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Periodontal Treatment


Periodontal Disease

Bacteria begin to form and multiply in the mouth shortly after birth. Almost immediately, our life-long battle against plaque begins. Plaque is comprised mostly of bacteria in combination with saliva, food and fluid secreted by the gums. The heaviest concentration of plaque tends to be at the point where the teeth meet the gums and between the teeth. If not removed daily, the bacteria in plaque multiply into colonies. Over time, un-removed plaque hardens into tartar, a tough gritty deposit that gives new plaque a rough surface to which it can cling. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.

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Diagnosis & Treatment

Specific types of bacteria in plaque produce substances toxic to the gums and bones that hold the teeth in place. If plaque is allowed to grow, an inflammation of the gums called gingivitis occurs. As this early periodontal disease progresses, the gums begin to pull away and recede from the teeth. Pockets of bacteria form and deepen, gradually reaching and destroying the bone that anchors the teeth. In this advanced stage of periodontitis, teeth may be lost without prompt treatment by a dentist. Regular dental checkups give the dentist an opportunity to diagnose and treat various stages of periodontal disease (which develop unseen or would be missed by an untrained eye) before it reaches a critical point. During these checkups, the dentist or hygienist uses a periodontal probe to determine the extent of any breakdown in the attachment between the gums and the teeth. The depths of the “pockets” are measured and if any measure more than 3 millimeters deep, it is a clear indication that quick steps
need to be taken to remove plaque from the teeth above and below the gum line, and to heal the gums and surrounding tissues. Depending on the severity of the condition, various treatments are available to accomplish this

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Scaling & Root Planning

Scaling and Root Planning (SRP) is a non-surgical treatment usually recommended to most periodontal patients as the first mode of treatment. It is a careful cleaning of the root surfaces below the gum line to remove plaque, toxins and tartar from the root surfaces of the teeth. This procedure is more intensive than a routine general dental prophylaxis or cleaning, which traditionally occurs every six months. In some cases, locally administered antibiotics (antibiotics placed into periodontal pockets) or systemic antibiotics (antibiotics taken orally) are prescribed at the time of the scaling and root Planning procedure. Antibiotics will help fight infections caused by the bacteria.

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Pocket Reduction Surgery

Osseous surgery is the process by which the bone is exposed and the bacteria below the gums is removed. The bone is then reshaped to its original contour so that bacteria is less likely to become trapped deep below the gum line. After this surgery, more of the roots of your teeth will tend to show, which may make them more temperature sensitive and susceptible to decay if not properly cared for. An alternative to this surgery is LASER-ASSISTED PERIODONTAL THERAPY. During this procedure, your dentist or hygienist use a laser light wave length to go into the pockets immediately after SRP treatment to sterilize the adjacent gum tissues, thereby killing any microscopic bacteria embedded deep in the gums that SRP was not able to remove. This technique only removes tissue adjacent to the roots of your teeth, rather than from the height of the gum line itself, resulting in a more pleasing cosmetic result. This treatment is yet another example of how Arlington dental utilizes the latest technology to improve your dental care

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Regular periodontal maintenance is strongly recommended following periodontal therapy and should continue at varying intervals as determined by your dentist. This includes regular cleanings and removal of any bacterial plaque and calculus that builds over time. If new or recurring periodontal disease appears, additional treatment procedures must be considered. Effective brushing and flossing done on a daily basis in concert with regularly scheduled exams and cleanings should limit this possibility

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Poughkeepsie Dental Office - ph. (845) 454-7023
Fishkill Dental Office - ph. (845) 896-4977