Periodontal (Gum Disease) Treatment
Even if you have no cavities, your dental health may be compromised by poor periodontal health. Most adults in the United States experience some level of gum disease, and many of them may not be aware of it. At Designer Smiles, we are careful to assess and treat gum disease as soon as it arises.
Gingivitis is the first and most common stage of periodontal disease. Characterized by redness, tenderness, and occasional bleeding of the gums (usually during brushing), gingivitis is best treated with a thorough professional cleaning and increased attention to dental hygiene at home.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it may progress into the more severe stages of periodontal disease. At this phase, the gums become infected and allow bacteria to collect in pockets below the gumline, next to the teeth. Eventually, the bacteria can cause bone loss in the jaw and gum recession, both of which lead to tooth loss.
Cosmetic dentist Ann Haggard, DDS can treat these advanced stages of periodontal disease with treatments called scaling and root-planing; these methods allow bacteria to be safely removed from below the gumline.
If you’ve been experiencing painful, red, or swollen gums, do not delay treatment any longer. Your symptoms probably won’t go away on their own, but with just a small amount of preventive care, we can restore your periodontal health and let you keep your natural teeth for as long as possible. Contact Designer Smiles today to schedule a consultation.
Laser Periodontal Therapy
New research developments in laser dentistry have made it possible to treat gum disease and periodontitis with laser therapy, known as laser periodontal therapy (LPT). Over 50 percent of Americans have periodontal disease, a condition that starts with bacterial colonization around the teeth. Older surgical treatments such as root-planing and scraping, along with gingival curettage surgery, will generally require sutures and a general anesthetic. These traditional methods are also somewhat more painful than laser treatments, making laser periodontal therapy a great alternative for your dental needs.
During Your Laser Periodontal Procedure
Even though the procedure itself is known to be virtually painless, local anesthetic will numb any possible discomfort during a laser procedure. Dr. Ann Haggard or Dr. Marcus Haggard will direct the CO2 laser to the area between the affected tooth and adjacent gum tissue where the pockets of diseased tissue are located. Energy from our laser will clear away the bacteria and infection under the gum line without harming any of the surrounding gum tissue. The laser will then seal the tooth, forming a sterile natural bandage so that the gum tissue can heal. There will be no cutting or sutures, and you can return to your life the same day.
Benefits of Laser Periodontal Therapy
The LPT process is not only less painful than the surgical methods of the past, but also minimally invasive, suture-free, and proven to have longer-lasting results. Over 98 percent of LPT patients show no signs of periodontitis after five years, while the stability rate for the traditional surgical group is only 5 percent over the same period of time. There is also a less than 24-hour recovery period with laser surgery, whereas traditional surgery can take two to four weeks of healing time and may cause significant bleeding and swelling. The laser periodontal therapy procedure (which is ideal for patients with blood diseases and other health concerns such as HIV, hemophilia, or diabetes) can be completed in about two 2-hour sessions. Traditional surgery would require four 1-hour sessions with additional sessions to remove sutures and check on progress.