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.
Discovering Details > 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.
Check out this visual progression of gum disease or read Periodontal Disease: Get the Facts and Avoid Gum Disease to learn more about this periodontal problem.
Meanwhile, 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.
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 periodontal and even more serious health problems. We’ll restore your healthy smile, from the inside, out!