Periodontics services specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants.
Periodontic services include: treating of oral inflammation, scaling and root planing (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned) or root surface debridement (in which damaged tissue is removed). Severe gum problems using a range of surgical procedures and placing and repairing of dental implants.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.
Factors that may contribute to gingivitis include, diabetes, smoking, aging, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases and conditions, stress, inadequate nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, substance abuse, HIV infection, and certain medication use.
Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
There are many forms of periodontitis. The most common ones include the following.
Aggressive periodontitis occurs in patients who are otherwise clinically healthy. Common features include rapid attachment loss and bone destruction and familial aggregation.
Chronic periodontitis results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth, progressive attachment and bone loss. This is the most frequently occurring form of periodontitis and is characterized by pocket formation and/or recession of the gingiva. It is prevalent in adults, but can occur at any age. Progression of attachment loss usually occurs slowly, but periods of rapid progression can occur.
Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases often begins at a young age. Systemic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes are associated with this form of periodontitis.
Necrotizing periodontal disease is an infection characterized by necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. These lesions are most commonly observed in individuals with systemic conditions such as HIV infection, malnutrition and immunosuppression.
Periodontal Pocket Reduction Procedures
Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth like a turtleneck around your neck. When you have periodontal disease, this supporting tissue and bone is destroyed, forming “pockets” around the teeth.
Over time, these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live. As bacteria develop around the teeth, they can accumulate and advance under the gum tissue. These deep pockets collect even more bacteria, resulting in further bone and tissue loss. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the teeth will need to be extracted.
Gum grafts can be used to cover roots or develop gum tissue where absent due to excessive gingival recession. During gum graft surgery, your dentist takes gum tissue from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This can be done for one tooth or several teeth to even your gum line and reduce sensitivity.
Crown Lenghthening-You may have asked your dentist about procedures to improve a “gummy” smile because your teeth appear short. Your teeth may actually be the proper lengths, but they’re covered with too much gum tissue. To correct this, your dentist performs a dental crown lengthening procedure. Excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done to one tooth, to even your gum line, or to several teeth to expose a natural, broad smile.
Why do I need an Implant?
- Dental health is the most important reason for an implant. Teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful disorders.
- Dental implants are a proven solution for people in good overall oral and systemic health who have lost one or more teeth due to periodontal disease, trauma or injury, or any other reason.
- Dental Implants are one of the most predictable and conservative ways of replacing missing teeth with the best long term success.
- Implants are basically artificial tooth roots that are placed into the jaw bone and are used to support the teeth/crowns.
- Dental Implants look, feel and function like natural teeth and can last a lifetime if they are properly maintained.
- Dental implants are available in several different forms. The most common dental implants are called “root form implants”. Root form implants are similar to teeth in that they mimic roots of teeth.
How does the implant work?
The implants are placed under the skin and into the bone at the first surgical appointment. This surgical appointment is performed in the dental office under local anesthetic. The dental implants are allowed to heal for a period of two (2) to six (6) months. After this healing time the implants are exposed at a brief second surgical appointment prior to placing a post inside. The post becomes the extension to which a crown is attached. The total process tends to take a period of four (4) to seven (7) months. The period of time for implant procedures vary from person to person.
Dental implants utilize small anchors made of a biocompatible metal called titanium, which are placed in the jawbone. Titanium does not decay and does not need root canal therapy. The anchors become securely embedded in the jaw as the bone grows around them over the first few months. Abutment posts are inserted into the anchors and carefully crafted replacement teeth are permanently attached to the posts, providing the recipient with natural looking and feeling teeth.