Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the health and aesthetics of the gums and the supporting structures of the teeth. If you have healthy gums, it means you have a strong foundation for your teeth, and are less likely to develop tooth loss and other oral health problems.
There are some dentists who have chosen to specialise in this field of dentistry and they are called periodontists. Patients may be referred to see a periodontist in instances where the gum disease may be very advanced, severe or not improving following multiple sessions with a hygienist. Periodontists can also treat patients who have aesthetic concerns about their gums such as excessive gum on show when smiling or a loss of gum around teeth.
Root surface debridement (RSD) is a dental procedure that involves removing plaque and calculus (tartar) from the roots of the teeth. It is often performed in situations where the gum disease is severe, as a way to help the gums heal and reattach to the teeth. During RSD, the periodontist or hygienist uses specialized instruments, such as ultrasonic instruments and curettes, to carefully remove plaque and calculus from the roots of the teeth.
RSD is typically performed in a series of visits, with each visit focusing on a different area of the mouth. The frequency of the visits will depend on the severity of the gum disease and the response to treatment. After RSD, the gums may be sore and swollen for a few days.
Aesthetic crown lengthening is a dental procedure that is performed to expose more of the tooth and reduce the amount of gum on show when smiling and talking. This is usually done for cosmetic purposes; by making the teeth look longer and more symmetrical it can improve the general appearance of the smile.
During the procedure, the gum tissue and bone around the tooth are reshaped to expose more of the tooth. This can be done on one tooth or multiple teeth, depending on the treatment goals.
Gum grafting is a procedure which aims to restore gum around teeth that have developed recession. Gum disease and over brushing are some of the reasons why teeth may lose gum around them. This can create a smile that can look too toothy, putting the yellow roots of the teeth on show when smiling. As well as cosmetic issues, it can also lead to sensitivity.
During the procedure, gum tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth or another source and grafted onto the gums in an area where the gum tissue has receded or is thin.
The goal of gum grafting is to restore the function and appearance of the gums, and to protect the roots of the teeth from further damage.
Peri-implantitis is a type of gum disease that affects the tissue and bone surrounding a dental implant. Although, dental implants are considered the gold standard for replacing missing teeth, they too also have a life span.
Symptoms of peri-implantitis may include pain, swelling, and bleeding of the gums, and in advanced cases, the implant may become loose, unstable or completely fall out if left untreated.
Treatment for peri-implantitis may include deep cleaning of the area around the implant, use of antimicrobial mouth rinses, and in some cases, surgery to remove infected tissue or to repair the damaged bone.