the mouth. Depending on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar present, the depth of the pockets, and the progression of periodontitis, we may recommend scaling and root planing. In some cases, a local anesthesia may be used during the procedure.
- Scaling:When scaling is performed, calculus and plaque that attaches to the tooth surfaces is removed. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Scaling is performed with a special dental tool called an ultrasonic scaling tool. The scaling tool usually includes an irrigation process that can be used to deliver an antimicrobial agent below the gums to help reduce oral bacteria.
- Root Planing:Root planing is performed in order to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar. The root of the tooth is literally smoothed, which promotes healing, and also helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in the future.
Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. In some cases, Drs. Katz, Theberge, DeCesare or Coleman may place antibiotic fibers in the periodontal pockets after scaling and planing. This may be done to control infection and to encourage normal healing.
When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.
Benefits of Treatment
If treatment is successful, scaling and planing may have many periodontal benefits. One is that it can help prevent disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the blood stream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria that cause these conditions.
Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival and bone tissue. This leads to tooth loss.
Finally, scaling and root planing may make the mouth more aesthetically pleasing, and should reduce bad breath caused from food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and planing, adding an extra bonus to the procedures.
Periodontal disease is a serious infection under your gum-line.
ARESTIN® (minocycline hydrochloride) is an antibiotic that kills the bacteria that cause the infection.
- It’s placed directly in the infected areas—or “pockets”—in your gums.
- It’s applied right after scaling and root planing, the dental procedure that disrupts stubborn plaque and bacteria below your gum line—where brushing and flossing can’t reach.
Many dentists recommend dental implants to replace missing teeth and restore smiles. A missing tooth may not seem problematic, but can have disastrous effects on your smile and jaw health in the long-term. When there is no tooth root stimulating the jaw bone, the bone in the area of tooth loss can start to deteriorate. Surrounding teeth may end up drifting into the open space left by a missing tooth, changing the way your teeth fit together. Placing a tooth implant effectively rebuilds the smile and helps prevent jaw bone loss and other negative consequences. Dental implants replace or support the following dental concerns:
- A single tooth implant with a crown
- An implant supported bridge for multiple missing teeth
- Implant supported dentures for replacing all of the teeth
- Sinus augmentation to make more bone available for implants
- Ridge modification to correct bone deficits in the upper or lower jaw
Read more about Implants, here.
To find out more about specific procedures, contact our office.