Periodontitis, also known as gum disease, is one of the most common and most serious dental health issues that we encounter at Fairfield Smiles. The condition is marked by swollen and inflamed gums that may begin to bleed when flossed or brushed. This is the result of the gums being irritated due to the presence of bacteria and plaque. While the condition may seem relatively minor at first, it can rapidly develop into a more serious problem if proper treatment isn’t provided.
Over time, the inflamed gum tissue will begin to pull away from the teeth. This creates empty voids known as periodontal pockets. These spaces can quickly become filled with large buildups of bacteria, tartar and plaque. These excessive accumulations will allow the condition to spread throughout the rest of the mouth more easily. Our experts often measure the depths of these pockets in order to gauge how far the condition has spread.
If the condition remains untreated, the jawbone and the connective tissues of teeth will eventually become affected as well. The condition will eat away at the jawbone and cause it to deteriorate. This destroys the supporting structure for the teeth. If the condition still remains untreated, tooth loss will soon follow. Unfortunately, many people don’t even realize the extent of the problem until this point.
The dental care experts at Fairfield Smiles understand the seriousness of gum disease. We offer a complete lineup of periodontal treatments and services that are designed to effectively manage the problem and restore the patient’s oral health. Our periodontal services include:
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a time-tested and proven treatment for beating periodontitis in its earliest stages. The procedure consists of using specialized dental tools to reach deep below the patient’s gum line. By accessing these areas, we can effectively clean out any tartar and plaque that is damaging the gums. This process is known as scaling. Next, we conduct root planing by smoothing out the root surfaces. This helps to prevent future buildups and accumulations from occurring. After treatment, the patient’s gums should begin to recover and heal entirely.
Dental Crown Lengthening
When gum disease occurs, a person will often experience a swollen, “gummy” smile that appears unattractive. Our experts can cut away the excess gum tissue with a dental crown lengthening procedure. This will expose more of the patient’s natural teeth and restore the appearance of their gums. This treatment is also sometimes used to access the teeth below the gum line.
A gingivectomy is used to provide a more complete cleaning than what is possible with traditional scaling and root planing. During a gingivectomy, our experts will cut away and reshape any loose and diseased gum tissue that is present. This will eliminate the periodontal pockets and help prevent the condition from spreading to the jawbone. Recovery should quickly follow.
Root Surface Debridement
A root surface debridement procedure involves thoroughly cleaning the root surfaces. This is done to remove any bacteria, plaque and tartar that is present. Once these buildups are removed, the condition will begin to stop spreading, and the healing process will be initiated. Overall, root surface debridement is an excellent non-surgical treatment for cleaning deep below the gum line and removing any unwanted accumulations that exist.
One of the most important matters when dealing with periodontitis is to eliminate the periodontal pockets that have developed. Reducing the size of these pockets and removing any deep buildups is the key to beating the condition and helping the gums to heal. Pocket reduction procedures start by removing unwanted buildups that are present in the periodontal pockets. Future buildups are then prevented by applying an antimicrobial liquid. The periodontal pockets should then begin to reduce in size, and the gums should start to heal following treatment.
When a tooth has fallen out or been removed, but a dental implant cannot be installed right away, special treatment needs to be provided. That is where ridge preservation procedures come in. This type of treatment involves applying bone grafts and specialized proteins to the empty socket that previously housed the tooth. By doing this, our experts can help the area to heal properly, while also preventing any decay or deterioration to the jawbone.
A sinus lift procedure is often provided prior to installing dental implants in the upper jawbone. When the upper jawbone experiences severe deterioration and decay, the presence of the sinuses can make it challenging to install the needed implants. By raising the sinuses, our experts can move them out of the way so that implants can be properly installed. The surgical procedure involves cutting into the back of the mouth so that the sinus membrane can be accessed. We then carefully push this membrane up and away from the upper jaw. Our experts then apply bone grafts to the area to encourage proper healing.
The goal of a bone grafting procedure is to stimulate new bone growth and to promote healing. These procedures are typically provided when the jawbone has suffered from severe deterioration and decay. By applying artificial bone material and specialized proteins to the jawbone, we can help the structure to regenerate and strengthen over time. This will help ensure that the patient’s teeth receive proper support. Bone grafting procedures are also often used to improve the health of the jawbone so that dental implants can be installed.
If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of gum disease, we strongly urge you to seek out treatment as quickly as possible. Receiving help early is the best way to effectively treat the condition and to prevent even more serious issues from occurring later on. Please call us at 203-423-3833 to schedule an appointment.