Depending on how far the periodontal infection has progressed, treatment can vary widely. If caught in it’s early stages, simple procedures are done that will remove the plaque and tartar from below the gum line and eliminate the infection-causing bacteria.
If however the disease has advanced to the point where the periodontal pockets are deep and the supporting bone is lost, further treatment is likely. Whatever the treatment may entail, the goal is to return you to good oral health and then help you maintain it.
STEP 1 : CONTROLLING THE CAUSE AND RISK FACTORS FOR PERIODONTAL DISEASES
The first step toward periodontal health begins with oral hygiene. If you’ve been diagnosed with periodontal diseases, you are susceptible to the disease and therefore need to keep your teeth cleaner than most people. Your periodontist and hygienic will review your at-home oral hygiene routine, including tooth brushing and flossing techniques.
Other risk factors that have contributed to the development of your periodontal problem must also be identified and controlled.
STEP 2 : SCALLING AND ROOT PLANING
Scalling and root planing consist in the professional cleaning of the root surfaces to remove the plaque and tartar that has accumulated under the gums, in the deep pockets. This cleaning is much more thorough than a regular dental cleaning, and usually requires several appointements. Local anesthetic is usually used to make the treatment comfortable. After the treatment , there is usually only minimal discomfort. Tooth sensitivity to cold may increase after the treatment and may last several weeks.
Scaling and root planing, combined with good control of the risk factors for periodontal diseases, usually effectively reduces gingival inflammation and pocket depths.
STEP 3 : PERIODONTAL REEVALUATION
About six to twelve weeks after the scaling and root planing of your teeth has been done, you will be asked to return to the periodontist’s office for a reevaluation exam. The purpose of this examination is to verify the response to the treatment rendered thus far and determine if any further treatment is indicated.
STEP 4 : PERIODONTAL SURGERY (IF REQUIRED)
If further treatment is required, your periodontist will develop a treatment plan to help restore a state of oral health. This usually requires minor surgical treatment to remove any remaining infection and decrease residual pocket depths, in order to allow for long-term stability and health.
A pocket reduction procedure will be recommended if you have pockets that are too deep to clean with daily at-home oral hygiene and a professional care routine.
During this procedure, your periodontist will fold back the gum tissue, remove the disease-causing bacteria and then secure your gums back into place. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit areas where bacteria can hide. This allows the gums to better reattach to healthy bone.
Bone regeneration can sometimes be used to recreate some of the tooth support that was lost with the disease.