Non-surgical Treatment Methods
Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. The first step is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling to remove plaque and tartar deposits beneath the gumline. The tooth roots may also be planed to smooth the root surface allowing the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. In some cases, the occlusion (bite) may require adjustment.
We can use modern techniques to help rebuild lost bone support. The emphasis in Dr. Keller and Dr. Tibb’s practice is conservative periodontal therapy. Many times, the early stages of periodontal disease are best treated with non-surgical periodontal therapy. This usually consists of placing a fine ultrasonic tip in between the tooth and gum tissue to remove any plaque and calculus below the gum line. This procedure is called root planing. Four to six weeks later, periodontal pockets are eliminated due to gum shrinkage. Then the patient can personally maintain these areas with routine brushing and flossing.
Even in most severe cases of periodontal disease, non-surgical periodontal therapy most often precedes surgical therapy. This is done so that the overall tissue quality is improved prior to surgery and also limits the areas of required surgery. Routine non-surgical procedures are listed and described below.
Subgingival Scaling – is the instrumentation below the gumline of the crown and root surfaces of the teeth to remove plaque, calculus and stains from these surfaces.
Curettage is the removal of diseased tissue from the inner lining of the periodontal pocket.
Root Planing – The tooth roots may also be planed to smooth the root surface allowing the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth.
When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult for your doctor to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.
Site Specific Antimicrobial Treatment
Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. In some cases, Dr. Keller, Dr. Tibbs or the periodontal hygienist may place an antibiotic powder in the periodontal pockets after scaling and planing. This may be done to control infection and to encourage normal healing.
Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. The first step is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling to remove plaque and tartar deposits below the gumline.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder – TMJ
Your Temporomandibular (TMJ) joints are where your upper (maxillary) and lower (mandibular) jaws meet. This joint is a “ball and socket” type joint that has moving parts (disk and ligaments) which allow your lower jaw to move. This joint is also surrounded by groups of muscles that contract and relax, thus enabling you to open and close your mouth to bite, chew and talk. Click here for more information on TMJ.
The doctor may recommend a patient for appliance therapy. An appliance sometimes called a splint or nite guard is used to establish harmony between the muscles and joints. The appliance is made of clear plastic that fits over the biting surfaces of the bottom or top teeth. There are different types of appliances used for different purposes. Dr. Keller or Dr. Tibbs will prescribe the right appliance once an evaluation has taken place. Whichever appliance is prescribed, its main function is to relieve the stress on the joint and prevent wear of the teeth. It is important that the patient be conscientious and diligent during appliance therapy.
Occlusal Adjustment Therapy
Is designed to create harmonious contact between the upper teeth and the lower teeth. The doctor will reshape and adjust the points of contact between the two arches (upper and lower) it is important to have equal distribution of forces throughout the arches as not to put unnecessary strain in any one area.