Periodontics is the specialty of dentistry that involves the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth and gums. It includes the maintenance of the health, function, and aesthetics of these structures and tissues.
Periodontists are the dental specialists who treat the gums and supporting soft and hard tissues to retain natural teeth and whose focus is on restoring your gums and oral tissue to optimal health.
Types of periodontic procedures include:
Gingivectomy and gingivoplasty
Gingivectomy is the excision or removal of gingival (gums) by surgery. Gingivoplasty is a surgical procedure to reshape healthy gingiva (gums) around the teeth. These procedures were developed to treat periodontal disease. Today, they are often used to improve the appearance of the gums.
Osseous (bone) Surgery
This type of surgery involves the removal and/or reshaping of the jawbone under the gum and is performed to treat the gum disease periodontitis. Periodontitis causes the formation of holes called defects in the bone around the teeth. Osseous surgery reshapes the bones to remove the defects. As well, it is often used to treat bone loss around multiple teeth.
This is a common surgical procedure exposing more tooth for restorative purposes by re-positioning the gingival (gum) margin and removing supporting bone. For example, if a tooth requires a crown or filling but the gum lies too close to the area, crown lengthening surgery can be performed, creating room for the required crown or filling to be placed.
Scaling and Root Planing
In cases where gum disease is present, scaling and root planing is an effective way to treat gum disease before it becomes severe. During this procedure, your hygienist will remove plaque, calculus and stain from the crown down to the root surfaces of your teeth. Scaling and root planing, when combined with proper home care, should stop the progression of gum disease.
It’s important to follow scaling and root planing (periodontal therapy) with proper perio maintenance in order to achieve and maintain optimal oral health. Perio maintenance takes the place of standard hygiene cleanings and continues at varying levels, determined by the dentist.
Full Mouth Debridement
If there are large amounts of plaque and tartar on your teeth, it isn’t always possible for the dentist to perform a comprehensive oral examination. Full mouth debridement removes the plaque and calculus so the dentist can perform a comprehensive oral evaluation.
A dental implant is a device specially designed to be placed surgically within or on the mandibular (lower) or maxillary (upper) jaw bone as a means of providing for replacement of a missing tooth. Implants replace the roots of missing teeth and are used to support crowns, bridges and fixed dentures. Dental implants normally look and feel like your own teeth, which typically makes them a superior restoration as compared to dentures. Gentech periodontists may complete the placement of the implant, with the restorative component completed by your general dentist, or they may complete both portions, depending on the individual case.
LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure)
Gentech is now able to offer the latest in the treatment of gum disease using the PerioLase laser and a treatment technique called LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure). This is one of the most exciting advancements to have ever occurred in the treatment of gum disease because clinical research shows that it is capable of decreasing deep pockets and even growing bone in select sites, without the typical side effects of traditional gum surgery. This laser uses a specific wavelength which is selectively absorbed by inflamed gum tissues, allowing it to target only the diseased tissues while leaving healthy tissues intact. The result is a very precise surgical wound which allows for much less postoperative swelling, discomfort, and gum recession (longer appearing teeth due to root surfaces being exposed). This is often a more attractive treatment option for our patients because it provides a less invasive surgical option (no scalpel, no stitches) with a faster recovery time.