What is Periodontal Therapy?
Periodontal therapy is a specialization in dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease. Periodontists also specialize in dental implant placement, and oral surgery, because of their deep understanding of gum and bone tissue. Besides the four years of dental school, a periodontist completes three additional years of graduate-level study.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
Gum disease is often caused by poor oral hygiene. A mild form of gum disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by bacteria build-up on the teeth called plaque. But it’s not uncommon to have a patient with non-plaque-induced gingival lesions because of genetics or allergies. If treatment for gingivitis is delayed, cavities and tooth loss can occur. Some of the symptoms of gingivitis include soft, tender, red and bleeding gums. Other symptoms include halitosis, gum recession, loose teeth or swollen and receding gums.
In the mild stage of gum disease, a periodontist might treat the gums with root planing. Root planing is where the dentist cleans the surface of the root. In addition to root planing, scaling is done to remove the plaque below the gum line. To prevent the return of gingivitis, patients should perform brushing and flossing every day and schedule regular dental visits every six months.
If gingivitis is left untreated, a more severe form of gum disease develops called periodontitis. Gingivitis isn’t the only risk factor. Other risk factors include genetics, diabetes, certain medications, and smoking.
What is Gum Recession?
Gum recession occurs when there is a loss of gum tissue along the gum line. Receding gums can occur as a result of periodontal disease, from its mild stages of gingivitis to the advanced stage of periodontitis. Other factors that can cause gum recession include orthodontics, the position of the teeth with respect to the underlying supporting bone of the jaw, the small impact of the natural aging process. It can also be made worst by abrasive tooth brushing.
Why is Gum Recession Serious?
As gums recede, it exposes the root surfaces making them vulnerable to sensitivity, abrasion, root decay and other issues that can occur along and beneath the gum line and can cause bone or tooth loss. Healthy gums are essential for good oral and physical health. And treatment of gum recession is important for long-term dental and general wellness.
Dental and Oral Procedures Performed by Our Periodontists Include:
- Dental implants. If tooth loss occurs, bone tissue that supported a once-healthy tooth erodes. But the purpose of a dental implant is to replace the root and fuse with the supportive gum tissue to prevent bone loss. Periodontists can customize implants to fit a single tooth or a partial or whole set of dentures. When implants have completely healed, the crown work begins for a nice natural finish to your new smile.
- Dental crown lengthening. Dental crown lengthening is a cosmetic procedure to correct a gummy smile. A “gummy smile” is a common cosmetic dental issue where a smile shows excessive amounts of tissue and teeth look shorter in comparison. No one knows what causes a “gummy smile,“ but it is known to be genetic. Dental crown lengthening makes teeth look more symmetrical by making them look longer.
- Gum graft surgery. Gum recession can be a sign of periodontal disease. It exposes the root or roots of teeth and allows bacteria to get trapped under the gum line. But gum graft surgery, otherwise known as a gingival graft, replaces lost tissue due to gum recession.
- Eliminate plaque buildup with laser treatments. Laser treatment to remove plaque buildup is an efficient and non-invasive procedure. When bacteria in the mouth combined with food create a sticky plaque, it increases the risks to your gum health. You can suffer from tooth sensitivity, tooth loss, and cavities. Tartar buildup increases your risk of gum disease if left untreated.
- Pocket reduction. Gum disease, in advanced stages, damages the bone and soft tissue that supports gums and teeth. It starts with gums pulling away from the teeth and the pockets that form trap bacteria and increase the risk for oral health issues. A pocket reduction procedure improves gum health by clearing away the plaque and bacteria in the pockets. Gums now appear pink and tightly close to teeth giving your smile a healthier appearance.
- Regenerative procedures. When gum disease is advanced, regenerative procedures are used to strengthen the jaw bone to establish a foundation for dental implants or dentures. It replaces damaged gum tissue or stimulates healthy new bone growth. An example of a regenerative procedure is bone grafting. If periodontal disease has left the jaw bone thin and weak, It will fail to support dental implants. Bone grafting can thicken the jawbone while promoting bone growth at the same time.
- Cosmetic procedures. Gum recession, tooth sensitivity and tooth loss from periodontal disease destroy natural, healthy smiles. Once oral health issues are corrected, periodontists can provide dental cosmetic improvements giving you the smile of your dreams.
What to Expect on Your First Visit with a Periodontist?
On your first visit with a LakeView Family Dental periodontist, they’ll become familiar with your health and dental history. You can expect questions about medications and any current health issues. When evaluating the health of your gums, pregnancy, heart disease and diabetes are all chronic diseases that a periodontist must consider. During the evaluation, the periodontist looks for a bad bite, gum recession and loose teeth. Measurements for periodontal pockets are also taken at this time. For a more comprehensive picture of your oral health, a periodontist examines beneath the surface by taking dental x-rays.
Periodontists tackle general gum disease issues, like minor gum recession, and advanced cases that evolve into emergency dentistry issues like tooth loss. Gum disease is not the only dental issue periodontists can correct.
They are also proficient in the surgical installation of dental implants.
Their keen, in-depth knowledge of gum and bone tissues makes them highly knowledgeable in single dental implants, as well as partial and whole-set dentures. Closely linked with heart disease and diabetes, the complexity of the disease requires the expertise of a qualified periodontist like the dental authorities at LakeView Family Dental.
What is Pinhole Surgery?
The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique is a minimally invasive receding gum treatment. Unlike traditional gum grafting options, PST requires no sutures, scalpels, or incisions. This specialized technique as well as all the tools used to perform the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique was created by Dr. John Chao.
How Does the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST) Differ from Conventional Gum Grafting?
Traditional gum grafting techniques require soft tissue grafts, usually from the palate or the roof of a patient’s mouth, to rebuild the soft gum tissue surrounding their teeth. The soft tissue is sutured to cover the exposed root and joins the existing gum tissue as it heals. “Harvesting” graft tissue from the palate can sometimes be uncomfortable while healing and obviously, this creates 2 separate wound sites that need to heal.
Conventional gum grafting treatments can be effective; however, the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique provides comparable results in a shorter time with less discomfort and a better overall patient experience.
How Does the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST) Work?
The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique places a small hole in the patient’s existing gum tissue with a small needle. It is through this pinhole that the gum tissue is gently loosened and positioned using special instruments. These patented tools also expand and slide the existing gum line to cover the exposed root with precision. No sutures, no incisions, and no soft tissue grafts are needed with the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique. It is a simple adjustment of existing gum tissue.
What Are the Benefits of the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique?
The benefits of the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique include:
- Little to no post-op discomfort for patients
- Faster recovery time than traditional gum grafting
- No uncomfortable sutures required
- No need to use invasive surgical tools or scalpels for incisions
- No need for a patient to donate their own soft tissue grafts
- Superior, natural-looking, long-lasting results in significantly less time
Contact us for more info on this gum recession breakthrough treatment, also known as Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation, Lunchtime Gum Lift, and the Chao Pinhole ® Surgical Technique for Receding Gums.
What is a Periodontist?
Besides the four years of dental school, a periodontist completes three additional years of graduate-level study. As qualified professionals, periodontists perform oral surgery and dental implant installation. The periodontists of LakeView Family Dental are all well-informed in the latest technologies for treating gum disease. They’re also masters in performing both dental and cosmetic surgeries to correct the effects of gum disease.