Dr. Ronald Gerhard

What is the Purpose of Periodontal Treatment?



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The purpose of Periodontal Treatment is to remove an ongoing infection in the pockets around the teeth and give these pockets a chance to heal.  The deeper the pockets, the more infection you have and the more serious the infection.

  • Upper Level Infection

The upper level of infection in the pockets around your teeth can be removed using specialized instruments. This procedure is called, "Scaling and Root Planing", "Phase One Treatment" or "Initial Therapy". It is done under local anesthesia and is quite different from the routine dental cleaning or "deep cleaning" that is traditionally done in the general dentist's office.

  • Lower Level Infection

If your infection has spread into the bone that supports your teeth, and is below the level that can be reached in "Upper Level Infection Removal", then a surgical procedure must be performed to retract the gums and remove the lower level infection.

  • Bone Grafting

Unfortunately, severe periodontal infection dissolves parts of your jawbone. This bone loss can eventually lead to the loss of your teeth. The first step of treatment is to remove the periodontal disease, which halts the bone loss. Then your practitioner repairs the damage that has occurred. In many cases, various bone grafting techniques can be used to re‑grow some of the lost jawbone.

  • Crown Lengthening

Before placing a crown, your general dentist must first prepare your tooth. Sometimes there is not enough tooth structure above the gum line to accept a new crown. "Crown lengthening" provides more tooth structure for your crown. This ensures a more stable crown with less resulting gum irritation.

  • Esthetic Lengthening and Gingival Contouring

The gum line, and the bone just beneath the gum line, can be lowered to change the appearance of your smile. This can create a more even gum line or make the teeth appear longer. "Gingival (gum) contouring" is the process of recontouring the gum only. "Crown lengthening" refers to recontouring of both gum and supporting bone.



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Revised: 10/19/2019