- Scaling & Root Planing
- Pocket Reduction Surgery
- Crown Lengthening
- Soft Tissue Grafts
- Ridge Augmentation
If periodontal disease is diagnosed early, nonsurgical therapy may be the only treatment necessary. This involves the removal of plaque and calculus, which controls the growth of bacteria and treating the conditions that encourage gum disease.
Scaling is a type of cleaning that removes plaque and calculus from the teeth at and slightly below the gum line. Root planing is a procedure to smooth the surfaces of the tooth roots, so the gum tissue can heal and reattach to the tooth surface.
As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets that form between the teeth and gums become deeper and the bacteria that develops around the teeth accumulates and advances under the gum tissue. The result is damage to the supporting tissues and loss of bone. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the teeth will need to be extracted.
To prevent further damage to the bone and gum tissues caused by the progression of the disease and infection, it is necessary to reduce the pocket depth and eliminate the existing bacteria. This will also make it easier for you to keep the area clean.
The procedure to reduce the pockets involves folding back the gum tissue and removing the bacteria that causes the disease, then securing the gum tissue snugly around the teeth.
It may also be necessary to smooth irregular surfaces of the damaged bone and reshape it. This makes it more difficult for bacteria to accumulate and grow and increases the chance of saving teeth that otherwise would have been lost.
A gingivectomy is necessary when the gums have pulled away from the teeth, creating deep pockets, and it is usually performed before gum disease has damaged the bone supporting the teeth. The procedure involves removing and reshaping loose, diseased gum tissue to eliminate the pockets between the teeth and gums. After removing the gum tissue, a puttylike substance is placed over your gum line to protect the gums while they heal.
Regenerative procedures are recommended when the bone supporting the teeth has been destroyed. These procedures can actually reverse some of the damage by regenerating lost bone and tissue. Typically the procedures involve folding the gum tissues and removing the bacteria that cause the disease. Then special membranes, or bone grafts can be used to encourage tissue and bone regeneration.
Guided Tissue Regeneration involves inserting membranes (filters) between the teeth and gums to allow the ligaments to regrow and bone to reform so that the teeth are better supported.
Bone Grafts involve placing tiny fragments of bone in areas of lost bone. These grafts stimulate new bone growth, or regeneration, and restore stability to the teeth by filling in the craters that resulted from periodontal disease.
If teeth are decayed or broken below the gum line, crown lengthening is often necessary in order to restore the teeth. Since the procedure adjusts the gum and bone levels to expose more of the tooth surface, it is easier to restore these teeth with cosmetic fillings and crowns.
Although gum recession can be caused by a variety of reasons, the most common cause is aggressive tooth brushing. Gum recession results in exposed tooth roots. Covering the roots that make the teeth look too long will improve the esthetic appearance of the smile. This will also solve the problem of root sensitivity to hot and cold and protect the roots from decay.
Soft tissue graft procedures involve taking tissue, usually from the palate (roof of the mouth) to cover and exposed roots and the defect caused by gum recession, or to reinforce thin tissue. This procedure will also help to prevent additional recession and bone loss.
When teeth are lost or removed, the supporting bone begins to resorb, or deteriorate. This results in a defect, or indentation in the gums and bone, which causes the replacement tooth to appear too long compared to the adjacent teeth. This unnatural appearance can be corrected with ridge augmentation to fill in the defect to recapture the natural contour or the gums and jawbone.