Periodontists are dentistry’s experts in treating periodontal disease. They receive up to three additional years of specialized training in periodontal disease treatment in both non-surgical treatments and periodontal plastic surgery procedures. Periodontists are also experts in replacing missing teeth with dental implants.
There are four main goals of periodontal therapy.
- Eliminate the infection and inflammation
- Educate the patient in proper home care oral hygiene skills which are necessary to maintain health and prevent reoccurrence of the disease
- Correct any damage to the root, bone, gum and bite
- Establish an appropriate schedule of professional in office supportive periodontal therapy.
Treatments are variable and greatly individualized to your specific needs. Some of the various types or procedures are listed here:
- Non-Surgical Treatments
- Gum Graft Surgery
- Laser Treatment
- Regenerative Procedures
- Dental Crown Lengthening
- Dental Implants
- Pocket Reduction Procedures
- Plastic Surgery Procedures
Non-Surgical Treatments: These are things like scaling and root planing or tray delivery systems. These are things that are typically done at your dental office by the general dentist or hygienist. Non-surgical periodontal treatment does have its limitations. When it does not achieve periodontal health, surgery may be indicated to restore periodontal health.
Procedures that regenerate lost bone and tissue supporting your teeth can reverse some of the damage caused by periodontal disease.
Your periodontist may recommend a regenerative procedure when the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed due to periodontal disease. These procedures can reverse some of the damage by regenerating lost bone and tissue.
During this procedure, your periodontist folds back the gum tissue and removes the disease-causing bacteria. Membranes (filters), bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins can be used to encourage your body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue.
Eliminating existing bacteria and regenerating bone and tissue helps to reduce pocket depth and repair damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease. With a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care, you’ll increase the chances of keeping your natural teeth – and decrease the chances of other health problems associated with periodontal disease.
After examination and proper diagnosis, treatment for Periodontitis is customized for each patient and based on the severity of their disease. We always try to treat the disease as effectively as possible in the least amount of time possible.
It should be known that in order to control periodontal disease, the plaque and calculus must be completely removed from the teeth and their roots. This cannot be accomplished with drugs, baking soda, toothpastes, mouth rinses, electric toothbrushes, oral irrigators or nutritional supplements. In patients with mild disease (i.e. pockets less than 5 millimeters) special instruments can be used, once the gums are anesthetized, to non-surgically remove the deposits of plaque and calculus. When a patient has very deep pockets (i.e. greater than 5 millimeters), non-surgical root planning cannot consistently remove the build-up of calculus. In cases like that, other procedures such as minor surgery are needed.
Even though the signs of periodontal disease are mild, its effects are seen systemically, often contributing to other disease. Underlying systemic diseases such as diabetes, and habits such as smoking worsen this disease process. In addition, recent studies show a correlation between Periodontitis and systemic disorders such as heart disease, stroke and premature low birth weight babies.
After health is attained, then begins a lifelong commitment to prevent recurrence of the disease. Using a team approach- doctors, hygienists and patients work together to help keep the disease from reforming. The number one way patients end up with disease recurrence is when they do not perform adequate oral hygiene and when they do not follow recommended professional cleaning regimens.