Periodontal disease is often painless, and you may not be aware that you have a problem until your gums and the supporting bone are seriously damaged. The good news is that periodontal diseases often can be treated in the early stages with scaling and root planing. During a checkup, the dentist examines your gums for periodontal problems. An instrument called a periodontal probe is used to gently measure the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums. Once we have a good idea of your current state, then we can begin crafting your individualized periodontal disease treatment.
Here is a quick step-by-step process on how we treat your periodontal disease!
Your Periodontal Disease Treatment
- Step 1: Diagnosis
If periodontal disease is diagnosed, your dentist may provide treatment or you may be referred to our periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases. Treatment often depends on how far the condition has progressed and how well your body responds to therapy.
- Step 2: Scaling and Root Planning
Scaling and root planing is a method of treating periodontal disease when pockets are greater than 3 mm. Scaling is used to remove plaque and tartar beneath the gumline. A local anesthetic may be given to reduce any discomfort. Using an instrument called a small scaler and an ultrasonic cleaner, the dentist carefully removes plaque and tartar down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket. The tooth’s root surfaces then are smoothed or planed. This allows the gum tissue to heal. It also makes it more difficult for plaque to accumulate along the root surfaces.
- Step 3: Follow-Up
Your dentist may recommend, prescribe and administer medications to help control infection and pain or to facilitate healing. At a follow-up appointment, the dentist checks how the gums have healed and how the periodontal pockets have decreased. When pockets greater than 3 mm persist after treatment, additional measures may be needed. You’ll be given instructions on how to care for your healing teeth and gums. Maintaining good oral hygiene and continued, sometimes lifelong, follow-up by your dentist are essential to help prevent periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring.
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Dentists on Washington is committed to providing the highest quality comprehensive care in Philadelphia.