Stable periodontal health needs be achieved in the least invasive and most cost-effective manner. This can most often be accomplished through non-surgical periodontal treatment approach. Although this form of therapy has been shown to be successful in numerous patients, it does have its limitations. It is most beneficial in early disease onset. In situations when too much bone has been damaged by the bacterial toxins, laser therapy or gum surgery may be indicated to restore periodontal health again.
Scaling and root planing is the most effective, non-surgical periodontal treatment. The procedure must be performed while the patient is numb. Our hygienist will meticulously clean the root surfaces at the diseased sites to remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from deep periodontal pockets. The procedure is finished with smoothing of the root surface to remove embedded bacteria and bacterial toxins. Scaling and root planing is often followed by adjunctive therapy such as curettage (infected soft tissue removal) of the affected areas, local delivery antimicrobials (eg. Arestin) and host modulation, as needed on a case-by-case basis.
Following thorough scaling and root planing, many patients do not require any further active periodontal treatment. However, the majority of patients will require ongoing, strict periodontal maintenance (regularly scheduled cleaning) protocol to sustain periodontal health. Depending on your particular circumstances, this may be every 3-4 months. Strict home oral care will also be crucial in maintaining the achieved therapeutic effect. Our hygienist will be more than happy to go over various home care regimens with you, including proper flossing techniques, Waterpik use, and perhaps the numerous benefits of electric toothbrush use.
Surgical periodontal treatment is indicated when too much bone has been damaged over time by the bacteria and bacterial toxin. This is often the case in moderate periodontitis or severe periodontitis. The purpose of surgical periodontal treatment is to eliminate the deep pockets, clean the root surfaces that could not be fully cleaned by the non-surgical approach and attempt to rebuild some of the destroyed bone around the teeth. Pocket reduction or elimination, along with eradication of the bacterial infection, are key to revert damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease and to help you maintain a healthy smile. Bacterial eradication alone may not suffice to prevent disease recurrence. Deeper pockets are more difficult to keep clean. It's important for you to reduce them. Shallow pockets, along with a combination of quality daily home hygiene care and regular professional maintenance care, increases your ability of keeping your natural teeth healthy. It decreases the chance of serious effects of tooth loss along with health problems associated with periodontal disease.
Surgical periodontal treatment begins with thorough numbing so you will not feel any pain or discomfort. A small incision will be made in your gums so they can be folded back, allowing for the elimination of the disease-causing bacteria. The teeth and root surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned. Any irregular, damaged bone surfaces will be smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. Regeneration of the destroyed bone may also be done to rebuild proper bone contours. This permits the gums to adhere better to healthy bone. The gums will be secured back in place with resorbable sutures.
Although the procedure does not require sedation, some patients prefer to be asleep during the procedure. This can be easily achieved with various forms of sedation available in our office. Don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Fotek which sedation method would benefit you the most.
An alternative and frequently preferred method to treat moderate to severe periodontitis is through laser gum treatment. It is a patient-friendly and minimally invasive procedure that helps eliminate the cause of your periodontal condition while giving your tissue an opportunity to heal and regenerate the destroyed bone and close up the deep pockets. There is no cutting and no stitches needed and the vast majority of patients feel little to no pain after the procedure is done. Simply put, fast and easy recovery with minimal down time.
The procedure can be done in one to two visits. After getting you thoroughly numb, a tiny laser fiber (about the thickness of three hairs) will be inserted into your periodontal pocket (the space between the tooth and the gum) and the infection along with the bacteria will be cleared away by the laser light. The procedure takes just two 2-hour sessions. You will probably feel good enough to return right back to work afterwards.
We understand you may have questions or concerns about your upcoming procedure, so please feel free to give us a call at our Palm Beach Gardens location!