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Periodontal Therapy

Periodontal Therapy is a general term that encompasses all the different options for treating Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease).  At Brookings Family Dentistry, you have several options to treat these conditions.  We will use a specialized instrument, called a probe, that acts as a ruler to measure the tissue attachment and bone height around all of your teeth.  Healthy gums should measure anywhere from 1-3mm.  Teeth affected by gingivitis can measure 1-5mm, and those affected by periodontal disease can range from 5-7+mm, and be diagnosed by the measurements recorded in the full mouth probe, as well as evaluation of the bone height on x-rays.

Once the hygienist has gathered her findings, she will discuss with Dr. Hilbrands to determine what treatment options are best for you.  Some of the treatment options involved in periodontal therapy are:

  • Full Mouth Debridement:  If you have a lot of calculus(tarter) built up on your teeth, we may wish to remove the majority of these deposits so that we can better provide a proper diagnosis of the condition of your teeth.  Most often, the hygienist will have you back within 2-4 weeks to either complete the debridement with a fine scale appointment, or begin further periodontal treatment.

  • Subgingival Irrigation:  If your gums are very inflamed, the hygienist can irrigate a medicated mouth rinse under the gums to help flush out bacteria.  This procedure can be done on its own, or in conjunction with other periodontal treatment.

  • Placement of Antimicrobial Medication:  If you have a localized "pocket"  of inflammation, or area of bone loss, we can treat it by placing an antimicrobial antibiotic in the pocket to help kill the bacteria.  This can be done on its own, or in conjunction with other treatment.

  • Scaling and Root Planing:  For patients who have higher probing depths, and visual bone loss on his or her x-rays, we can perform a "deep cleaning" where we are able to go in and remove the build up, bacteria, and toxins from the teeth and root surfaces to promote healing.  Many times, we will use anesthetic to complete this procedure to make it more comfortable for you.

  • Periodontal Maintenance:  After your hygienist has removed the periodontal bacteria and toxins, it is very important that you maintain good homecare habits, as well as coming in more frequently for maintenance.  The bacteria associated with gum disease repopulate very quickly, most can fully repopulate within 90 days!  This is why we usually recommend having your teeth cleaned every 3-4 months.  Unfortunately with the presence of periodontal disease, a periodontal maintenance visit is required, it cannot be considered a "regular cleaning".

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