What is Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy?

People don’t like bad news. Unfortunately, some of us don’t like bad news so much that we put off important appointments. So if you have been avoiding going to the dentist for a similar worry, you’re not alone. Just like your car getting progressively worse symptoms if you don’t get that oil change, so too will your teeth and gums if not properly maintained. For example, improper care of your teeth and gums often puts one at-risk for periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease & Early Detection

Periodontal disease, also called periodontist, is the name of a gum infection that is caused by bacteria. Early symptoms of periodontal disease include red, swollen, and tender gums that may bleed easily. Left untreated, this gum infection can result in tooth decay, tooth loss, bone issues, and more. The good news is first, periodontal disease is completely preventable. When it isn’t prevented outright, early treatment can quickly stop the worst of the symptoms.

Your family dentist is the best person to assess the status of your teeth and gums and they can do so during a routine dental check-up. They also are the ones to enact those proactive cleaning steps to ensure that disease-causing bacteria is fully cleaned out. This type of preventative care and maintenance for your teeth and gums is a big part of what our team at Herbert Family Dentistry does. But we also offer so much more — including first-rate, non-surgical periodontal therapy for those showing more invasive signs of periodontal therapy.

What is Periodontal Therapy?

In some cases, the bacteria that causes periodontitis has been left so long or it has otherwise become so aggressive that your dentist or periodontist will need to recommend surgery. Surgical interventions for periodontitis most often equate to some type of gum grafting or tooth reconstruction or replacement.

However, in many cases, periodontitis can be resolved with non-surgical periodontal therapy. Non-surgical periodontal therapy refers to the use of specialized tools and, in some cases, medication, to cleanly and effectively remove bacteria and help the gums and bone heal.

The Materials & Process

There are a couple of different types of non-surgical periodontal therapies. The most popular form is dental scaling and root planing due to its clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness for patients and insurers.. Scaling and root planing is a more intensive and complete cleaning of one’s teeth and gums. You might think of it as a specialty deep cleaning.

Scaling and root planing begin with a local oral anesthetic applied to your gums and any exposed teeth roots. This local anesthetic helps to numb the area and control your sensitivity. Once this anesthetic is applied, an antibacterial rinse starts getting used to help remove plaque, calculus, and bacteria. Next, scalers and ultrasonic tools help the periodontist clean deeper than normal dental tools. These tools enable the periodontist to get beneath the gum line, effectively removing bacteria that hide in pockets. Finally, the periodontist will use a root planing tool to smooth down the roots of your teeth. This is a unique and specialized procedure that works to make it harder for bacteria to take hold in the future.

Once the periodontist is done with their part, patients will have an important follow-up step to take.

Most non surgical periodontal therapy visits will conclude with the periodontist writing out prescriptions for antibiotic and antiviral medication. It is very important to follow the instructions and complete all medication courses in full. They will help to kill bacteria and viruses and help to reduce some of the responses your body has to a periodontal infection.

Have Questions? Contact Our Team at Herbert Family Dentistry Today

We know that dental procedures, including non-invasive and non-surgical therapies like scaling and root planing, can feel scary. Let our team reassure you! Give us a shout today at Herbert Family Dentistry to learn more and to schedule an appointment.