What Type Of Procedures Does A Periodontist Perform?￼
Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that exclusively focuses on the inflammatory diseases of the gums and other supportive mouth structures around the teeth. A periodontist is a dental professional who holds additional training and expertise in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontitis affecting gums and dental implants.
What Does A Periodontist Do and what types of procedures does a periodontist perform? Periodontists can diagnose gingivitis (gum infection) or periodontitis (gum disease) by:
- Measuring the gums
- Checking swelling, bleeding, and tenderness of the gums
- Taking dental X-rays which reveal the dental plaque and tartar build-up of areas that cannot be visualized otherwise
- Checking any loose teeth
- Confirming teeth sensitivity to hot or cold.
If you have acquired periodontal disease, periodontists can perform different non-surgical and surgical treatments to make it back normal and save your natural tooth.
How Do Periodontists Treat Gum Disease?
For mild to moderate cases of gum disease, they can perform the following treatments-
- Antibiotics Therapy- Periodontists may first prescribe you topical or oral antibiotics to reduce or eliminate the bacterial infection from inside of the mouth.
- Scaling And Root Planing- It refers to the deep cleaning of the teeth surfaces both above and below the gum line. Firstly, scaling is performed wherein the dental plaque and tartar (or calculus) are removed using specialized handheld tools down to the bottom of the tooth socket. Next, root planing begins which involves the smoothening out of your tooth roots to allow your gums to reattach to your teeth. Both of these procedures may require a local anesthetic and you may be asked to visit more than once to complete treatment.
- Laser periodontal therapy- In this minimally-invasive treatment, your periodontist makes use of non-ablative lasers (such as Nd: YAG) to target and remove the swollen gum tissues from around the tooth’s roots. Next, they remove plaque, tartar, or calculus accumulated around and below the gum line. Any rough spots left on the tooth are smoothed out by a different tool which mitigates the chances of future infections. The loose pockets can also be tightened up by lasers.
In the case of advanced periodontists, you may be recommended for either of the below-mentioned surgical options-
- Gum Grafting- In case you have receding gums, the exposed tooth roots can be covered with gum grafts to reduce the tooth sensitivity and protect it from decay and abrasion, as well as help to avoid recession of gums. In gingival grafting, the periodontist first takes out the healthy tissues from the mouth roof or nearby healthy gum tissues. Next, they attach these tissues using stitches to areas where the gum tissues are worn out.
- Gum Flap Surgery- This is a leading dental practice for treating and repairing periodontal pockets. In this method, the periodontist makes a gum incision and folds back the outer gum tissue to get access to the tooth roots and supporting bone tissues and ligaments. Next, the inflamed tissues are excised, tooth roots are cleaned, bone defects are repaired by grafting, the proper regeneration of periodontal ligaments is encouraged using growth factors or barrier membranes, and lastly, the incisions are closed.
- Guided Tissue Regeneration- This is a newer way to reverse lost tissues. In this technique, your periodontist selects only those cells having the capacity of producing regeneration to invade the surgically treated lesion during their healing.
- Pocket Reduction Surgery- When you are suffering from severe gum disease and your gum tissues are no longer fitting snug against the teeth, a minor surgical procedure called pocket reduction is performed by your periodontist. This surgery involves opening a small flap in the gums to expose the plaque and tartar build-up. The bacteria residing in the tooth roots are removed along with sections of the diseased gum tissues. This is done so that healthier gum tissues can naturally re-anchor the teeth.
- Dental Crown Lengthening- If you are embarrassed with your gummy smile, this method can be used by a periodontist to recontour excess gum and bone tissues or create a healthy gap amongst the gums, bone, and teeth. At the end of this procedure, the upper teeth may look longer.
Can A Periodontist Do Implants?
If you are facing difficulty in deciding where to receive teeth implants, you may be happy to know that not only oral surgeons, but periodontists can also be preferred to perform the implant surgery. Periodontists are the experts that handle issues of the gums and jawbones that make up the mouth which are the areas that impact the implant sites. Hence, they are the dental specialists who are well-equipped, trained, and highly skilled specifically in providing tooth implants. They can adequately prepare and treat periodontitis prior to the placement of teeth implants and even monitor the implant site for any infection or issues, and check for successful osseointegration post-surgery.
Teeth implant surgery helps permanently replace the missing, damaged, or decayed teeth with strong, natural-looking replacement teeth that are supported by a titanium post anchored into the jawbone.
At First Point dental, our periodontics can help you improve your gum health and to avoid re-infection with various effective and advanced gum disease treatments. Call us today to schedule an appointment with our skilled periodontist in Chicago.