Category Archives: Dental

Dental

Treatments For Gum Disease

Depending on the current stage of your gum disease, your overall health, and your response to earlier treatments, various treatment options may be applicable. These may range from non-surgical treatments intended to stop the growth of bacteria, to restoring supportive tissues via surgery.

Non-Surgical Gum Disease Treatments

Professional Dental Cleaning – Plaque and tartar are removed from below and above the gum line during a routine dental visit. The procedure may be recommended to be done at least twice a year if you start to exhibit signs of gum disease. While the procedure is not one of the recommended treatments for active gum disease, it is a vital preventive measure.

Scaling and Root Planing – Performed under local anesthetics, the procedure is done by scraping away (scaling) tartar and plaque around the gum line, and smoothening (planing) the rough spots on the root of the tooth. Scaling and root planing may be recommended if your periodontist deems it necessary to immediately remove tartar and plaque around your gums before further damage can be done.

Surgical Gum Disease Treatments

Pocket Reduction/Flap Surgery – In this procedure, tartar is removed by lifting the gums back. Some cases may require smoothening of irregular surfaces on the affected bone to limit the areas where bacteria can thrive. The gum tissues are then fitted around the tooth snugly. The result is a reduced space between the tooth and gum, and effectively lessens the risk of periodontal disease.

Bone Graft – Using donated bone, synthetic bone, or the patient’s own bone, the bone ravaged by gum disease is replaced through a bone graft procedure. The graft acts as a platform for the bone regrowth that will eventually bring back the stability of the teeth.

Soft Tissue Graft – During the procedure, thin gums or gaps created by receded gums, are reinforced. The grafted tissue, usually taken from the palate, is stitched into place, effectively adding more tissue to the damaged area.

Guided Tissue Regeneration – The procedure is performed when the supporting bone of the tooth is severely damaged. Guided tissue regeneration stimulates gum tissue and bone growth, and is typically done in conjunction with flap surgery.

Bone Surgery – The procedure involves smoothening of the shallow bone craters caused by moderate to advanced stages of bone loss. After the flap surgery, reshaping is performed on the bone supporting the tooth to reduce the craters. Thus, it would be more difficult for bacteria to accumulate and develop.

In some cases of gum disease, non-surgical procedures such as scaling and root planing would be enough to curb the progress of the disease. However, in cases where the tissues that surround the teeth are unhealthy, and can no longer be repaired by non-surgical procedures, surgical gum treatments may be required.

Reasons To Have A Dental Cleaning

You brush and floss your teeth. You control your intake of sugar-rich pastries, and starchy breads. You make sure that you have sufficient fluoride to strengthen your teeth. Why do you still have to go to the dentist for checkups and dental cleaning? Here are some of the top reasons:

1. Prevents cancer

When you visit your dentist for your regular check up and cleaning, he also does some tests to screen you for oral cancer. These tests make early diagnosis possible, thereby increasing your chances of survival.

2. Prevents gum disease

Gum disease infects the bone and gum tissues that prop up your teeth, and keep them in place. The disease can lead to tooth loss. However, if your dentist is able to diagnose gum disease during its onset (gingivitis), he can treat it immediately, and reverse its effects.

If you do not visit your dentist regularly, you may not be able to tell that you have gum disease. The disease can progress, and become more severe (periodontitis), a stage where the disease becomes more difficult to treat.

3. Prevents dental caries

Plaque, the whitish film of bacteria that accumulate on your teeth, is the number one cause of dental caries. It manufactures acids that eat at the tooth enamel, producing cavities. Your dentist can clean your teeth intensively through scaling or root planing to remove even the most stubborn form of plaque.

4. Make your smile bright

Do you drink tea or coffee regularly? Do you smoke? Substances like tea, coffee, tobacco, and nicotine promote tooth discoloration. Your dentist can remove deep and obstinate stains so that you have whiter teeth and a brighter smile.

5. Make your breath clean and fresh

You prevent halitosis or bad breath by taking good care of your teeth. When you get your teeth professionally cleaned by your dentist, you get a deeper clean and a fresher, sweeter-smelling breath.

6. Maintain general sense of well-being

Research shows that having healthy and problem-free teeth adds to your general state of wellness. Moreover, dental cleaning tends to bring down your risk for health conditions, like stroke and heart disease. Your dentist can also use a routine dental exam to detect the initial stages of many diseases that, when not detected early enough, may become life-threatening.

7. Save money

Many dental health insurance plans require low or even no coinsurance or copayments for oral checkups and dental cleaning. When you go for regular dental visits and cleaning twice a year, you safeguard your teeth and gums from decay. You circumvent the need for complicated and expensive dental treatments. In the long run, you stand to save money.

8. Identify dental problems for early treatment

If you get dental cleaning every six months or so, your dentist can identify signs of problems early on. He can treat these problems right away before they become worse. If you fail to make regular visits to your dentist, these problems may escalate without your knowledge. When you start to feel severe pain and have no choice but to consult with your dentist, he may not be able to repair the damage through the use of simple interventions. He may not have any option but to do serious and expensive procedures like do a root canal, cut your gums open, or remove your teeth.