Periodontal Treatment Options
When efforts to prevent periodontal disease fail, our dentists provide complete periodontal treatment (short of surgery). The treatment recommended for you by our periodontist will depend on how far the disease has progressed. Treatment options include:
Scaling and Root Planing – Deep Cleaning Treatments
Scaling and root planing remove accumulated tartar and prevent future buildup. A local anesthetic is administered prior to treatment to prevent discomfort. Scaling involves the removal of plaque from the tooth below the gumline using a tiny metal tool. Once the tartar is cleared away, root planing is performed to smooth the root of the tooth, making it difficult for plaque to adhere to its surface. These techniques allow a dentist to completely clean the infected area so that it may heal.
After scaling and root planing, we may administer antibiotics if the gums or jawbone are badly infected. We use Arestin®, a highly effective antibiotic employed specifically for gum disease. Arestin® is an antibiotic powder that is applied to periodontal pockets to kill bacteria. The antibiotic is effective for up to 21 days after scaling and root planing.
Diode Laser Contouring and Sterilization
Sometimes, in order for the gums to heal, it is helpful to sterilize or eliminate diseased gum tissue. Laser dentistry makes these gum treatments more comfortable than ever before. Instead of the scalpel and sutures used in the past, we use a Diode laser to treat the tissue. The laser minimizes bleeding and discomfort and promotes quicker recovery.
Many people are affected by gums that are too prominent along the teeth, making the teeth appear short and giving the appearance of a “gummy smile.” Our in-house periodontist is highly experienced with procedures designed to recontour and reshape the gums, ultimately reducing excess gum tissue to reveal more of the teeth. Gum lifting can create a more symmetrical appearance between the gums and the teeth, which can have a positive effect on the look of your smile. This procedure can also be effective at restoring the appearance of the gums after dental implants have been placed, and following the removal of braces. Gum recontouring and lifting procedures can be performed with a state-of-the-art laser, which results in little to no discomfort during treatment.
Bacterial infections in the gums often lead to gum recession, exposing more of the teeth and weakening your mouth’s defenses against further damage. Severe infections, gum recession, and the risks to teeth and underlying bone structure cannot be reversed with improved dental hygiene habits, and some type of gum surgery will be necessary to restore periodontal health. Our doctor can perform a gum grafting procedure to address these issues and renew both the health and appearance of your gums. During gum grafting treatment, donor tissue (typically taken from the roof of your mouth) will be transferred to the areas severely affected by gum recession. Over time, the gum grafts will seal themselves to the gum and cover exposed roots, ultimately leading to a healthier-looking set of teeth and gums. This procedure can also be helpful for patients who have sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages.