Our understanding of the full impact of Periodontal Disease in relationship to our systemic health has grown significantly. We now know that periodontal disease is intimately related to over 20 systemic disease processes.
Because of that we place a high priority to make sure that your periodontal health is in excellent condition. Our office in Lewiston, Grangeville & McCall, ID utilizes the latest technology including laser surgery to significantly reduce both healing times and the discomfort that periodontal treatment is often associated with. Periodontal health is the foundation that all other dental considerations are based upon.
We have outlined below what the normal periodontal treatment options typically include
For every patient a good baseline of information is critical to insure an accurate diagnosis of the disease process. We know that well over 50% of the American population suffer from some level of periodontal disease. This baseline includes diagnostic x-rays, a comprehensive oral exam that includes a complete periodontal probing (this is essentially a mapping of how much bone has been lost secondary to the disease). In advanced cases we may recommend specific blood work and or lab cultures to give us a more specific diagnosis.
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissues and is the precursor for periodontal disease. We will still have generally 2-3mm pockets (The distance between the top of the gum tissue down to the bone below). Generally, these cases will respond well to a thorough cleaning and good home care follow up.
Mild periodontal disease is characterized by the presence of some 4-5 mm pockets as well as generalized gum tissue inflammation. We will recommend a minimum of deep tissue cleanings that allow us to remove the calculus deposits that start to form on the tooth surface below the gum line.
This procedure generally requires the use of local anesthetics to insure your comfort. Once this process is completed, we will re-evaluate the healing response and additional surgical intervention is usually not indicated.
In Moderate Periodontal Disease we now find multiple 4-6 mm pockets. The initial process of deep cleanings with anesthetic is the same as with the mild periodontal disease protocol.
Once the tissues have had an opportunity to heal the periodontal mapping is updated to determine the degree of healing that has taken place. Our hope is that the deeper pockets will have returned to 4mm or less. Any pockets remaining deeper than 4mm will be evaluated possible localized laser surgery to eliminate excessive tissue and return the areas to a normal pocket depth.
In Advanced Periodontal Disease we will generally find extensive bone loss (often more than 50%). We again would proceed with the deep cleaning initially. If the level of home care, the ability of the immune system to heal, and tooth sensitivity is within acceptable limits then periodontal surgery would be indicated to reduce pocket depths to cleansable levels.
We do not recommend periodontal surgery for smokers,patients that are immunocompromised, patients that have very sensitive teeth or patients that are not truly committed to the daily home care that is essential for surgery to be successful. One of the unpredictable potential side effects following surgery is increased tooth sensitivity due to the amount of root surface that becomes exposed as a result.
If advanced periodontal surgical procedures are indicated, we can generally provide those
services in either of our locations. We utilize the latest in laser assisted surgical procedures to
greatly reduce the post-operative healing times and levels of discomfort.