Periodontal care is the dental specialty focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease—a degenerative oral condition that can destroy your gums and the supporting bone structure of your teeth.
When plaque builds up on your teeth, the bacteria irritates and inflames the gum tissues. If not treated in its early stage (called gingivitis) it develops into periodontitis, the more advanced stage of gum disease. There are many different treatments for periodontal disease depending on your circumstances—we’re here to help you find the best treatment options for you.
Regular dental cleanings aim to prevent the development of gum disease and other dental complications. If a patient already shows signs of periodontal disease, they should have a periodontal cleaning.
Both regular and periodontal cleanings remove tartar buildup from the teeth. Unlike a regular preventive cleaning, however, periodontal cleanings involve the added steps of scaling and root planing, meaning tartar must be removed from between the teeth and gums down the length of each tooth.
If your hygienist finds infection or inflammation, they will also irrigate your gum pockets with antiseptic medication.
Our practice utilizes the very best dental technology to ensure comfortable treatments for each of our patients. Our soft-tissue diode laser is a great example; it can quickly and painlessly remove excess gum tissue during periodontal surgery, sealing nerve endings and minimizing inflammation and discomfort.
Gum contouring is a process that can be used to permanently smooth the appearance of an uneven or gummy smile. It offers both cosmetic and medical benefits, helping prevent future periodontal disease.
Gum grafting is another option for treating receding gums due to periodontal disease. A gum graft or soft tissue graft is a piece of healthy tissue transplanted from somewhere else in your mouth to support your gum structures and trigger new gum growth. Dr. Ward uses a less invasive technique than most general dentists. Our patients report less pain and a quicker healing time.
Guided tissue regeneration (GTR, for short) helps repair periodontal damage between the teeth and gums so your teeth are more supported.
During this procedure, the gum is opened so it can be cleaned of bacteria before an artificial membrane is placed over the damaged bone. This offers space for the bone to heal. The process can take six months to complete, but during this time the bone regenerates itself to support your teeth.
Gum flap surgery (also called pocket reduction procedure) treats and repairs periodontal pockets. These “pockets” refer to gaps below the gum line between your gum tissue and teeth, where bacteria can thrive. Gum flap surgery is performed with local anesthesia, with a small incision made to separate the gum tissue from the teeth.
We’ll first clean the roots of your teeth and repair bone damage caused by periodontal disease. If any bone defects are noted, we can repair them with grafting materials before the incision is closed and the treatment is complete.
Do you have questions about Periodontal Care? We’ve got answers! Find some of the most frequently asked questions below, or contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any other inquiry you have.