A gum disease diagnosis can be the last thing you want to hear. Fortunately, modern treatment options can help patients with gum disease fight its advances, retain their teeth, and speak and eat comfortably.
A “frenum” is a small piece of connective tissue, attached to the roof of the mouth, the lip, or the cheek. In some cases, this might have to be removed, if one is pulling too tightly against gums affected by disease, or if one is interfering with speech. A frenectomy removes this tissue, quickly and comfortably.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling is the process of removing plaque and tartar from the tooth’s surface, and it’s what we do at every dental hygiene appointment. However, if it’s been a long time between cleanings, those deposits have built up and require more scaling to remove. Periodontic scaling is the same process but at a deeper level, below the gumline. When the scaling reaches to the roots of the teeth, it’s known as root planing. This deep cleaning is a necessary tool in the fight against gum disease, as the tissue requires a clean atmosphere free of bacteria in order to heal.
Although we always try to preserve teeth, sometimes removing one is necessary, if the tooth is too damaged to save or if it is affecting the health of its neighbouring teeth. Extraction is performed in our office, safely and effectively.
When a tooth is extracted or lost, the place where the root was is now an empty socket, and also leaves a gap in the jawbone (the ridge). Socket preservation involves filling that empty spot to encourage healing and preserve the area to avoid bone loss and a sunken appearance. It also provides a base for any future restorations the patient may choose, such as a dental implant.
When bone loss or shrinkage has already occurred in the jawbone ridge due to a lost or extracted tooth, ridge augmentation builds up the area to make it able to support an implant.
Sinus augmentation, or a “sinus lift”, adds bone-like material to your upper jaw, in the area where your molars and pre-molars are. It involves your sinuses, as the bone goes in between your jaw and sinus cavities on either side of your nose. It’s performed in order to provide enough bone in the upper jaw for an implant.
Pocket depth reduction
When gum tissue is healthy, it fits snugly around the tooth. So when gum disease is an issue, this tissue is compromised, leading to the formation of “pockets” around the teeth. This makes it easier for bacteria to advance further and attack deeper bone and tissue. Pocket depth reduction fixes this by folding back the gum tissue to clean out the bacteria and then securing it back into place, promoting healthy reattachment and reducing the depth of the pocket.
During a flap procedure, the gum is folder back (like a flap) from the tooth in order for the dentist to gain access to the deeper roots of the teeth to perform advanced cleaning. A step up from root planing, this procedure is used when scaling and root planing have not been able to access the depths required for effective treatment and removal of harmful bacteria.
Crown lengthening describes the process of removing gum tissue in order to expose more of the tooth’s surface. Normally, this is done when a tooth requires restoration and not enough of the tooth is above the gumline to support a crown or filling, but can also be used for cosmetic reasons in people with excess gum tissue.
Whether you have the beginnings of common gingivitis or a more advanced case of periodontal disease, our professional and compassionate staff can help you with your fight against the advances of gum disease, with safe and effective treatment options.