Oral health isn’t just about the condition of your teeth. Your gums are just as important. Gums are the supporting tissue that holds teeth in place; when the gums aren’t healthy, it can lead to bleeding, pain, and eventually tooth loss.
Dr. Dennis performs periodontal procedures to treat gum disease and improve the health of the structures that hold teeth in place, but as a specialist in aesthetics, he also provides cosmetic periodontal surgeries to create a more balanced smile. Dr. Dennis believes that when it comes to periodontal disease, it’s important to take a conservative approach. For better patient outcomes and comfort, our practice utilizes dental lasers in the treatment of gum disease.
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.
ARESTIN® is a locally applied antibiotic that delivers minocycline microspheres in the form of a powder. It is placed directly into the infected periodontal pocket at the time of scaling and root planing procedures for easy, targeted treatment. The microspheres adhere to the surrounding surfaces to provide a sustained release of the antibiotic at the site of active infection for effective treatment. It is used in pocket depth reduction and may be used as part of a periodontal maintenance program.
Benefits of ARESTIN® include:
- No local anesthesia required
- No adhesive required
- No dressing required
- No need for removal as the microspheres are completely bioresorbed
- Remains active in the pocket for an extended period of time
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.
Osseous 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.