Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment
Scaling and Root Planing
With mild pocket depth, (3-5mm) early treatment will usually include scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) which is a thorough cleaning to remove plaque and calculus deposits above and below the gumline. This allows the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. In some cases, the occlusion (bite) may require adjustment (occlusal adjustment link). Brushing and flossing along with consistent professional cleanings will help minimize a re-occurrence of infection.
Is performed to limit the progression of further periodontal disease. This procedure is for patients who have previously been treated for periodontal disease. Typically, maintenance starts after completion of active periodontal therapy, and continues at varying intervals of every 3-4 months, determined by the treating dentist, for the life of the dentition. It includes removal of the supra and subgingival microbial flora and calculus, site specific scaling and root planing where indicated, and/or polishing the teeth. In cases of inadequate maintenance or poor compliance, disease may recur, resulting in the need for additional diagnosis and treatment.
Locally Delivered Chemotherapeutics
Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria. In some cases, we may place ARESTIN® in the periodontal pockets after scaling and root planing to further control infection and encourage normal healing.
ARESTIN® is an antimicrobial approved by the FDA. Placement of ARESTIN® is recommended for the treatment of periodontal disease with pockets greater than 5mm in an effort to achieve greater pocket reduction and possibly avoid the need for definitive surgical procedures. Arestin uses unique microsphere technology to deliver the antibiotic directly to the infected area(s).
Oral Cancer Screening
The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer. The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:
- Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
Now precancerous cells can be detected – years before oral cancer can start. We use a specially designed brush to quickly sample the cells from the spot. This sample is then sent for computer-assisted laboratory analysis. Although most small oral spots do not contain abnormal cells, they indicate to us exactly where unhealthy cells may be located. If a spot is found by a brush test to contain unhealthy cells (known as dysplasia), it typically takes several years before they can cause any harm. During this time, the spot can be removed, long before oral cancer can start.