Periodontists often treat more problematic periodontal cases, such as those with severe
gum disease or a complex medical history. Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments,
such as scaling and root planing (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned) or root
surface debridement (in which damaged tissue is removed). They can also treat patients with
severe gum problems using a range of surgical procedures. In addition, periodontists are
specially trained in the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants.
During the first visit, the periodontist usually reviews the patient’s complete medical and dental
histories. It is extremely important for the periodontist to know if any medications are
being taken or if the patient is being treated for any condition that can affect periodontal care,
such as heart disease, diabetes, or pregnancy.
The periodontist examines the gums, checks to see if there is any gum line recession, assesses how the teeth fit together when biting, and checks the teeth to see if any are loose. The periodontist will also take a small measuring instrument called a probe and place it between the teeth and gums to determine the depth of those spaces, known as periodontal pockets; this helps the periodontist assess the health of the gums. X-rays may also be taken to observe the health of the bone below the gum line.
Scaling & Root Planning
Scaling & Root Planning is a common non-surgical treatment for periodontal disease.
By using special instruments, we will remove the bacteria and infection from the
unhealthy deep pockets around the teeth below the gum line. This is often referred
to as a "deep cleaning."
First the tooth is scaled to remove the plaque and tarter that has accumulated on the tooth.
Then the root is planed or smoothed. This eliminates any rough areas on the root that can
easily trap plaque and bacteria.
A smooth clean root provides a healthy environment to allow the gums to heal naturally and re-attach to the tooth. This will create a reduced pocket, therefore eliminating areas for bacteria to hide and cause further disease. Scaling and Root Planning combined with a strict home care routine and more frequent periodontal cleanings and exams will increase your chances of keeping your own teeth.
Pocket Reduction Procedures
Normal, healthy gums have small pockets around each tooth. The bacteria and infection associated with gum disease (periodontitis) causes these pockets to become deeper, trapping more bacteria and causing more bleeding, redness and bad breath. When the pockets become too deep for scaling and root planning, a Pocket Depth Reduction procedure is often a solution. During a Pocket Depth Reduction procedure, we can remove the disease-causing bacteria and infection and we will then thoroughly clean and smooth the tooth surfaces. If necessary, we sometimes reshape the gum and bone to allow the gums to settle nicely. This will allow the gums to heal, resulting in smaller, healthier pockets.
Repair (Regrowth) of Lost Bone Around Teeth
Damage from periodontal disease can result in severe loss of gum and bone
around your teeth causing them to become loose and/or shift position. To correct
this problem, a Bone and Tissue Regeneration procedure may be necessary to reverse
this loss and save your teeth.