Periodontics

The Periodontic Clinic specializes in the study, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries to the gums, connective tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.
Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease. If you don’t treat it, you can lose your teeth. Your dentist will let you know if you have periodontitis or other periodontal disease and can refer you to our clinic for treatment.
Some of the procedures we perform include:
• root canal treatment and other root therapies
• tooth extraction
• placement of implants (artificial teeth)
• cosmetic procedures
• surgery to the jaw bones
Although you may find periodontal treatment a bit frightening, we do everything we can to explain what we need to do for your treatment, help you relax and provide relief from pain before, during and after treatment.
Our residents (dentists in training) perform all of the surgical treatments and dental implants under the supervision of expert faculty dentists.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does a periodontist do?
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gum disease and in the placement of dental implants. Becoming a periodontist requires three additional years of full-time education beyond dental school. Aside from procedures aimed at maintaining gum health, periodontists routinely perform cosmetic periodontal procedures such as tissue grafts and tissue reduction. General dentists refer their patients to a periodontist when a patient’s periodontal status requires a specialist’s attention.
2. Why don’t I feel any pain from my periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is often a chronic but silent disease. Patients usually feel no pain despite ongoing damage. Periodontal disease continuously destroys the underlying connection between teeth, gums and bone. Patients who feel pain from periodontal disease are often at a point where treatment options have become limited. Because of this, most therapy is aimed at arresting and preventing further disease.
3. Why have my gums receded?
Receding gums result from ongoing periodontal disease or from overzealous brushing habits. Many factors can influence either cause of recession. In some cases, recessed gums can be treated by a periodontist through tissue grafting and/or through behavioral therapy.
4. How do I know whether I have periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is a diagnosis given after careful review of each particular patient. Often patients will exhibit signs and symptoms such as bleeding gums, recessed gums, bone loss surrounding teeth, loose teeth, missing teeth and teeth crowding. Your periodontist will be able to evaluate your oral health and give you an accurate diagnosis.
5. What is a pocket measurement?
Periodontal pockets are the tissue surrounding the teeth and covering the underlying bone. With the progression of disease, tissues surrounding the tooth become inflamed and begin to separate from the tooth. As these tissues separate, they form deeper pockets, which harbor plaque and calculus. Deeper pockets are indicators of disease, so dentists record and analyze pocket measurements in order to gain an accurate understanding of a patient’s periodontal status.
6. Should I be concerned if my gums bleed?
Bleeding gums are one of the signs of inflammation and are one of the indicators of periodontal disease. Most patients notice bleeding gums when brushing or flossing their teeth.
7. Are periodontal procedures painful?
Periodontal procedures are typically performed under local anesthesia, given by injection. Any pain after a procedure can usually be managed with over-the-counter medications.
8. What is the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis?
Both gingivitis and periodontitis are diseases of the gums. The difference lies mainly in the effect the diseases have on the tissues.
Gingivitis is an infection of the gums when permanent damage has not been done and the tooth is still well anchored within the tissue.
Periodontitis is gingivitis that has progressed to the point where damage to tooth anchorage has occurred. This loss of tooth anchorage is referred to by the periodontist as “attachment loss.”

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