GUM DISEASE TREATMENTS
The American Academy of Periodontology recommends that gum disease treatments be less invasive. This implies that the disease be treated in a non-surgical manner as a first step. Non-surgical treatment of gum infection has limitations and in such cases, it may be necessary to perform surgical treatment of the disease.
Surgical gum treatment is a much more invasive technique than non-surgical treatment, with higher cost and pain/discomfort post treatment. In very advanced cases it may be the best solution to achieve a successful outcome to the treatment, but all cases should start with a non-surgical approach as it may often be all that is needed for disease resolution. After a few months, a re-evaluation will be done to determine if further treatment (Surgical treatment) is needed for complete resolution of the disease.
TYPES OF GUM DISEASE TREATMENT
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a thorough cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus [tartar] from below and above the gum.
- Scaling and root planing is often accompanied by the use of antibiotic application below the gum to help clear the infection. This treatment is done in our practice using local anaesthesia and most often it is done in one appointment.
- Most periodontists agree that scaling and root planing may be enough to successfully treat gum disease in the majority of patients.
Almost all patients will, however, require lifelong supportive maintenance visits to monitor the disease for recurrence and further treatment. The maintenance phase is, in fact, the most important in preventing tooth loss in the long-term and without this phase, the disease will most probably return.
There are two main reasons for performing surgical treatment for gum disease, namely in cases where the non-surgical treatment proved to be inadequate for disease resolution and secondly in cases where the bone around teeth needs to be built up to save the teeth or restore the cosmetic damage done by the disease.
- Surgical treatment is done under local anaesthesia in our practice.
- We also offer the services of an anaesthetist who can perform conscious sedation in our rooms for anxious patients.
- During conscious sedation (also called procedural sedation) you will be given intravenous drugs to relieve anxiety and discomfort by a qualified specialist in the field.
- Although you are awake, you will feel no pain and will not experience stress due to the surgical procedure.
- You will also be able to walk yourself out of the operating room, but will need someone to drive you home.
- Procedural Sedation may of course be used for any non-surgical procedure as well.
In extreme cases we may have to perform the surgical treatment in a hospital setting under general anaesthesia. Should this be necessary, you will be fully briefed on the reasons and authorization will be applied for to your medical insurance.
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