At South Shore Aesthetic Dentistry, we offer a wide range of periodontal procedures to treat gum disease in both hard and soft tissues in the mouth. These procedures are typically performed to preserve the jaw bone and/or gums to save teeth or allow for the placement of dental implants. They can also be used to enhance your smile by correcting problems such as uneven gum lines, receding gums, and indentations in the gums or jawbone.
Periodontal Maintenance Program
Home care is an extremely important part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but even excellent home care cannot prevent bacteria and plaque. If the plaque is not removed, it can harden, becoming calculus. We will recommend a periodontal maintenance program that is best for you based on how quickly you develop calculus and your past and current periodontal health. During your maintenance visits we will perform an oral examination as well as a dental cleaning.
During an oral examination, a visual inspection is performed to detect normal and abnormal structures of the entire mouth, head and neck. Along with radiographs, an examination detects cavities, abnormalities in existing dental restorations, gum and bone recession and any other abnormal findings within the mouth, head and neck
A dental cleaning, also known as an oral prophylaxis, is the removal of dental plaque and tartar (calculus) from the teeth. Specialized instruments are used to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. First, an ultrasonic device that emits vibrations and is cooled by water is used to loosen larger pieces of tartar. Next, hand tools are used to manually remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure used to treat gum disease. During the scaling process, specialized dental instruments are used to remove dental plaque and calculus from beneath the gums. Planing is the procedure used to smooth the tooth’s root after the scaling process. Root planing helps the gums heal and reattach themselves to a cleaner and smoother root surface.
Periodontal splinting is done to stabilize teeth that have become loose as a result of bone loss due to periodontal disease. The doctor will determine if periodontal splints are needed, as sometimes careful management of the periodontal disease causes the teeth to become more stable. Periodontal splints may use stabilizing wire or ribbon, composite resin, crowns, inlays/onlays, and/or veneers to accomplish the goal of stabilizing the teeth.
Crown lengthening is commonly used to expose more tooth structure, crown lengthening involves the removal of gum tissue and/or bone to expose more of a tooth’s structure.
Gum grafting treats root exposure resulting from receded gum tissue. Tissue is removed from the roof of the mouth or from gum tissue near the tooth and stitched into the area needing gingival repair.
Bone grafting is the replacement or enhancement of bone around teeth. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone collapses. Bone grafting is performed to reverse bone loss or enhance bone. The bone can be taken from parts of the body or from synthetic material. Bone grafting allows for proper support of dental implants or prostheses.
Periodontal (Gum) Surgery (aka Pocket Depth Reduction)
A pocket depth reduction is a surgical procedure used to smooth and reshape affected bone under the gum tissue. This procedure is performed when a pocket around a tooth (or teeth) has not responded to other treatments. It creates a shallow pocket making it difficult for bacteria to survive and damage bone, resulting in bone loss and ultimately, tooth loss.
Bone Regeneration and Ridge Preservation
Bone regeneration is a periodontal surgical procedure that regenerates jaw bone and surrounding tissue. This procedure is often performed to protect your existing teeth and the tissues that keep them in place from bacterial plaque. The gingival tissue is folded back to remove the disease-causing bacteria. Membranes, bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins can be used to encourage the body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue.
Ridge preservation involves placing a regenerative bone grafting material into empty tooth sockets to rebuild bone where an extraction has left an empty, weakened area. This process encourages your body’s natural capacity to regenerate bone.