Non-surgical periodontal treatment involves scaling and root planing (“deep cleaning”). This is a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus [tartar] from deep periodontal pockets and to smoothen the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins, followed by adjunctive therapy such as local delivery antimicrobials and host modulation, as needed on a case-by-case basis.
Most periodontists would agree that after scaling and root planing, many patients do not require any further active treatment, including surgical therapy. However, the majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain health. Non-surgical therapy does have its limitations, however, and when it does not achieve periodontal health, surgery may be indicated to restore periodontal anatomy damaged by periodontal diseases and to facilitate oral hygiene practices.
Anti-microbial therapy is the use of antibiotics or antiseptics in localized or generalized oral bacterial infections.
In the treatment of periodontal disease, anti-microbial therapy is used in the special situation of the periodontal abscesses and in the more general condition of severe periodontitis which is resistant to mechanical procedures such as dental scaling and root planning.
Between 4-6 weeks after the initial therapy is completed, Dr. Jang will re-examine your periodontal health in order to evaluate the healing that has occurred, determine if additional treatment is recommended and plan the latter. Treatment may consist of periodontal surgery, non-surgical treatment and preventive maintenance visits. This important phase confirms the short term improvement in your periodontal condition and determines the long term potential that can be obtained with further treatment.
Maintenance / Prevention
Maintenance therapy is an ongoing program designed to prevent disease in the gum tissues and bone supporting your teeth. The building blocks of this program are simple: conscientious care of your mouth at home and regular maintenance visits with your dentist and periodontist. The main cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. Toxins (or poisons) produced by the bacteria in plaque constantly attack your gums and teeth. If the plaque is not removed, it hardens into a rough porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. Daily oral hygiene including brushing and flossing will keep the formation of calculus to a minimum, but it won’t completely prevent it. No matter how careful you are in cleaning your teeth and gums, bacterial plaque can cause a recurrence of gum disease from two to four months after your last professional cleaning. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, a dental professional must check for potential hidden problems and remove the hardened plaque at a time interval appropriate for you.