The term “periodontics” refers to the dental specialty that pertains to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease that affects the gums and jawbone. The gum tissues serve to surround and support the teeth and the underlying jawbone anchors teeth firmly in place. Periodontists have completed several years of extra dental training and are concerned with maintaining the function, health and aesthetics of the jawbone and tissues.
Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which begins with mild gum inflammation called gingivitis. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults living in the developed world, and should be taken very seriously. Periodontal disease (often called gum disease) is typically signified by red, swollen, painful, or bleeding gums, but in some cases has no noticeable symptoms.
Periodontal disease generally begins when the bacteria living in plaque cause an infection in the surrounding tissues of the teeth, causing them to become irritated and painful. Eventually, this infection will; cause the jawbone to recede and the tooth to become loose.
Scaling is one of the most important processes in periodontal care which helps in curing gum diseases. The procedure involves removal of tarter from the tooth surface and roots. Periodontists use special instruments to clean the surface of the teeth. The instruments clean the gum pockets and reach the teeth roots to remove hardened tarter. Local anaesthesia may be used during the process to relieve patients from pain. The periodontist guides patients about routine maintenance and they may have to visit the dental practice frequently in order to keep the periodontal disease in control.
Periodontal surgery is performed to improve the life of gum tissues and teeth and to control the factors that give rise to periodontal infection. The surgery involves bringing back the contact between gum tissues and teeth surface. Gum pockets are eliminated during the procedure. Certain medical conditions like uncontrolled diabetes and cardiovascular disease may not be suitable for performing the periodontal surgery. Alcohol consumption should be avoided after the surgery is complete.
An attractive smile exposes minimal gum tissues. In a gummy smile more amount of gum is visible which makes the smile less attractive. This problem can be treated in many ways. A periodontist chooses a particular process based on the complexity of the condition. Laser treatment is one of the commonly performed procedures. However, in more complex cases a surgical contouring or lip repositioning may be necessary. The treatment for gummy smile can also be called crown lengthening. A periodontist or a dentist who has specialized experience in curing gum problems can treat a gummy smile.
Dental implant surgery is one of the procedures performed by a periodontist. The process involves restoration of a lost tooth using Titanium or Zirconium implant which replaces the lost tooth root. The surgical process involves making an incision in the gum tissues and creating a bony recess in the bone where the implant is inserted. The gum tissues are sutured after the placement of the implant and it is left to heal for a period of few months. The dental crowns are fabricated in the lab and they are fixed over the implant using an abutment. Today there are same day implants available which do not require time to heal and the crown is ready to take the load on same day.
Gum grafting is the process of surgically reconstructing the gum tissues which have receded from gum infection. Gum recession occurs because of plaque accumulation over teeth surface which gradually hardens and turns into tarter. As a result of gum infection the soft tissues are detached from the teeth and further plaque accumulation results in formation of gum pockets. Gum grafting is done to reconstruct the soft tissues so as to cover the teeth root. Soft tissues are removed from the palate region of the mouth and are used in reconstruction. Gum grafting has both esthetic and medical advantages. Patients can get a more attractive smile from the process and the teeth become less prone to decay.
The periodontist is trained in all aspects of dental implant procedures, which can restore functionality to the mouth when teeth have been affected by periodontitis.
Because periodontal disease is progressive, it is essential to remove the bacteria and calculus build up to halt the spread of the infection. Your dentist will be happy to advise you on effective cleaning methods and treatment options.