Periodontal (gum) tissues play a major role in your oral health. Dental problems associated with your gums, specifically periodontal disease, can drastically affect the function and aesthetics of your smile. Healthy gums not only protect the roots of your teeth; they also have cosmetic value. An attractive smile strikes a nice balance between beautiful bright teeth and healthy pink gums.
As experts in periodontics, our team at Drs. Miller & Beitz Implants and Periodontics of Richmond is dedicated to helping you maintain or improve your periodontal health. This usually includes the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease. After the successful treatment of gum disease, periodontal maintenance is a necessity.
Diagnosing Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease has what we refer to as a “silent” progression. Many of the initial symptoms are painless and often invisible to the naked eye. During your first appointment, Dr. Miller or Dr. Beitz will be able to determine whether or not periodontal disease is present.
We typically perform a comprehensive examination of your teeth and gums to look for potential symptoms. This may include the use of advanced diagnostic tools such as digital x-rays, CBCT scanning, or an intraoral scanner. We usually measure the depths of your periodontal pockets as well. These grooves between your teeth and gums become deeper as the disease progresses.
Of course, preventing periodontal disease is our number one priority. As a part of your periodontal maintenance, we may recommend frequent professional cleanings. During your cleaning, our dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler to eliminate plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria.
An ultrasonic scaler produces microscopic bubbles with high frequency vibrations and a gentle water rinse. These bubbles implode on the surfaces of your teeth, effectively destroying plaque and tartar deposits while killing off bacteria. At the end of your cleaning, we polish your teeth to restore the sheen of your smile.
Scaling and Root Planing
If you are diagnosed with early or moderate periodontitis, we may recommend scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing, also known as “deep” cleaning, is usually the first and most common treatment for periodontal disease. While similar to regular cleaning, there are a few minor differences.
Much like regular cleaning, the procedure is designed to eliminate plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth. However, deep cleaning is also designed to smooth out the surfaces of your roots. This ensures that plaque, tartar, and bacteria will not re-adhere below the gumline (with the proper periodontal maintenance).
After scaling and root planing your gums should return to a pink, healthy state. Your periodontal pockets should also return to their normal depths. Unfortunately, those with a previous diagnosis are at a much greater risk for a reoccurrence.
To prevent the return of periodontal disease, we may recommend regular cleanings at more frequent intervals. Dr. Miller or Dr. Beitz will be able to determine how many cleanings you need to maintain proper periodontal health. Improvements to your daily oral hygiene routine will also keep plaque and tartar at bay.
Schedule Your Appointment Today!
If you need periodontal maintenance, you have come to the right place! Call (804) 285-4867 to schedule your appointment today.