Periodontics is the dental specialty devoted to the treatment of the supporting structures of the teeth that is the gums, bone and other associated tissues. A periodontist is a dentist that specializes in treating diseases of the periodontium. Periodontists treat cases ranging from mild gingivitis to more severe periodontitis.
The Periodontics department offers services like:
Diagnosis, prevention and treatment of gum diseases (gingivitis, periodontitis): Scaling and root planning is a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus [tartar] from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins.
Surgical periodontal treatments:
- Gum graft surgery: Exposed tooth roots are the result of gum recession. Gum graft surgery will repair the defect and help to prevent additional recession and bone loss. Gum grafts can be used to cover roots or develop gum tissue where absent due to excessive gingival recession. During gum graft surgery, your periodontist takes gum tissue from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This can be done for one tooth or several teeth to even your gum line and reduce sensitivity.
- Regenerative procedures: These procedures can reverse some of the damage by regenerating lost bone and tissue. During this procedure, your periodontist folds back the gum tissue and remove the disease-causing bacteria. Membranes (filters), bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins can be used to encourage your body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue. Eliminating existing bacteria and regenerating bone and tissue helps to reduce pocket depth and repair damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease.
- Periodontal pocket reduction: When you have periodontal disease, the supporting tissue and bone is destroyed, forming “pockets” around the teeth. Over time, these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live. These deep pockets collect even more bacteria, resulting in further bone and tissue loss. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the teeth will need to be extracted. During this procedure, your periodontist folds back the gum tissue and remove the disease-causing bacteria before securing the tissue into place. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. This allows the gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone.
- Periodontal plastic surgery: Periodontists are often considered the plastic surgeons of dentistry. If you are looking to improve your smile, a periodontist may be able to help. Dental crown lengthening, gumline sculpting, reduction of further gum recession.