There are both surgical and nonsurgical treatments your dentist may choose to perform to treat periodontitis, depending upon the condition of the teeth, gums, bone supporting the teeth. A complete periodontal exam of the mouth will be done before any treatment is performed or recommended.
Some common treatments for periodontal disease include:
Scaling and Root Planing – In order to preserve the health of the gum tissue, the calculus (tartar) and germs which initially caused the infection (pocketing around the tooth), must be removed. The gum pockets will be cleaned and treated with antibiotics as necessary to help alleviate the infection. A prescription strength antimicrobial mouthwash may be incorporated into daily cleaning routines. An electric toothbrush will be recommended, and flossing technique will be reviewed to make sure you are on track to keep your gums healthy.
Tissue Regeneration – When the bone and gum tissues around the teeth have been damaged, grafting procedures may be recommended to encourage regrowth of healthy tissues. A membrane and healing medications may be inserted into the affected areas to assist the body with its healing process.
Pocket Elimination Surgery – Pocket elimination surgery (often referred to as flap surgery) is a surgical treatment which can be performed to reduce the size of the pocket between the teeth and gums. Surgery on the bone surrounding the teeth is another option to help the body heal. This surgery serves to eliminate indentations in the bone which give bacteria a place to hide, colonize, and cause periodontal disease.
Dental implants – Some teeth with advanced periodontal disease cannot be saved with nonsurgical or surgical intervention. When teeth have been lost due to periodontal disease, the aesthetics and functionality of the mouth can be restored by implanting prosthetic teeth into the spaces where the teeth used to be. Tissue regeneration procedures may be required prior to the placement of a dental implant in order to strengthen or replace missing bone.
Ask your dentist if you have questions or concerns about periodontal disease, periodontal treatment, or dental implants.