Preventative Dentistry | Periodontal Treatment
Preventative dentistry is the cornerstone of our dental practice. Simply put, preventative dentistry is the overall care of one’s teeth to keep them healthy—and it takes a professional dental team and you to make that happen.
What is Preventative Dentistry?
Our dentists can give you home-care advice to avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear and more. They can detect problems with an early intervention before your teeth have bigger, more complex problems. There are many forms of preventative dentistry that a patient can do at home, such as daily brushing, the right number of dental cleanings per year for your teeth and gums, and management of lifestyle choices, such as tobacco use and a healthy diet.
If you have been told you have periodontal (gum) disease, you’re not alone. Many people currently have some form of the disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that often results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.
The longer biofilm (plaque) and tartar (calculus) are on teeth, the more injurious these inflammation-producing factors become to the teeth and surrounding tissues. The bacteria’s byproducts cause inflammation of the gums that is called “gingivitis.” In gingivitis, the gums become red and swollen, and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist.
Treatment of Gum Disease
The main goal of gum-disease treatment is to control the infection around the teeth and jawbone to halt bone loss and retain natural teeth. The number and types of treatment will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease. Any type of periodontal treatment requires that you keep up good daily care at home. Our dentists may also suggest changing certain behaviours, such as quitting smoking, as ways to improve your treatment outcome. Some medical conditions and medications may aggravate or be the cause of gum problems. In those cases, we may suggest a referral to your medical doctor if diabetes or other conditions are suspected.
After a thorough initial evaluation of your teeth and gums, the dentist or dental hygienist removes the disease-causing deposits through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planning. Scaling means removal of the tartar (calculus) from above and below the gum line. Root planning gets rid of rough spots on the tooth root where the germs gather and helps remove the breeding ground for bacteria that contribute to the disease. In some cases, a laser may be used to remove plaque and tartar. This procedure can result in less bleeding, swelling and discomfort compared to traditional deep-cleaning methods. Your treatment will be designed specifically to treat your particular gum issues.
You can be assured of comfort during more complex periodontal treatment because we use a variety of anxiety and anesthetic approaches. In some complex cases, our doctors may refer you to a specialist called a periodontist, a dentist who specialized in treatment of gum disease.