Periodontal Surgery and Maintenance
Periodontal Surgery and Maintenance
If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, our team at Kreeb Family Dentistry can provide periodontal treatments to improve your oral health. The recommended course of treatment will depend on several factors, including the severity of the disease, the patient’s medical history, and commitment to long-term oral healthcare. Here, we will explore the different types of gum surgery and explain why periodontal maintenance is essential to proper dental care.
When is Periodontal Surgery Necessary?
Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, can usually be treated with regular dental cleanings. If, however, the condition has progressed into periodontitis, further intervention is required. The type of periodontal treatment necessary will be determined by the complexity of your case and the amount of infection present. In the sections below, we will explore common periodontal procedures in more detail.
Scaling and Root Planing
This nonsurgical procedure is usually performed when treating mild periodontal disease. Here’s what to expect during the process:
- Local anesthesia is administered for your comfort.
- The teeth surfaces are thoroughly cleaned using a combination of hand scalers and ultrasonic instruments.
- Your hygienist smooths the root surfaces to deter plaque, tartar, and bacteria from reattaching.
Once the procedure is complete, you may notice slight sensitivity to heat and cold. However, most patients report little to no discomfort. Routine activities can be resumed immediately.
Laser Gum Surgery
If gum disease is more advanced, laser gum treatment may be recommended. During this procedure, a soft tissue diode laser is used to target infection while keeping healthy tissue intact. Laser therapy may be used alone or in conjunction with gum flap surgery, which we will explore in the section below.
In most cases, patients who undergo laser gum therapy do not require much downtime. Depending on the complexity of the case, most individuals can resume normal activities within a day or two.
Gum Flap Surgery
Advanced periodontal disease generally requires gum flap surgery. To perform this procedure, your doctor administers local anesthesia for your comfort. Next, a small incision is created along the gum line, and the tissue is temporarily reflected away from the teeth. This allows your doctor to visualize the teeth roots and the underlying jawbone. Once accessed, the teeth roots are thoroughly debrided and disinfected. If bone loss has occurred, your doctor may recommend a bone graft to improve the stability of the teeth. Once complete, the incisions are closed with surgical sutures.
Gum surgery usually requires one to three days of recovery. Though patients are typically comfortable after the third day, healing will continue for the next several weeks.
Once you have completed your periodontal treatments, you will need to be re-evaluated in about four to six weeks. During this appointment, we will measure the pockets around the teeth once again. If treatment was successful, we will recommend a periodontal maintenance schedule.
The Importance of Periodontal Maintenance
Periodontal maintenance simply means preserving the health of the gums once treatment is complete. This typically consists of regular dental cleanings, scheduled at intervals recommended by your dentist. Periodontal maintenance is a crucial step; if the teeth are not cleaned often enough, infection can recur, leading to a host of dental issues.
What to Expect during Periodontal Maintenance
During a periodontal maintenance visit at Kreeb Family Dentistry, our hygienist will clean your teeth and assess your oral health. This visit may include:
- Dental x-rays: Typically, radiographs are necessary once every year. However, if you are prone to gum disease or tooth decay, we may recommend them more frequently.
- Oral assessment: We will evaluate the health of your teeth and gums as well as your jaw joints and surrounding orofacial structures. Any existing restorations will also be evaluated to ensure they are still in good condition.
- Oral cancer screening: During every checkup, we perform an oral cancer screening. This short assessment helps us detect any soft tissue abnormalities before they progress.
- Dental cleaning: Your hygienist will gently remove irritants from the teeth surfaces.
- Polishing: Using a gritty toothpaste and a rubber polishing cup, stains and biofilm are removed from the teeth.
- Oral hygiene recommendations: Our team can demonstrate proper oral hygiene techniques and recommend appropriate products based on your unique needs.
Contact Your Dentist in Huntersville, NC
If you are concerned about the health of your gums, schedule a visit at Kreeb Family Dentistry. Contact us online or give us a call at (704) 875-7200.