A Branch of Dentistry that works on the supporting structures of the teeth. This is done by a specialist called a Periodontist.
What is a Periodontist you ask?
A Periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease (disease of the gums) and most importantly in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists receive three additional years of extensive training after dental school for these specific areas. They are trained specially with the latest techniques that can diagnose and treat periodontal disease. Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments and can treat patients with severe gum problems using many different surgical procedures and non-surgical procedures. They are trained in the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants. Periodontists are ideal members of your dental implant team. Not only do they have experience working with other dental professionals, they also have special knowledge and training that you need to have teeth that look like and feel like your own!
Why should you see a Periodontist?
It is especially important to see a periodontist if you experience any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, but regular periodontal examinations should be part of everyone's routine oral health care regimen. An evaluation sometimes may be the only way to detect periodontal disease. You should also visit the periodontist regularly if you have diabetes, heart or respiratory disease, osteoporosis, malnutrition, or smoke or use tobacco; all have been linked to periodontal disease.
Non-Surgical Periodontal Procedures -
These procedures are being done for patients who are in the early stages of gum disease to prevent further deterioration of the teeth and gums. These treatments include deep cleanings, scaling and route planning
(a professional cleaning that is done to the root surfaces to remove plaque and tartar from the periodontal pockets, which are the pockets between the teeth and the gums). They then proceed to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. After the deep cleaning is completed the doctor or hygienist will place a medication called Arestin into each pocket where needed. This medication is used to reduce the pocket depth in patients with adult periodontitis.
Surgical Periodontal Procedures:
In this procedure the excess tissue is removed under local anesthesia. The gums usually heal in around 8 days after this procedure and teeth contours are restored.
*Pocket Reduction -
In this procedure the doctor will fold back gum tissue and remove the disease-causing bacteria before securing the tissue back into place. This allows the gum tissue to better reattach to the healthy bone. Reducing the pocket depth and getting rid of the bacteria is very important to prevent damage caused by periodontal disease and to help you maintain a healthy smile. Deeper pockets are difficult for you and your dentist or hygienist to clean so it's important for you to reduce them.
*Gum Graft Surgery -
This surgery is done to cover roots or develop gum tissue where it is absent due to excessive gingival recession. During this surgery, the periodontist takes gum tissue from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This is done to even your gum line and to reduce sensitivity. This surgery is beneficial because it can cover exposed roots to prevent them from decay. Whether you have the gum graft surgery to improve function or have it for aesthetics, patients often receive the benefits of both. They have a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health!
*Bone Replacement Graft -
This procedure is done to recreate bone and soft supporting tissues that have been lost due to gum disease. This is also called regenerative surgery. The doctor is re-growing your lost tissue.
*Dental Implants -
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or a bridge. Dental Implants are an option for people who have lost teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or any other reason. A GOOD candidate for dental implants should have good health and good oral health as well because adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant. The BEST candidates have healthy gum tissue that are free of periodontal disease.
*Osseous Surgery -
This surgery is done to reshape the bone that holds one or more teeth in place. It is done because people with periodontitis develop defects (holes) in the bone and around the teeth. Osseous surgery gets rid of those defects. Before this surgery you need to have scaling and route planning done. What is done during this surgery?
The dentist will cut around each tooth to release the gum tissue from the bone and this allows access to the roots and the bone. After the roots have been cleaned the dentist will use a drill and sharp tools to reshape the bone around the teeth. Bone is removed in certain areas to restore the normal contour of the bone, but at a lower level. Sometimes they may need to do bone grafting if there are large defects. After all this the dentist will place the gum back over the remaining bone and stitch it back into place. After this surgery, you may have some swelling and bleeding and could get an infection so it is VERY important that you take care of your teeth and gums after this procedure. Not to worry, though, because your dentist will monitor you closely after you get this done!