Recent medical research has shown that periodontal (gum) disease significantly increases risk of heart attack, coronary artery disease, negative consequences on pregnancy and newborns, and other serious medical conditions. Our office is concerned about the overall health of our patients, not just their dental needs. In view of these medical implications we are even more motivated towards providing the treatment and preventive skills necessary to maintain your good oral health.
Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Periodontal disease progresses as the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and gums gets filled with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, causing irritation to the surrounding tissues. When these irritants remain in the pocket space, they can cause damage to the gums and eventually, the bone that supports the teeth!
If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings. If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, then special periodontal cleanings, called Debridement and/or Scaling and Root Planing (deep cleaning), will be recommended.
Debridement (D4355): **Debridement is done with a combination of hand instruments and an ultrasonic device. This device uses water and high-frequency vibrations to dislodge plaque and tartar from the teeth. Debridement is the first phase of comprehensive periodontal treatment. Additionally, you will be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits. Approximately two weeks after debridement, you will return to determine the appropriate treatment course for you. Treatment may include a follow up prophylaxis or Scaling and Root Planing during subsequent visits.
Scaling and Root Planing (D4341 & D4342): In these treatment is frequently scheduled by quadrant (1/4 of your mouth); however, this depends on the location and severity of the periodontal problems and may procedures, the tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line and the rough spots on the root surfaces are made smooth. This procedure helps the gum tissue to heal and allows the pockets to shrink. Scaling and Root Planing usually requires more time and frequently includes the use of topical and/or injectable anesthetics. This include only 1-3 teeth within a quadrant.
Medications, special prescription mouth rinses, and an electric tooth brush may be recommended to help control infection and to speed healing. If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths in order to make the teeth and gums easier to maintain. Your dentist may also recommend that you see a Periodontist, a specialist in the care of the gums and supporting bone.