When people think of dental services, they think of teeth; implants; surgeons with tools made for hard tissue work. However, there’s a whole other side to dentistry – because you need healthy gums and soft tissue to have healthy teeth. This is what’s called periodontal dentistry, and it’s an area of expertise for us here at South Shore Dental. Here are the specific services we provide.
If you have gingivitis or periodontitis, you’re likely to experience bleeding and swelled gums; sores and wounds that don’t close; weak, soft tissues that don’t hold your teeth and can lead to their permanent loss.
To prevent all of this from happening, it’s best to seek immediate help – and laser treatment is perhaps the fastest way to treat the above problems today. It won’t help you fight off the diseases in and of itself, but it will greatly reduce their symptoms and make sure you keep your teeth.
Root Planning & Scaling
Scaling and root planning sounds fancy – but it really isn’t. Scaling simply means that plaque, tartar and other foreign bodies are removed from under the gum tissue – usually via ultrasound or another indirect method. Root planning is very much the same thing, only this time, the tissue isn’t just under the gum – but way down below at the root level.
The procedures aren’t particularly complex, but because the area of effect is under your gum tissue, it’s important to see a qualified and experienced periodontist and not just a regular dentist.
Sometimes, a tooth’s surface gets so built up with calcified plaque (tartar) and other foreign matter that it becomes impossible to gauge the health of the enamel, the tissue under it, or even the gum.
At this point, a regular tooth cleaning isn’t enough. It’s likely that the tartar has become so attached to the enamel that it cannot be removed using regular tools. It is necessary to perform a periodontal debridement, cleaning the whole tooth – root to cusp – from all kinds of build up to ensure its health going forward.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
The first line of defense against periodontal disease is keeping an eye out for gum problems as they arise. Gums that bleed regularly, loose teeth, sores that won’t heal, gums that seem to be pulling away from your teeth – anything resembling these signs means you need to see a periodontist immediately.
The second line of defense is, of course, seeing a dentist regularly. The doctor performing your regular check-up may not be a qualified periodontist – but he or she certainly knows enough to refer you to one when necessary.
To learn more about our periodontal services, and/or get a free quote, call us today at (781) 277-3120. We will be happy to help you make the best choices for yourself and your dental health.