Periodontics is the dental specialty focusing exclusively in the inflammatory disease that destroys the gums and other supporting structures around the teeth. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal, or disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. As specialists in periodontal disease, they are experts in the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. They are also trained in cosmetic periodontal procedures.
Periodontists treat cases ranging from mild gingivitis to more severe periodontitis. Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments, such as scaling and root planing (the cleaning of infected root surfaces), root surface debridement (the removal of damaged tissue), and regenerative procedures (the reversal of lost bone and tissue). When necessary, periodontists can also perform surgical procedures for patients with severe gum disease. Additionally, periodontists are trained in the placement, maintenance and repair of dental implants.
If your dentist refers you to a periodontist, you may wonder what is periodontics treatment. What can you expect and why is it necessary? Keep reading and discover answers.
Before answering, “What is periodontics treatment?”, let’s take a look at the term “periodontics.”
Periodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry involving the structures that surround and support your teeth, like your gums, alveolar bone, cementum and the periodontal ligament.
A periodontist must complete three years of specialty training in diagnosing, preventing and treating gum disease, or periodontal disease, in addition to 4 years of dental school.
What Is Periodontics Treatment?
One of the most common issues a periodontist will treat, periodontal disease, involves inflammation and/or bleeding of the gums. If left untreated, it can result in teeth loosening and even falling out. Doctors may also refer to this as gum disease or periodontitis. It has also been linked to more serious conditions affecting your heart, including heart disease.
Your dentist will help prevent and detect gum disease with regular dental cleanings to remove plaque or tartar that are difficult to reach and remove during regular brushing and flossing. This is just one reason that your regular professional cleanings remain so important.
Your periodontist may perform another non-surgical treatment called scaling and root planning. During this deeper cleaning procedure done under local anesthetic, your doctor will scrape away (scale) plaque and tartar from above and below your gum line. Then he or she will smooth (plane) any rough spots on your roots to remove bacteria, restoring a clean surface so your gums can reattach to your teeth.
What is periodontics treatment for more structural issues, rather than simply for gum disease?
Your doctor may perform other surgical procedures to restore your gums and other supporting structures of your teeth.
Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery: your gums are lifted back to remove tartar, and irregular surfaces are smoothed to deter bacteria build-up. Your gums are then replaced snugly around your teeth to help eliminate areas where bacteria can hide out.
Soft tissue grafts: grafted tissue, typically taken from the roof of your mouth, is stitched into thin or receding gum areas to reinforce them.
Guided tissue regeneration: when the bone supporting your teeth (alveolar) has been destroyed, a small piece of mesh-like fabric gets placed between it and your gum tissue, to keep your gum tissue from growing into the area where bone should be. Done in conjunction with flap surgery, this allows the bone and connective tissue to grow so that they better support your teeth.
Bone grafts: fragments of your own bone, synthetic bone or donated bone are installed to replace bone that has been destroyed by gum disease. These grafts serve as a foundation supporting the regrowth of your own bone, which will restore the stability of your teeth.
Bone surgery: shallow craters in the bone due to bone loss are smoothed out after flap surgery to eliminate areas where bacteria can continue to collect.
Second visit: Receiving the permanent dental crown
At the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and check the fit and color of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new crown is permanently cemented in place.
Trust The Happy Tooth Professionals
Admittedly, treatment of periodontics may sound intimidating. But you can count on trained professionals to get your mouth back to good health. And your best periodontal ‘treatment’ is prevention. Brush, floss and get your teeth cleaned by a professional like The Happy Tooth regularly to prevent periodontally and even more serious health problems. We’ll restore your healthy smile, from the inside, out!