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The use of lasers has been able to make treating gum disease a more patient-friendly procedure.

Dentists and dental professionals want their patients to be as comfortable as possible during their cleaning or procedure. A lot has been done to improve dental procedures, and one of these improvements is the use of lasers. Specifically, lasers are being used to treat gum disease.

laser periodontal treatment procedure

Periodontal disease is typically treated with a scaling and root planing procedure. The first step, the scaling, involves the dentist removing plaque from around the gum line and the tooth. The next step, the planing, is where the dentist will clean underneath the gum line. However, the use of lasers have been able to make this procedure more comfortable.

Treating periodontal disease with the use of lasers offer patients:

  • Limited swelling, pain, and bleeding
  • Shorter recovery time
  • A general anesthetic is not necessary

If your dentist or periodontist does offer laser treatment for gum disease, here is what you can expect:

Step 1: Removing Diseased Tissue
To begin, the dental laser will be placed inside the gums to remove any diseased tissue. This tool kills off the germs that can cause gum infections.

Step 2: Root Cleaning
Next, your dentist or periodontist will use a special tool to clean the root of the tooth using an antibacterial rinse. This is to remove the tartar that is found on the tooth.

Step 3: Cleaning the Pocket
The dental laser will be used again to clean the bottom of the tooth’s pocket to make sure the bacteria has been removed.

As we stated above, the healing time is shorter than traditional periodontal treatment. If you are interested in learning more about laser treatment of gum disease, click here.

A gum graft is a common procedure performed by a periodontist.

gum diseaseGum grafts are suggested when it is necessary to protect teeth from gum recession. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue around your teeth begins to recede, this leads to more of your tooth and its root being exposed.

Gum recession is caused by a number of things including:

  • Periodontal disease
  • Harsh brushing of your teeth
  • Poor oral hygiene

If left untreated, gum recession can cause damage to your teeth and tooth loss. This is where a periodontist can apply a gum graft procedure.

There are three types of gum grafts:

  • Connective-tissue graft
  • Free gingival graft
  • Pedicle graft

We are going to focus on the most common one which is the connective tissue graft.

Step 1: Anesthesia

The periodontist will begin by giving you a local anesthesia to numb any pain.

Step 2: New Gum Tissue

To replace the gum tissue around your teeth, your periodontist will cut a flap from the roof of your mouth and use the tissue underneath, called subepithelial connective tissue, to apply to your gums.

Step 3: Connecting New Tissue to Gums

Once they have the new gum tissue, the periodontist stitches the new tissue to the gums surrounding the tooth that is exposed.

Step 4: Reconnecting Tissue to Mouth

After the periodontist has fixed the gum tissue around the exposed tooth, they will stitch the flap of skin to the top of your mouth, covering the subepithelial connective tissue.

Gum grafts are the best way to protect your teeth from the effects of gum recession. Gum recession may be hard to notice since the tissue gradually recedes. It is important to maintain regular trips to the dentist so they can spot any early signs of gum recession.

A technique that has been introduced to the periodontal world is called the Chao Pinhole Technique, created by Dr. John Chao.

Gum disease affects close to 50% of US adults over the age of 30, and that increases to 70% of adults over the age of 65! Gum disease not only harms the health of your mouth, it can also increase your chances of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Chao Pinhole Technique

An early sign of gum disease is gum recession. Gum recession is the loss of gum tissue which makes your teeth appear longer because the gums are pulling away from your teeth. When you catch gum recession in the early stages it can be treated by a periodontist. 

Step 1

The periodontist will begin by giving you a local anesthesia to numb any pain.

Step 2

Next, your periodontist will make a small hole in your gum tissue using a needle.

Step 3

The periodontist then uses a special dental tool to gently slide your gum tissue down to cover the exposed root.

The Chao Pinhole Technique is a terrific alternative to traditional gum recession treatment, which includes taking healthy tissue from other areas of your mouth. Not every periodontist uses this technique, but there are many specialists that are using it more and more.

Crown lengthening is a common procedure that can be performed for a number of reasons.

Crown LengtheningCrown lengthening can be used for individuals with excessive gums, causing your teeth to look shorter. This procedure may also be completed when there is not enough of a tooth exposed to make a cosmetic or restorative procedure.

A crown lengthening procedure is a common procedure that is performed by a periodontist, a dental specialist who focuses on gums. If you are in need of a crown lengthening procedure, here is what you can expect.

Step 1: Anesthesia
The periodontist will use local anesthesia before the procedure begins.

Step 2: Exposing the tooth
Once the area being worked on is numb, your periodontist will make a small cut your gums and pull the excess gums back.

Step 3: Cleaning the Area
When there is enough of the tooth exposed, your periodontist will wash the area with salt water and the gums will be stitched together.

The amount of time needed for this procedure depends on how many teeth are being worked on.

If you are receiving dental crowns, you will visit the periodontist again after several days to make sure your gums are healing properly. When your gums are fully healed you will then make an appointment with your primary dentist who will be the one to place the dental crown on your tooth.

If you would like to learn more about dental crowns, be sure to view our article on the dental crown procedure by click here.

Periodontal therapy is performed to remove tartar from below the patient’s gum line.

photo of a dentist doing a deep cleaningPeriodontal therapy is specifically for people with gum disease or who have signs of gum disease. This is found through a Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation.

What your dentist will do for this evaluation is measure the depth of the space between your teeth and gums. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says a normal healthy depth is about 3 millimeters or less. If your dentist measures and you have a deeper space, they may suggest periodontal therapy to prevent gum disease.

Periodontal therapy is also referred to as scaling and root planing.

Step 1: Scaling

Scaling is what is done during your normal cleaning. This is where the dental hygienist removes plaque and tartar from your teeth and around the gum line. The difference with a deep cleaning comes from the root planing.

Step 2: Root Planing

Root planing is the process of cleaning below the gum line where plaque and tartar have been collecting. The dentist will use either traditional dental tools like a scaler, or they may use a laser to remove any plaque and tartar not normally picked up from just scaling. Root planing also involves smoothing the roots’ rough spots where bacteria can gather. The entirety of the procedure may take several appointments to complete depending on the level of severity.

Once the initial cleaning is completed, your dentist will instruct you on proper oral health techniques. You will also schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist to have them check to make sure your gums are becoming healthier.

The fold of tissue that connects your tongue to the roof of your mouth and your lips to the gums is called a frenum.

Frenums that are too tight, too high or just restrict movement may need to be removed. Luckily, having a frenectomy is actually quite common and only takes about 15 minutes to complete.

what is a frenectomyStep 1: Anesthesia
For adults, a local anesthesia is usually enough to keep the patient comfortable. Younger patients and children may require a general anesthetic.

Step 2: Removal of Frenum
To remove the frenum, your dentist will use either a scalpel or a laser.

Step 3: Stitches
Once the dentist has removed the frenum, you will receive stitches.

Step 4: After the Procedure
Your dentist will go over instructions on how to keep the area clean. This will likely include rinsing the area with salt water, brushing gently around the area and limiting certain kinds of foods while the area heals.

Be sure to follow the dentist’s instructions following your frenectomy. As we stated above, this procedure is common and is completed quickly. If your dentist recommends a frenectomy we hope this article has helped you understand the procedure a little more.

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