Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that destroys the gums and other supporting structures (bone) around the teeth. Cases range from mild gingivitis to more severe periodontitis. It is our goal to prevent periodontal disease through thorough prophylaxis (cleaning) and patient education. When a patient is diagnosed with periodontal disease it is our goal to stop the disease from progressing.
When a patient is diagnosed with periodontal disease (perio or gum disease), the dentist may recommend root planing and scaling (the cleaning of infected root surfaces). This is sometimes referred to as a ‘deep cleaning’. Either the dentist or the dental hygienist may provide this treatment. Antibiotic gels are used in conjunction with root planing to treat periodontal disease and may be placed at the same appointment as the root planing and scaling. Root planing is usually performed with local anesthesia.
Only dental hygienists licensed to perform injections may administer local anesthesia. Not all dental hygienists have such a license.
Our dental hygienists are licensed to administer injections of local anesthetic.
Periodontal cleaning (perio maintenance) is the treatment given to people with periodontal disease at a frequency of at least every three months to prevent further bone loss. This treatment is usually performed by the dental hygienist. Timing is critical for patients with periodontal disease. This treatment is similar to a prophy, but extra attention is paid to the area below the gums. The hygienist watches for increased pocket depth and bone loss. Our goal is to reduce pocket depths and arrest bone loss. It is difficult to achieve those goals if the patient doesn’t come in at least every 90 days.
When a patient does not respond to treatment, Dr. Knox may refer the patient to a periodontist, a dentist that specializes in the treatment of periodontal disease.