Periodontics is that specialty of dentistry which encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes; the replacement of lost teeth and supporting structures by regeneration, tissue engineering, implantation of natural and/or synthetic devices and materials; and the maintenance of the health, function and esthetics of these tissues and structures.
Scaling and Root Planing:
This procedure is done to remove deposits from the tooth surface and root pockets to improve gum health and its attachment to the tooth. Plaque is always formed on a tooth; it is removed by daily brushing and flossing. When not cleaned properly, the bacteria in the plaque causes gums to inflame. This may lead to bleeding and the formation of pockets which leads to a collection of food between teeth.
It is done using ultrasonic cleaning instruments. Careful removal of plaque and calculus is done from root surfaces and deep periodontal pockets to smoothen tooth root and strengthen the attachment of gums.
Gum Graft Surgery:
It is done to cover tooth surfaces exposed due to gum recession. The periodontist takes tissue from the palate and covers the exposed gum surface. It can be done to a single tooth or number of teeth. It reduces sensitivity and improves aesthetics.
Most commonly used lasers in dentistry are carbon dioxide and Nd:YAG lasers. Lasers are mainly used for removal of excess gingiva covering the tooth. Laser burns the gum tissue without causing it to bleed and with less pain. Due to its bloodless and painless removal of tissue, they are also used for making an incision on gums for various periodontal surgeries like flap surgeries, mucogingival and osseous surgeries. They are also used in the cosmetic procedure like gum bleaching.
Depigmentation of Gums: Gums can become pigmented due to increased melanin formation. It can occur due to prolonged use of medications, smoking or natural occurrence in dark skin individuals. Darkened gums hinder the brightness of our smile. People who wish to improve their smiles can go with gum depigmentation. Both surgical and laser techniques are used to remove pigmentation and black spots of the gums.
When the periodontal disease progresses unattended, then the level of damage also increases leading to bone loss and loosening of teeth. To stop bone loss, after removal of plaque and calculus, regenerative surgery is done. In this procedure, bone grafts or other medications are used to improve the ability of the body to generate bone around the teeth. By removing existing bacteria and regenerating bone, the progression of periodontal disease can be stopped. Maintaining oral hygiene along with regular clinical visits are an important part of this procedure.
When the surrounding tissues attached to teeth start moving away due to the accumulation of plaque, pockets are formed. They can also be defined as deepening of the gingival sulcus.
The symptoms of the pocket formation around your teeth include:
1) Food accumulation
2) Deep pain around teeth
3) Bad Odor
4) Itching in the gums
5) Red and swollen gums which bleed when probed
It is diagnosed by the dentist by probing around the teeth. A pocket can be formed due to various reasons, and its treatment depends on its cause.
When a pocket is formed due to excessive gum growth, it is called a false pocket. This type of pocket is removed by a surgical procedure called gingivectomy. It can be done by both laser and scalpel.
If the pocket is formed due to the movement of gingiva away from the teeth, then it is called a right pocket. A true pocket is eliminated by surgical procedures such as strip surgery or mucogingival surgery.
Periodontal Plastic Surgery:
It refers to the procedures performed to remove or correct anatomic, developmental and traumatic or disease-induced defects of gingiva, alveolar mucosa or bone. It is also done for cosmetic purposes.
The procedures involved include:
1) Gingival augmentation
2) Coverage of exposed tooth surface
3) Crown lengthening
4) Ridge augmentation
5) Reconstruction of papillae
6) Surgical exposure of unerupted teeth for orthodontics
7) Lip repositioning