Non-Surgical Procedures
In severe cases of periodontal disease, where pockets of 5 millimeters or greater are present, the patient may not respond to typical treatments and surgery may be necessary. 
  
Periodontal surgery is performed under local anesthetic. Following the procedure, pain medication may be prescribed to control any discomfort you may experience. Antibiotics or antibacterial rinses also may be prescribed. Most patients experience only minor discomfort and resume their normal routines within a day or two after surgery.  
  
The most common surgical treatments are: pocket reduction, bone graft, soft tissue grafts, crown lengthening, and dental implant surgery.
 

 

Scaling and Root Planing

Periodontal health can often be restored through non-surgical treatment, including scaling and root planing. Under local anesthetic, deposits of plaque and calculus are removed from the tooth surface using ultrasonic and manual instruments. Scaling is better than brushing and flossing because it removes debris that may be trapped under the gum. By thoroughly cleaning the roots, the gums will have a chance to re-attach, sealing up the pockets where bacteria can accumulate.

Local antibiotic administration may be used as an adjunctive treatment to scaling and root planning. A time-release local antibiotic is injected or placed into the pockets or infected area to control bacteria. For severe infection, your dentist may prescribe antibacterial drugs.

Adhering to a regular oral hygiene regimen is crucial for patients who want to sustain the results of therapy. Patients should visit the dentist every three to four months for routine maintenance therapy, spot scaling and root planing, and an overall exam.
 

 

Occlusal Therapy

  • Bite correction: An imbalanced bite may increase bone destruction. Your periodontist may grind a thin layer of the teeth to bring them into alignment for proper function. This allows the teeth to meet properly and distributes stress to stronger teeth.
     
  • Bite guard: A bite guard is a removable appliance that is sometimes prescribed for individuals who clench or grind their teeth. Clenching is a common habit associated with stress or TMJ problems. Typically worn at night, the bite guard fits over the teeth and helps protect tooth surfaces and relax the jaw muscles.
     
  • Splinting: Splinting is a technique that joins weak teeth together, combining them into a stronger single unit. Splinting makes teeth more stable and offers more comfortable chewing. A material called Ribbond is placed just underneath the surfaces of the teeth that are to be splinted and subsequently sealed with a composite filling material. This technique is not considered permanent; however, it is often cost-effective until an alternate solution can be found.