Treating periodontal disease at I love mydentist®
Scaling and root planing, referred to as “deep cleaning” is a procedure used to conservatively treat an infectious disease called periodontal disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease starts with the formation of plaque around teeth. Plaque is the soft film on your teeth caused by food and bacteria in your mouth. When plaque build-up mixes with saliva, it hardens and turns into tartar. Tartar containing bacteria irritates the gums by attaching to the outer surface of the teeth and releasing poisonous toxins. These toxins cause infection and inflammation of the gums. Worse, if left untreated they can ultimately cause bone loss and eventually tooth loss. Keep in mind the lost bone will never grow back.
Fortunately, scaling and root planing can help. Scaling and root planing is a procedure that treats the infected area by meticulously cleaning the tartar and bacteria from the teeth and their roots.
Detecting Periodontal Disease
- One way to diagnose periodontal disease is by taking dental x-rays. X-ray images at I love mydentist® assist in making the tartar build up under the gums more visible. X-rays also show the current condition of the bone.
- The second method of diagnosis is by measuring the pockets between the gums and teeth. Destructive bacteria contained in plaque and tartar cause the formation of these pockets. Any pocket that measures greater than 3 mm is an indication of periodontal disease.
Scaling and Root Planing Treatment
At I love mydentist®, your dentist performs scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) in a couple of visits, usually scheduled in two separate appointments. Prior to the procedure, we often numb the areas to be treated with local anesthesia making the procedure virtually painless. Because inflamed gum tissue is more sensitive than healthy tissue, the anesthesia allows us to accomplish our goals by thoroughly removing the bacteria and toxins from the root of the teeth.
The goal of the procedure is to eliminate infection. We accomplish this by removing the bacteria that has attached to your teeth and their roots under the gum. The deep cleaning is completed with hand instruments (scalers) and ultra-sonic instruments.
Follow-up care at I love mydentist® (post Scaling and Root Planing)
Periodontal disease cannot be cured in moderate to advance cases, it can only be controlled, so it is important to follow your dentist’s recommendations for follow-up maintenance and treatment. In addition to routine check-ups, performing proper dental hygiene at home is the most important step you can take to help prevent the re-occurrence of this destructive disease.
We at I love mydentist® schedule a follow up appointment 1 month following your deep cleaning, at which time we will re-evaluate the areas that were treated to check the status of your gums. If any areas do not heal and reattach, your dentist will determine if there needs to be treatment with surgical approach. However, if pockets have decreased and are 3 mm or less in depth, they will be monitored on a yearly basis thru periodontal charting exams during your hygiene visits. Your appointments with your dentist at I love mydentist® will now be periodontal maintenance appointments every 3 months.
Can you get a regular cleaning instead?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends to us, that once a patient has periodontal disease we cannot treat a periodontal patient as health patient (non-periodontal). This, their recommendations is a deep cleaning followed by a 3 month periodontal maintenance cleanings. We at I love mydentist® are committed to “TREATING OUR PATIENTS AS DEEMED APPROPRIATE BY EVIDENCE-BASED LITERATURE AND THE ADA RECOMMENDATION”.
Periodontal maintenance cleaning appointments are schedule every 3 months with your dentist. The dentist will specifically treats the areas where “pocketing” is still present going deeper, then the typical 3 mm or less that they go during regular cleanings. At the one year anniversary of the re-evaluation appointment with your periodontist your Dentist will measure the pocket depths again, and if the pockets do resolve (become less that 3 mm pockets) and re-attachment occurs your dentist can then schedule you for a prophylaxis cleanings, the intervals will be dependent on your home care regimen, either at 4 or 6 month intervals.
If you are suffering from periodontal disease or simple need to schedule a regular hygiene appointment, please call I love mydentist® today.
Periodontal disease can also affect your arteries and heart
When decay occurs below the gum-line, it may be necessary to remove a small amount of bone and gum tissue. Your dentist at I love mydentist® may ask for this procedure before he or she makes a new crown for your tooth.
Crown Lengthening procedures are done for both restorative dentistry and/or to improve the aesthetics of your gum line. General practitioners often refer for crown lengthening procedures prior to restoration of broken or severely decay teeth. This procedure adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored.
Sometimes crown lengthenings are done to improve a “gummy” smile because the teeth appear short. The teeth may actually be the proper length but excess gum tissue may be covering these teeth. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth.
Loss of posterior teeth may result in excessive forces being placed on your remaining teeth. Fortunately, the use of dental implants and crowns allow you to replace these missing teeth. However, the position of the sinus in the upper posterior areas may be too low for the proper placement of dental implants.
A simple procedure at I love mydentist®, allows to sinus floor to be re-positioned, creating enough space to properly place an implant. Various grafting materials are used to encourage your bone to grow more quickly into the area, helping to stabilize the dental implant. Replace with your own bone in this area the grafting material as it grows into the area.
Under certain conditions, an even simpler procedure can be utilized. When possible, the bone remaining under the sinus floor is gently pushed up, thus lifting the floor of the dropped sinus. Bone replacement materials are then placed beneath this lifted bone. Once again the bone materials are replaced as your body grow new bone into this area.
Sinus lifts or augmentation procedures are highly predictable, with studies reporting over 95% success. Following sufficient healing of a sinus lift or augmentation (6-10 months), implants are placed in a predictable and successful manner. It is important to realize that if the sinus lift procedure doesn’t result in enough bone for implant placement, additional bone may be regenerated through a second sinus lift procedure at the time of implant placement.
A gingival graft or soft tissue graft at I love mydentist® is used when there has been a significant amount of gum recession in a particular area. Slight gum recession can usually be fixed with a few changes to your oral hygiene routine to take better care of your teeth and gums. When the gingiva recedes further it exposes you to greater risk for infection and bacterial penetration. You will likely be more sensitive to hot and cold foods when you have receding gums. If the gums recede enough as to expose the root you can set yourself up for more serious problems. The root is softer than the enamel making it more vulnerable to bacteria and plaque.
To restore proper gum level and functionality a soft tissue graft can be performed. This is done by either removing soft tissue from the root of the mouth, or re-positioning healthy gum tissue from adjacent teeth. This procedure is very predictable and has a high success rate. This procedure should be performed before more serious problems develop and periodontal surgery is necessary.
Bone grafting is where the jawbone is build up to accommodate a dental implant or other restorative device. Bone grafting is a common procedure that is used frequently for dental implants and other periodontal procedures. The bone used to graft is taken from a sample from the patient.
Many times, the bone is taken from another area of the mouth when drilling takes place. The bone fragments are suctioned from the mouth and used for the graft. Cadaver bone fragments are also used. They are harvested by bone banks and are a very safe source for bone donation.