Periodontal disease is a painless bacterial infection of the teeth and gums, as well as the bone that surrounds the teeth. If left untreated, it causes bone loss around the teeth with eventual tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the United States today.
Periodontal treatment can involve surgical or non-surgical techniques. The goal of periodontal therapy is to keep one’s teeth. However, if tooth loss is inevitable, tooth replacement can be in the form of dental implants. Periodontal plastic surgery is another category in Periodontics that can involve tooth lengthening or shortening for esthetics.
Non-surgical Periodontal Therapy
- Scaling & Root Planing (Deep Cleaning) — removal of bacterial plaque, calculus (tartar), and infection that has accumulated in the infected periodontal pockets. It is usually performed in one or two sections of the mouth at a time using local anesthesia for your comfort.
- Local Antimicrobials — residual, localized periodontal pockets can be scaled & root planed and an antibiotic can be injected directly into the pockets.
- Systemic Antibiotics — antibiotics are taken orally to suppress the bacteria.
- Perioscopy — a microscopic camera is inserted directly into the periodontal pocket that can magnify the pocket almost 50 times in order to visualize and remove any remainng accretions (calculus or tartar) at the bottom of the pocket.
- Periodontal Maintenance — once active periodontal treatment is completed and a patient is now stabilized, they will require maintenance therapy (periodontal scalings) every 3 months.
- Gingivectomy — trimming away the infected gum tissue to reduce the pocket depths.
- Crown-lengthening — if a tooth is decayed, broken below the gum line or too short to support a crown, the gum tissue and bone can be removed around the tooth to allow adequate access to restore the tooth.
- Osseous Surgery— flap surgery with recontouring of the uneven bone to allow harmony and better adaptation of the gum tissue to reduce pockets.
- Regeneration — flap surgery with placement of a bone graft (your own bone, donated bone, or artificial bone) that is covered by a membrane in order to regenerate the loss of bone.
- Frenectomy — removal of any “tissue tags”.
- Tooth Uncovering/Exposure — removal of gum tissue to expose unerupted teeth.
- Laser (LANAP or LAR) Surgery — alternative to conventional flap surgery
that results in periodontal regeneration to reduce pockets & stop bone loss.
- Extraction — If a tooth is hopeless, then extraction is necessary to
remove the tooth. Bone grafting is common to build the site for a future
implant to replace the tooth.
- Partial tooth loss — implants are titanium screws that can be placed into the jaw bone in order to replace missing teeth. They support themselves and look, feel, and act just like natural teeth.
- Complete tooth loss — multiple implants can be utilized to help support ill-fitting dentures by allowing them to stay securely in place to bring back normal function. Painful sore spots can be eliminated with implants.
Periodontal Plastic Surgery
- Gummy Smile — the gum tissue can be recontoured around short teeth with a gummy smile to lengthen them and improve the esthetics.
- Gum Grafting — when recession occurs which causes the teeth to become sensitive to hot & cold and vulnerable to decay, gum tissue can be harvested to cover the root surface and replace the missing gum tissue.
- Pinhole Surgical Technique — minimally invasive treatment option to
reverse gingival recession without grafting and/or sutures.
- Oral Sedation —pills can be taken which will allow the patient to relax throughout the procedure. The patient will need a ride home.
- Nitrous Oxide —commonly known as “laughing gas.” A patient breaths the gas through a nose piece to help relax them. They can drive home by themselves.
- IV Conscious Sedation —an IV is placed into the arm and medications are given to allow the patient to sleep throughout the procedure. The patient will need a ride home.