This is the area of dentistry concerned with the care and treatment of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. This includes evaluating and treating any areas of inflammation which is a sign of an active infection. Also, we will evaluate the level of bone support to be sure there is a solid foundation before beginning any restorative treatment.
Periodontal Therapy/Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and Root Planing treatment is the start of the healing process. In addition to the procedures completed in our office, a change in home care is also required to improve the health of the tissue. With the combination of treatment completed in our office and home care, we expect very good results following this periodontal disease treatment.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and Root Planing is one of the most effective ways to treat gum disease before it becomes severe. This process removes calculus (tartar/hard build-up) both above and below the gumline to the base of the periodontal pocket. It will also smooth any roughened root structures that have been caused by the periodontal disease process. Local anesthetic will most likely be utilized to numb your teeth and gums. The dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments to complete the procedure.
Why It Is Done
Scaling and root planing is done when a bacterial infection has developed leading to swelling in the gum tissue and irritation of the periodontal structure. Probing depths are taken to evaluate the need for this procedure. Healthy measurements are from 1-3mm. We will also record areas of bleeding and evaluate the level of calculus formation. Calculus is also know as "tartar". It is that hard build-up that attaches to the tooth and cannot be removed with home care techniques. This build-up will be removed with the scaling and root planing procedures. The exposed root structure of the tooth will also be smoothed to increase the cleanability and minimize the re-accumulation of bacteria.
Home Care/Oral Hygiene
As a part of the periodontal treatment process, you will be given the proper tools and techniques to help you be successful. We know that the bacteria will begin to reaccumulate within 24 hours of completion of treatment in our office and that only your home care will keep those bacterial levels manageable.
Shortened recare schedule
Following periodontal treatment, we will recommend that you maintain a shortened recare schedule, typically 2-4 months. This allows us to more closely monitor the tissue health and help you address areas that are not responding to the previous treatment. We do know that the oral bacteria will reform into a damaging matrix in approximately 90 days following periodontal treatment.
Following periodontal treatment in our office, it is sometimes necessary to complete additional treatment. On occasion, isolated areas of infection that have not responded to Root Planing procedures may require the use of a site specific medication. We will place a "PerioChip" in these isolated areas. The "PerioChip" is a Chlorhexidine Gluconate "chip" that is placed below the gumline in the isolated pocket. This antimicrobial solution will continue to release into the area for ten days, giving the tissue an improved chance to heal. If necessary, we may consider a referral to a periodontist for a consultation to discuss other options for treatment.