Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the gums and other tooth-supporting tissues. While most general dentists are trained to diagnose and treat minor periodontal disease (gum disease), more complex or severe cases are referred to a periodontist, who has extra training and experience in periodontics treatments.
What exactly is a periodontist?
Periodontists are dental professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum diseases and the placement of dental implants. Periodontists undergo an additional three years of study and training beyond a basic dentistry degree, allowing them to detect underlying issues and provide a variety of successful treatments. Our Periodontist – Dr. Brittany Lane – has extensive training and experience.
What is the role of a periodontist in the treatment of gum disease?
Treatment for minor to moderate gum disease begins with less invasive, non-surgical procedures including scaling and root planing, which involves using specialized hand tools to deep-clean the surfaces of the teeth below the gum line.
Minor gum surgery may be required to repair loose “pockets” if periodontal disease has progressed to the point that gum tissue no longer fits snugly against the teeth. A periodontist will open a small flap in the gums to remove sick tissue and allow the healthier gum tissue to naturally reattach to the teeth during a pocket reduction operation. A laser could be used to “tighten up” the loose pockets as a less invasive alternative.
Advanced gum disease can erode jaw bone and severely damage supporting tissues, leading to tooth loss if left untreated. Regenerative techniques including bone grafts, gum grafts, and treatments that stimulate tissue growth can assist periodontists to stop or even reverse the deterioration in rare circumstances.
More Periodontics Procedures
Periodontists specialize in the treatment of gum disease, but they also treat a variety of other periodontal issues. Periodontics also includes the following procedures:
Gum grafting is a procedure to address receding gums
This procedure covers exposed roots to treat receding gums, reducing sensitivity, protecting teeth from decay, and maybe preventing further recession.
Surgery to lengthen Your Teeth for a Fuller Smile
To modify the appearance of a “gummy” smile or to establish a healthy space between the teeth, gums, and bone, excess gum and possibly bone tissue are reshaped.
Dental implants replace missing teeth.
A sturdy, natural-looking prosthetic tooth is secured into the jawbone to replace lost, decaying, or broken teeth.
What Are the Benefits of Visiting a Periodontist?
The keys to maintaining good dental health include daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular visits to a general dentist for complete cleaning and exam, but it only takes a small amount of plaque and tartar to cause gum disease. Patients with severe or complex gum disease will be referred to a periodontist, who will treat the illness and prevent it from returning. Excess gums, receding gums, and missing teeth are all conditions that can be treated with periodontal plastic surgery.
Periodontists treat a wide range of dental problems and treatments, but they all have the same goal in mind: to restore diseased gum tissue to health, improve the appearance and function of your smile, and assist you in maintaining good oral health so you can keep your natural teeth for as long as possible.
Want more information about Periodontists? Give us a call at (317) 357-2235. Indy East Periodontics is here to serve you and your needs.