Periodontal (Gum) Treatments
Periodontal treatment is the treatment of the gums and attachments that hold and support the teeth.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the superficial gums and is limited to the area just around the tooth.
Periodontitis involves the deeper level of the gums, including all the attaching tissue and the bone surrounding the individual tooth.
Gum disease is usually considered a "silent disease" since it doesn't hurt until late in the disease process. Early diagnosis and treatment accounts for better results and less cost to the patient. The treatments could range from a basic cleaning for gingivitis, also known as oral prophylaxis, to major procedures like deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing for periodontitis.
It could affect some or all teeth, and some advanced cases would need specialist (periodontist) interventions for more invasive procedures.
At Bay Hill Dental, a periodontal exam is performed for all new patients and returning six-month check-up patients to determine their periodontal health. The gum pockets are measured and examined for attachment loss, bleeding, bone level, and hygiene status. A treatment plan is presented based on the results. The type of cleaning required is determined at this appointment and future appointments are set up.
Patients requiring basic cleanings usually get their cleaning and polishing done on the same day as the exam. Deep cleaning, or scaling root planing, requires more than one appointment, depending on the extent and location of the deeper infected pockets. Dr. Satar will clearly explain your options to you and educate you on ways to better care for your teeth and gums at home.
Basic Cleaning/Oral Prophylaxis:
This procedure utilizes a painless, ultrasonic tip to clean the teeth. It is not a sharp instrument; hence most patients handle this procedure very well. The teeth are next flossed and polished to get rid of stains and surface roughness. The result is smooth teeth and healthy gums. Dr. Satar will give you some oral hygiene instructions that you can follow at home for maintenance. You will also receive a goody bag to maintain your gums at home!
Most often, healthy gums only require a cleaning every six months and our front office staff will make that appointment for you before you leave.
Deep Cleaning/Scaling Root Planing:
Scaling and root planing or SRP is needed when the disease is spread downward into the supporting tissue of the tooth. These will account for higher gum pocket readings and bone loss. Some level of mobility or loosening is also seen with deeper pockets. It is often associated with pain or bleeding. Because of its painless nature, a lot of periodontal disease is neglected by the patient until it's too late.
During the SRP appointment, a local anesthetic is gently delivered in the area for comfort. Dr. Satar will then clean the underlying area with fine ultrasonic tips and some hand instruments to allow smooth reattachment of the area and confirm that all the tartar and debris is taken out. He may recommend some local rinses and recommend some techniques that you can utilize at home for better maintenance.
Once cleaned, you will have to return for a post-op evaluation of the gums to see how your gums responded to the treatment. This is also the time to determine maintenance appointments. Periodontal disease has a high chance of relapse, so it's very important to follow a tight regimen of 3-4 month maintenance to prevent it from recurring. The goal is to eventually get you in once every six months for maintenance.
On rare occasions, a patient whose gums are non-responsive to treatment will need to see a periodontist or could have a related underlying systemic health condition. At that point, you might need to see your physician for an evaluation. At Bay Hill Dental, we are determined to provide you the best oral health and we will guide you to the best option for your unique oral condition. We practice with 100 percent transparency and always put the patient first.
Please call for Bay Hill Dental at 925-685-9500 for a check up. We proudly serve the Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Concord, Martinez, and Alamo areas.