Periodontics is the area of dentistry that specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating gum disease. Periodontists receive up to three additional years of specialized training in diagnosing and treating periodontal disease and are also experts in treating oral inflammation and replacing missing teeth with dental implants.
Periodontal treatments and procedures include:
- Teeth scaling, root planing and laser treatments
- Pocket reduction
- Gum grafting
- Crown lengthening
- Dental implants
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is the primary method for treating periodontal (gum) disease. When plaque and tartar have built up at a greater depth than a preventative cleaning can tackle, your dental hygienist will recommend a scaling and root planing procedure. This means that they will be using specially-designed dental tools to remove the build-up below the gum line that is preventing the gum tissue from being tightly attached to the root surface of your tooth.
Removing the build-up allows the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth thereby preventing further contamination from the bacteria and halting further damage to your teeth and bone.
In most cases, a local anesthetic is used during the procedure and you may experience some discomfort following. Your hygienist will give you suggestions for home care to aide in the healing process. Once the process is complete, your dentist will determine if additional periodontal surgery is required.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Periodontal disease, or more commonly referred to as Gum disease affects over 75% of adults and contributes to more tooth loss than decay. Caused by the buildup of plaque bacteria that attack the gums, supporting tissues and eventually leads to bone loss.
Periodontal disease may display warning signs such as:
- Gums that are red, swollen, tender or bleed easily
- Gums that have pulled away from teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Changes in tooth position, looseness, separation or mismatch
Factors that contribute to gum disease include tobacco use, poor oral hygiene, family history, crooked teeth, pregnancy, diabetes and certain medications. The good news is that when detected in earlier stages, gum disease can be treated and even reversed preventing long-term damage.
A dental implant replaces the root of a natural tooth and therefore needs a certain level of bone to support the implant. There are numerous clinical reasons why the bone surrounding the supporting teeth may have eroded over time, including the following:
- Bone defects or infection
- Acid erosion
- Cracked teeth
- Extensive cavities
- Bone is too thin or short to support implants
- Untreated periodontal disease
- Missing teeth
- Other medical conditions
- Poorly-fitting dentures
- Bone density weakness
At Kraklow Quality Dentistry, we can identify if you have the adequate bone strength to support a dental implant before completing the procedure. If not, we will use bone grafting to supplement your current bone level. A successful bone graft allows you to generate new bone to provide support for your dental implants.
The doctor will determine the best type of bone grafting for your individual needs. There are many options available such as synthetic, animal-based, ceramic, polymer and even autologous (your own). You can discuss the pros and cons of each option with the doctor at your implant consultation.