If you've been diagnosed with gum disease, there are a variety of treatment options depending on the particulars of your situation and the severity of the problem. We always start with the least invasive options, which are non-surgical. However, in more serious cases, surgery may be necessary.
The first line of defense against the presence of gum disease is a unique type of cleaning called “scaling and root planing.” In this procedure, an ultrasonic cleaning device is used to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth where regular cleaning devices can't reach: under the gum line on the tooth and the root. Then, the rough surface of the tooth and the root are smoothed out (planed). This provides a healthy, clean surface that makes it easier for the gum tissue to reattach to the tooth.
If you address your gum disease before it becomes severe, scaling and root planing may be the only treatment you need. However, as with any dental procedure, after-care is vital. In order to keep your teeth in good shape, and resist future occurrences of gum disease, you must follow your customized daily oral hygiene instructions provided by our office, eat a healthy diet, avoid tobacco use and have regular periodontal checkups with Dr. Weinstein. Even after a successful scaling and root planing, if you don't attend to your teeth properly, it's quite likely that you'll develop gum disease again.
If the tissue or bone surrounding your teeth is too damaged to be repaired with non-surgical treatment, several surgical procedures are available to prevent severe damage and restore a healthy smile. We will recommend the procedure that is best suited to the condition of your teeth and gums. Following is a list of common types of periodontal surgery.
Pocket Reduction Therapy
In a healthy mouth, the teeth are firmly surrounded by gum tissue and securely supported by the bones of the jaw. Periodontal disease damages these tissues and bones, leaving open spaces around the teeth that we call pockets. The larger these pockets are, the easier it is for bacteria to collect inside them, leading to more and more damage over time. Eventually the supportive structure degrades to the point that the tooth either falls out or needs to be removed. Reducing pocket depths caused by periodontal disease is essential to prevent further damage and allows for better long term health of your mouth.
Grafting is performed to correct and stop the progression of gum recession. Recession can occur as the result of many factors and at any age. This procedure is effective in covering exposed, often sensitive roots and crown margins. As well, grafting is commonly performed to strengthen thin tissues around teeth prior to orthodontic therapy and for cosmetic reasons.
Guided Tissue Regeneration
When the bone and tissue supporting the teeth have been lost due to severe gum disease, we can often restore these areas with regenerative procedures using bone graft and proteins to stimulate new bone and tissue attachment.
This procedure is effective in providing a better access to dental decay or a fracture below the gumline by exposing more of the tooth so that is can be easily restored by your dentist.
This is one of the most frequent procedures performed prior to implant therapy. Deteriorated or resorbed bone is augmented to create a stable foundation so that a dental implant can be placed at the same time or at a later date.
Sinus augmentation is used to correct the insufficient quality and quantity of bone close to the sinus cavity in the upper back jaw. This procedure raises the sinus floor and allows for new bone to form allowing for future implant placement.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed by Dr. Weinstein into bone to hold a replacement tooth (crown) or a larger prosthesis in place. Dental implants are the answer for many people with missing or damaged teeth.
These procedures are used to loosen the muscle fibers connected to the lips, cheek or tongue. It is common that children or young adults who have discomfort or possible speech related problems due to an extra fold of tissue under the tongue are referred for this procedure.
Sometimes you may need several of these procedures to build the framework for your optimal smile and function. Often, periodontal plastic surgery is used by Dr. Weinstein to lay the foundation for further cosmetic enhancement, such as orthodontics and veneers. A combination of periodontal procedures can result in a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health- your key to smiling, eating and speaking with comfort and confidence.