Paradise Dental has a Periodontal (Gum) Specialist as a member of our dental care team. In addition to routine care for gum disease we also offer additional procedures that most practices refer to a specialist. Periodontists provide specialized care for the tissues surrounding the roots of teeth, associated with gum disease and bone loss.
Because gum disease starts out early as gingivitis, it is one of the most common oral conditions in adults. It is estimated that nearly 90% of adults have some form of gingivitis. Gingivitis can quickly turn into swollen, bleeding gums that detach from the teeth, leading to tooth loss. This level of infection is called periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease can be spread and is scientifically linked to the following systemic health conditions:
- Heart attack
- Premature labor and low birth weight
- Respiratory infections
Our Periodontal (Gum) Services include:
Plaque and tartar routinely build up around the teeth and gums. Our hygienists remove these deposits at your routine cleaning visits. A large amount of plaque and tartar can spread below the gumline. In these instances, a routine cleaning cannot remove all of the debris. This condition requires periodontal (gum) root planning and deep scaling. For deep areas of bone loss and tartar, patients will be anesthetized for comfort as the hygienist or dentist uses special instruments to remove the build up that has formed. This is normal for patients who have spent years between dental visits, or have a family history of gum disease.
With ultrasonic instrumentation we help remove the calcified deposits deep below gum tissue, while also flushing the area with water. This helps destroy and remove plaque biofilm from the area. If needed, we may place a localized capsule of medicine in severe areas to encourage healing.
Our goal through deep cleanings is to help patients achieve optimum oral health that they can maintain on a normal basis. In the beginning we will see these patients more often for maintenance care, but as it continues to improve the appointments grow farther apart.
Sometimes a tooth needs to be restored, but it is broken or decayed very close to or below the gumline. When this happens, there is not enough remaining tooth structure to restore the tooth to its original healthy state. A Periodontist can perform a procedure called crown lengthening. During crown lengthening, the gum and bone structure surrounding a tooth root are reshaped to allow more of the tooth to show above the gumline. This procedure gives the restorative dentist the opportunity to restore the tooth. It is common to need crown lengthening prior to placing a full crown or bridge restoration.
When recession (receding gums) occurs, it can make the tooth sensitive to hot and cold food or drinks. The absence of gums in an area also means that there is no supporting bone structure for the tooth. Sometimes gum recession is caused by abrasive tooth brushing, tobacco use, or gum disease.
One therapy offered by Paradise Dental to reduce structure loss and prevent sensitivity is to cover these areas with gum tissue taken from another area of the mouth. A donor site like the roof of your mouth allows the periodontist to take a small amount of tissue and surgically place it over the exposed root area. If donor site tissue is not available, an allograft may be used. The graft covers the exposed tooth, reducing sensitivity and encouraging structural support for tooth longevity.
Pinhole® Surgical Technique
The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST®), is a scalpel-free, suture-free procedure for treating gum recession.
This procedure is performed by making a small hole in the gum tissue. Using specially designed instruments, the gum tissue is loosened and guided over the receded part of the tooth. Since there is no incision or suturing, patients can expect minimal post-operative symptoms (pain, swelling and bleeding). Most patients also are pleasantly surprised by the instant cosmetic improvement.
Dr. Helyne Hamelburg explaining the Pinhole procedure at Paradise Dental
If a tooth is missing or has periodontal (gum) disease, that area of a person’s jaw may have a reduction of the natural bone levels. This can be a problem for many reasons:
1. It can lead to tooth loss
2. It can make it difficult to place a dental implant to replace a missing tooth
3. A tooth with bone loss may not be stable enough to support a crown or a bridge.
Bone grafting allows the patient to regain bone structure in these areas, offering a stable environment. A small amount of the patient’s own bone, or donor bone is placed in the surgical site, and allowed to grow and replace the structure that was missing. This can stabilize and strengthen a formerly diseased tooth.
Similar to crown lengthening, pocket reduction surgery reshapes the gum and bone around a tooth. For teeth with severe bone loss associated with gum disease, this helps to keep the area healthier. By making the deep infected pockets around the gums shallower, it enables patients to clean them more adequately on a daily basis. This helps fight and prevent the progression of gum disease and extends the life of the tooth.
Paradise Dental offers several dental implant options to our patients. Implants are placed surgically and allow bone to reform around the titanium posts. Depending on what the patient needs are, we may place one implant for a single tooth replacement, 2 or more implants for multiple teeth (as with a fixed bridge) or several throughout the mouth to anchor a full denture. Miniplants are a version of dental implants that can be utilized in areas with less bone, avoiding more involved and invasive periodontal (gum) bone grafting procedures. They also are a more economic option for stabilization of a full denture.
Nasal sinuses can sometimes extend into the area of the mouth where a dental implant would need to be placed. When this happens, there is not enough bone to place a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. Through a procedure called a sinus elevation, our periodontist lifts the floor of the nasal sinus cavity and places a bone graft. This allows the implants to be placed into an area of sufficient bone to allow stabilization and a positive long term prognosis for the ensuing crown.