Gum Disease - How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that gets under the gums and into the bone around your teeth, causing inflammation. Periodontal inflammation leads to bone loss and eventual tooth loss and may contribute to other medical conditions. Once a patient is diagnosed with gum (periodontal) disease, more involved procedures are required to treat the disease. In the early stages of gum disease, most treatment involves non-surgical procedures; however, in more advanced stages, surgical procedures are often required. The following are detailed descriptions of these procedures.
Scaling & Root Planing
The upper level of infection in the pockets around your teeth can be removed using specialized instruments. This procedure is called, “Scaling and Root Planing," “Phase One Treatment" or “Initial Therapy." It is done under local anesthesia and is quite different from the routine dental cleaning that is traditionally done in the general dentist's office. Our office is unique in that we use the Perioscope during your root planing to visually confirm that bacterial plaque has been removed.
Does Scaling & Root Planing Hurt?
Depending on the depth of the pocket and severity of the infection, we may suggest that the area be numbed to make the process more comfortable. Many of our patients comment on how easy and painless the procedure ended up being.
If your pockets are not too deep, it may even be possible to do the procedure without numbing. The only sensation will be the scraping feeling on the teeth as the area is cleaned and smoothed.
Once the root surface is cleared of tartar and smoothed, the gums are given a chance to heal and can actually reattach to the root eliminating deep pockets.
Perioscopy: Minimally Invasive Treatment
Perioscopy features miniaturized digital video technology. This enables us to assess and treat areas below the gumline without the discomfort and inconvenience of pulling back the gum tissue and using sutures.
Unlike with traditional scaling and root planing, using the dental endoscope we can see magnified details of tooth anatomy and deposits below the gumline to treat periodontal disease in a minimally invasive way, and diagnose contributing factors specific to the root under the gum.
Laser Periodontal Therapy
Traditionally, a surgical procedure would be performed to retract the gums and remove the deeper infection. Although this is still a very effective treatment option, we now have a treatment option that uses a laser to eliminate the disease with no cutting or sutures. This procedure is called (LANAP). If you are a candidate for Laser Periodontal Therapy, treatment can actually be more effective than traditional therapy.