If you're found to be suffering from Periodontal Disease, and that disease has moved into the moderate or advanced stages, our office is likely to recommend that you see this type of dental specialist. Periodontists are ADA recognized specialists who treat the gums and the supporting bone of the teeth. They have post-doctoral Master's Degrees in their field of practice--providing them intensive experience in treated gum disease.
In addition, this specialist is also consulted for other procedures such as implants, gingival grafting procedures and crown lengthening.
Periodontists treat gum disease, especially when it has cause significant bone loss and defects in the bone. They will often resort to bone surgery procedures in an attempt to manage more severe cases of Periodontitis. When such problems with the bone arise, some root surfaces cannot be cleaned with normal home care procedures such as brushing and flossing, and periodontal surgery can correct such problems and prevent tooth loss. New modalities of therapy involving lasers are also being employed in such practices.
We consider Periodontal Disease to be in the Early stage, when patients have 5 or 6 millimeter pockets and no radiographic evidence of angular bone defects exist. Such patients are usually treated successfully with non-surgical methods such as Scaling and Root Planing and Periodontal Maintenance. However, once patients move past this early stage of Periodontal Disease, further bone loss is inevitable should surgical methods not be employed.
Gum disease is a silent disease. It typically does not provide very many symptoms or much discomfort until it's in the latter stages. By this time it may be too late to even save the dentition. Early, prompt and appropriate treatment at the first signs of gum disease is always the way to go.
Should you be referred to a Periodontist, it does not automatically mean you'll require surgery. Today, many new procedures are being employed by this type of dental specialist--some which can help avoid or greatly delay the need for surgery.
Some patients who have been treated wit non-surgical gum therapy (Scaling and Root Planing) will not respond appropriately to therapy. If this should happen in your case, another round of Scaling and Root Planing may be suggest. If, we still then do not see improvement in the degree of inflammation and the reduction of pockets, you may also be referred to this type of dental specialist, to see if their specialized modalities may provide better results.
While few patients like being referred out from their general dentist for specialty care, failure to see a Periodontist promptly and when recommended, can mean the difference in maintaining your dentition for life, or being condemned to wearing denture in your future years.
Periodontitis is a complex, inflammatory disease process that must be controlled. Inflammation is a normal reaction to bacterial proteins that contact or invade our bodies. As the mouth has a constant load of bacteria, this means controlling the volume of that load is a daily fight. Effective home care is essential, and without this, even a Periodontist will be unable to get gum disease under control.