What is Periodontics?
Periodontics is the specialty in Dentistry that studies the care and treatment of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. This means the gums and the bone around the teeth. A common problem in adults is gum disease (called Periodontitis). Periodontics treats gum disease, and can be divided into Surgical periodontics and Non-Surgical Periodontics
Surgical Periodontal Treatment
PERIODONTAL SURGERYis required if surgery is needed to be able to reach and remove the infected tissue by making an incision in the gums around the teeth and peeling the gums away from the bone to allow access and visualization, and then treat the affected area with a combination of available techniques that may include removing infected gum tissue, reshaping bone defects, grafting bone in some areas, antibiotics, etc... Usually the purpose of periodontal surgery is to eliminate the pockets of gum tissue around the teeth to allow the patient to be able to clean adequately on a daily basis. Other types of periodontal surgery includes grafting and implants
Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment
Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment generally consists of procedures that attempt to reduce or eliminate any inflamation and infection in the gums and around the teeth without surgery. These procedures are scaling and root planing, curettage, subgingival or pocket irrigation, oral and topical medicaments, and localized delivery of antibiotic therapy
Laser Periodontal Treatment
A new modality of periodontal treatment that can be described as a Minimally Invasive Surgical Periodontal Treatment is the Laser Peridontal Pocket Therapy. This procedure utilizes a special laser that is used to clean, decontaminate and stimulate the periodontal tissues to heal more comfortably and faster without the conventional need to remove bone around the affected teeth. The procerure is ussually done without a surgical flap or using a very small gingival flap which also reduces the postoperative discomfort of the procedure.
What Happens After Periodontal Surgery?
After all periodontal surgery and even some non-surgical procedures such as scaling and root planing, the gums shrink making the teeth look longer. The greater the amount of inflammation present, the more the gums will shrink after the treatment. After the gums shrink, you may notice dark spaces between the teeth at the gum line ( the gums used to fill these spaces before ). Some of the root surfaces may show, and when roots are exposed to cold, air, food, etc.there will be sensitivity. This sensitivity will slowly diminish with time. If plaque is left on the roots it will increase the sensitivity. A toothpaste for sensitive teeth (Sensodyne, Denquel, etc...) will reduce the sensitivity in cases where it does not go away completely. One week after the surgery, the dressing covering the surgical site and the sutures will both be removed; from then on you should try to keep the area clean by rubbing gently with a moistened Q-tip the neck of the teeth where the tooth meets the gum. A toothbrush should not be used in the healing area until the gums feel stronger to avoid hurting yourself. After surgery, your teeth will get looser than before. This looseness is temporary and in most cases the teeth tighten up again in two to three months. Occasionally an adjustment of the bite or splinting of the teeth is needed. Splinting means fusing the teeth together with crowns (caps) or by using a technique called bonding. The splinting allows the joined teeth to feel stronger than if they are left separate.
Results After Treatment
Surgical treatment is highly effective in controlling the progression of bone deterioration and tooth loss. You can expect the result (healthy gums) to be maintained as long as you keep your teeth plaque-free and return for regular maintenance (every three to six months) and monitoring.
Just because an area had surgery does not mean it will be trouble-free forever. If you neglect to clean and maintain your mouth properly, the gums can get infected again and the disease process can reocur.