A dentist that specializes in periodontics will deal with the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease or gum infections, and also with dental implant treatment. Severe gum disease is usually the most known case that requires periodontal services, and most of them require surgical procedures. Also, if you are looking to get dental implants, a periodontist will most likely view your case. It is very common for patients to visit their general dentists and depending on the gravity of their case, they might be referred to a periodontist. For your convenience, we have certified dentists that at St. Helena Dental Group that can take care of all your periodontal needs.
On your first visit to a periodontist, they will examine your gums and see how healthy they are. They are looking for a pink uniform color, when they are puffy, inflamed and red they will check what might be the cause of it. Upon examination, they will check for inflammation, receding gum line or check if your teeth have become loose. A probe might be used to measure the health of your gums by measuring the depth between your teeth and gums in what is called a “pocket”. X-rays will also be taken to assess the health of the bone and the density.
Gum Graft Surgery – This treatment refers to the grafting of gum tissue to cover exposed root surfaces. When there is gingival recession, or gum recession and the root of your tooth is showing, you might want to consider gum grafting surgery. Although it sounds scary, it is really not! Gum grafts might be needed to protect your tooth, improve yours mile and also to prevent damage to the supporting bone. Gum recession is a gradual process that if left untreated can expose your tooth to the point where the root is showing and cause enough damage to experience tooth loss.
Laser Treatment – Laser use in dentistry has become more and more common; usually when treating gum diseases or periodontal disease. Your dentist might use the help of a laser to access and remove gum tissue around the tooth that has become infected. The use of lasers allows for a better and more accurate and precise area targeting. Because of its less invasive nature, bleeding and pain are significantly reduced as well as the healing time. Gum tissue usually heals quickly, however, with the use of lasers when removing tissue the recovery and healing time is shorter.
Dental Crown Lengthening – A "gummy" smile is when a large amount of gum tissue covers most of the teeth making them appear little or short. Reality is that your teeth might be the average length but there is just too much gum tissue covering them. This can easily be fixed. This procedure will remove the excess gum and reshape the bone tissue to make it appear smooth and more natural. In most cases most of the teeth undergo this procedure but it can also be done to only one tooth. This will allow your smile to show a more even gum line and expose your natural teeth for a broader, whiter and beautiful smile!
Pocket Reduction Procedure - The primary purpose of this procedure is to gain access to the root of the teeth in order to remove the bacteria and tartar that has accumulated between the roots of your tooth and your actual tooth. Bacteria can be very dangerous to your dental health, once it accumulates, it starts destroying bone and gum tissue and create what we call gum pockets. When these form and they deepen, they continue to infect the tooth and can cause terrible damage to your dental health. This will make your teeth lose as the tissue and bone are not healthy. The procedure will seek to clean out the bacteria and reduce the size of the pocket to revert and stop the damage from creating larger pockets.
Scaling and Root Planing – This procedure is also most commonly known as a deep cleaning. During this process, plaque, tartar and bacteria is removed from your teeth. If left untreated these buildup and bacteria can lead to infections and gum disease. The deep cleaning is done with the use of special instruments that resemble a thin hook and the dentist will scale the face of your teeth close to the gum to get rid of the film of bacteria, tartar buildup and plaque that accumulates mostly between the gum line and your tooth. Root planing will go deeper into your gum and clean between the gum tissue and the root of your tooth to make sure there is nothing that might cause inflammation or infections.
When you have a gum disease and professional cleanings and good oral hygiene is not enough to solve the infection, gum surgery is needed to restore your gums to their health. There are three types of gum surgery: flap surgery, which reduces the gum pockets to reduce chances of infection; gingivectomy, which cuts the excess gum tissue and gingivoplasty to restore your gum tissue to a normal level that improves the look of your smile.
Gum Disease Treatment
When plaque and tartar buildup are not cleaned daily, it can allow bacteria to grow and cause inflammation of the gum tissues. If left untreated, this can develop into an infection call gingivitis and if left to worsen it will develop into periodontitis. These diseases can easily be treated by removing the infection and practicing good oral hygiene. Otherwise, the gums, teeth and bone will be destroyed by the infection and you will lose your teeth and develop serious health issues.
Our periodontists here at St. Helena Dental Group would love to take care of your dental health and help you determine which treatment would work better for you. If you have questions for our dentists or simply want to come and see what your options are, come visit us at 2845 Main St. #102, St. Helena, CA 94574 or give us a call at (707) 240-8099.