What Kind of Procedures Does a Periodontist Perform?

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A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. During regular dental exams, they can help their patients to prevent gum disease from developing through the use of routine dental cleanings. A periodontist receives extra training that includes the latest techniques and technology used to effectively diagnose and treat gum disease. If you suspect you have gum disease, it’s important to see a professional as soon as possible. To learn more about procedures that our periodontist can perform, contact one of our convenient locations in Bellevue, Everett, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Olympia, or Redmond, WA to schedule an appointment.

During an initial visit with our periodontist, we will review your medical and dental history. From there, we will examine your gums and check for gumline recession and look at your bite. We can use a probe to determine the depths of periodontal pockets. This helps us to assess the health of your gums. X-rays allow us to observe the bone below the gumline.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Gum disease is an ongoing infection in the gums, which can lead to bone and tooth loss. It can sometimes be silent, meaning there are no symptoms present. Some common signs of gum disease include:

  • Pain or sores in the mouth

  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing

  • Swollen, red, or tender gums

  • Loose or separating teeth

  • Gum recession

  • Bad breath

  • Bite changes

  • Pus between the gum and teeth

  • Tooth sensitivity

It’s important to understand that periodontal disease can lead to significant health problems when left untreated. Undergoing regular dental exams and routine dental cleanings help to identify periodontal disease early on. Gum disease can be reversed when it is caught in the gingivitis stage.

What are the stages of periodontal disease?

There are four stages of periodontal disease that range from mild to advanced:

  1. Gingivitis: The first phase of periodontal disease is caused by plaque buildup at or around the gumline. When left untreated, it can develop into the next phase. This is is the only stage that is reversible since it hasn’t attacked bones yet.

  2. Slight Periodontal Disease: The second stage of periodontal disease affects both the bone and fibers that support tooth roots. Once stage two is reached, the infection has spread into the bone and begun to destroy it. Scaling and root planing can be used to deep clean the teeth gums at this stage.

  3. Moderate Periodontal Disease: This third stage has deeper periodontal pockets, which allows bacteria to attack the bones and bloodstream more aggressively. Our professional periodontal team can thoroughly clean the area with gum disease treatment.

  4. Advanced Periodontal Disease: The final stage of periodontal disease is when bacteria have significantly deteriorated the bone that supports the teeth. This stage requires laser therapy or periodontal surgery with the PerioLase MVP-7 TruePulse. It is used to clean deep bacteria-filled pockets. If left untreated, stage four can lead to gaps between the teeth, significant gum recession, the need for dentures, and serious health problems.

Treating periodontal disease quickly is important. At Premier Periodontics, we provide a series of gum disease treatments for our patients with gum disease.

Gum disease treatments

The gum disease treatment option we choose for our patients will depend on the severity of the progression of the disease in their gums. Some of the most common periodontal treatments that we use include:

  1. Dental cleanings: During a routine dental cleaning, we remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline. If we suspect a patient has gum disease, we will recommend more frequent dental cleanings.

  2. Scaling and root planing: Scaling and root planing is a deep-cleaning and nonsurgical procedure done under local anesthesia. Plaque and tartar are scraped away from both above and below the gumline. Rough spots on the tooth root are made smooth with planing by our periodontist. Smoothing these rough spots helps to remove bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gum to reattach to the teeth.

  3. Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery: For more advanced stages of periodontal disease, surgery may be required. During this surgery, the gums are lifted and tartar is removed. Irregular surfaces of a damaged bone can also be smoothed where disease-causing bacteria may be hiding. After this is performed, the gums are then placed so that tissue fits snugly around the tooth. This will reduce the space between the gum and tooth, which reduces the chance of bacteria from spreading again.

  4. Bone grafts: This uses fragments of a patient’s own bone, donated bone, or synthetic bone to replace bone that has been destroyed by gum disease. This promotes regrowth of bone, which helps to make the teeth more stable. Soft tissue grafts are also used to fill in places where gum recession may have occurred.

  5. LANAP® laser gum surgery: Our periodontist may choose this gum disease treatment for patients who may not be able to endure the alternative surgery. It is less invasive, requires little to no downtime, and reduces the chance of tooth sensitivity post-op.

Seek gum disease treatment as soon as possible

Gum disease will continue to worsen when left untreated. At Premier Periodontics, we help our patients to improve their gum health and to avoid re-infection with various gum disease treatments. Call us today to schedule an appointment with a skilled periodontist at one of our convenient locations in Bellevue, Everett, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Olympia, and Redmond, WA to discuss your treatment options.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.