Full range of Periodontal services offered at Buckley PerioCare
What is periodontal (gum) disease?
Periodontal disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are a group of diseases affecting the supporting structures of the teeth (gum and bone). They are serious inflammatory diseases that if left untreated can lead to tooth loss.
Risk factors associated with gum disease:
All risk factors are not created equal. Diabetes and smoking are the biggest risk factors for periodontal disease, increasing the occurrence, severity, and speed of onset and progression.
The No. 1 systemic condition that increases susceptibility to periodontal disease is diabetes. The No. 1 systemic condition adversely affected by periodontal disease is also diabetes.
Gum disease symptoms
Gum disease is often silent and symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease.
However, warning signs are:
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Bleeding>Longer teeth due to gums pulling away from the teeth
- Loose teeth
- Pus discharge or abscess
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the bite
Your First Visit to the Periodontist
At your first visit, Dr. Alice Tsai will perform a comprehensive periodontal examination of the gums and teeth.
The gums are thoroughly examined with a small measuring instrument called a probe and is used to determine the depth of spaces (pockets) between the teeth and gums. Dr. Tsai also checks to see if there is any gum line recession and assess the bite and check whether any tooth or teeth are loose.
In addition, your complete medical and dental histories are also reviewed. Any medications taken are recorded especially for those which may affect periodontal disease.
Non-surgical periodontal treatments
As bacteria are the main cause of periodontal disease, the physical removal of bacterial plaque and calculus (tartar) is the most effective way to arrest periodontal disease and prevent its recurrence.
Scaling and root planing (deep cleaning underneath the gums) is a thorough cleaning of the root surfaces with the use of hand instruments and ultrasonic scalers. This procedure aims to remove plaque and calculus from deep gum pockets and to smooth the tooth root.
To reduce anxiety and discomfort, Dr. Tsai generally performs the cleaning with the use of local anaesthetic. This treatment may be carried out over one or multiple visits depending on the severity of your periodontal disease.
Following the completion of scaling and root planing, a periodontal review is generally scheduled at 3 months. At that review, Dr. Tsai carries out a recharting (measurements of the gum pockets) and the reading is compared with the initial charting to assess the treatment outcome and healing response. A light clean will also be carried out at the visit as well as a discussion of further treatment needs if required.
Management of periodontal disease is a life-long commitment. Regular cleaning at 3 to 6 month intervals by a dental professional is necessary to control the disease and prevent its recurrence.
Surgical periodontal treatment
Conservative scaling and root planing with regular recalls and maintenance is sufficient to control periodontal disease in most cases. However non-surgical treatment does have its limitations. For patients with advanced gum disease and sites with persistent inflammation and bleeding, gum surgery is required.
Advantages of surgical procedures include:
- Improved access and assessment of root surfaces
- Reduced gum pockets to allow better oral hygiene
- Correction and repair of tissue and structures damaged by bacteria and gum disease
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots (made from medical grade titanium) inserted into the jaw bone to replace missing teeth. Dental implants can be used in many situations including replacement of one or several missing teeth or even the entire set of dentition (bridge or denture). They are an attractive alternative to the conventional bridge and denture as they look, feel and function like a natural tooth if they are done properly.
Dental Implants Diagram
Single Tooth Implant
Bridge Dental Implant
New Implant Crown
Bone grafting procedures are sometimes required prior to implant placement if there is insufficient bone volume for the implant to anchor.
At the initial consultation, Dr. Tsai will assess your suitability for implant placement, inform costs and item numbers related to health funds, organize scans and discuss the procedures involved. Implant placement is generally carried out under local anaesthetic and pain prescription is given following the procedure.
Dr. Tsai is committed to provide the best care possible by using the most reliable implant systems and is dedicated to the long term follow up and maintenance of the implants.
Aesthetic crown lengthening (Gum lift)
Gum lifting is used to remove and reshape excess bone and gum tissues by exposing more natural tooth. This procedure can be done for a single tooth, to even the smile line, or multiple teeth to improve a “gummy smile” or functional reasons to make a restorative or cosmetic dental procedure possible.
Gum grafting can be used to correct any exposing tooth root due to receding gums following gum disease or trauma. Gum graft surgery will repair the defect and help to prevent additional recession and bone loss.