Framingham Dental Center has a Periodontist on Staff
Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums without associated bone loss. Gingivitis is often the first stage of periodontal disease and is caused by bacterial plaque that accumulates in the small gaps between the gums and the teeth. These accumulations may be tiny, even microscopic, but the bacteria in them produce foreign chemicals and toxins that cause inflammation of the gums around the teeth. This inflammation can result in deep pockets between the teeth and gums and left untreated can lead to more serious forms of periodontal disease called, periodontitus. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease or periodontal infection, is a chronic bacterial infection. The bacteria in the mouth activate a person’s immune system and as a result, inflammation occurs around the teeth and under the gums. Chronic inflammation results in progressive bone loss around the affected teeth. Periodontal disease is often painless and most patients are not aware they have a problem until examined by a dentist. If left untreated, the inflammation can destroy the bone around the teeth and is responsible for about 75% of all adult tooth loss.
At Framingham Dental Center, we have an on-site, highly trained periodontist, who specializes in implant placement surgery to esthetically enhance your smile and improve the health and function of your teeth and gums. Whether missing one tooth, or all your teeth, it is becoming a much more viable option to replace them with dental implants. Simply put, Dental Implants are artificial substitutes for natural tooth roots. Titanium posts are carefully inserted into the bone of the jaw where teeth are missing. Through a process called osseointegration, the gum tissue heals over the dental implants, while they biologically bond with the bone. Once osseointegration occurs, small posts, which protrude through the gums, are then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for the prosthetic tooth or teeth. Implants have a more natural feel than traditional bridges or dentures and many patients find they are a better feeling, better looking and a more stable solution to their tooth loss than the older, more traditional dental reconstructive approaches such as bridges or dentures. In addition, implants may be used in conjunction with other restorative procedures for maximum effectiveness. The benefits of implants go beyond just that of giving you a beautiful, natural looking smile. Implants help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding dental implants or, you would like to make an appointment to discuss what your options are for having them placed in your mouth.
Scaling and Root Planning
Scaling and root planning, also referred to as a deep cleaning, is one of the most common yet effective ways to treat gum disease. It is usually the first phase in treating periodontal disease. Scaling and root planning involves removing calculus (tartar) and plaque from the crown of the tooth to the root below the gum line. Typically, a local anesthetic is administered to reduce any discomfort during therapy. Instruments called curettes, scalers, and ultrasonic-scalers are used to clean the teeth and the pockets below the gum line. Once clean, the gum tissue reattaches itself to the tooth. In many cases, scaling and root planning coupled with good oral hygiene reduces periodontal disease. However, when inflammation and periodontal probing depths are not reduced to maintainable levels, surgery may be indicated.
Your jawbone is what supports your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, severe periodontal infection dissolves parts of your jawbone. This bone loss can eventually lead to the loss of your teeth. The first step in treatment is to remove the periodontal disease. This halts the bone loss. We then repair the damage that has occurred. In many cases, various bone grafting techniques can be used to re-grow some of the jawbone that was lost. For the procedure, we will administer a local anesthetic and gently open the area. The periodontal disease will be removed, we’ll repair the bone damage and fill in the damaged area with bone grafting material.