Dental Regenerative Procedures

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, starts with minor symptoms, like red, swollen, or puffy gums that tend to bleed very easily. These can be quite easy to miss, but if left untreated, periodontal disease can actually be extremely damaging to the gums, teeth, and even the surrounding bone. At our practice, Dr. Fatima Robertson and our team strive to catch and treat gum disease as quickly as possible before it can do any harm, but even if it has been allowed to damage a person’s smile, we have a number of regenerative procedures that can help restore anything that has been lost.

Once it has had the chance to spread past the gums, periodontal disease can begin to attack the bone supporting the teeth, causing it to weaken over time. This is why periodontal disease often leads to tooth loss, and in fact, it’s one of the biggest causes of tooth loss around the world. Once a tooth has fallen out, the problem compounds because the jawbone in the area will begin to naturally shrink, eventually making it very difficult or impossible to replace it with a restoration like dental implants.

In these situations, Dr. Robertson and our team can help build up the jaw using a procedure known as a bone graft. Using tissue harvested from the patient’s body, donated tissue, or a lab-made bone grafting material, it can be placed on the weakened part of the jaw to help stimulate new bone growth. Over time, this will make the jaw strong enough to support a dental implant and complete a person’s smile.

Gum Tissue Regeneration

One of the most prominent symptoms of periodontal disease is gum recession, where the tissue actually pulls back away from the teeth, making them appear unnaturally long and exposing the teeth’s sensitive roots. Once gum tissue is lost, it does not grow back, so in order to restore a full, healthy gum line, Dr. Robertson will need to perform what is called soft tissue grafting or gum grafting. This gum recession treatment can help improve the appearance and health of your smile.

For this, she’ll take a small bit of tissue from the roof of a patient’s mouth and place it where the gums have receded. After a few weeks of healing, the harvested tissue should blend in completely with the rest of the gums. It’s a very straightforward and painless procedure thanks to Dr. Robertson’s extensive experience and skill.

Dental Pocket Reduction Surgery

The small spaces located between your teeth and gums are called periodontal pockets, and they tend to be the ideal place for periodontal bacteria to thrive. Over time, these pockets can grow as an oral infection becomes stronger. After periodontal disease has been successfully treated, these enlarged pockets can actually increase a person’s chances of redeveloping the disease, and they can also noticeably affect the appearance of their smile. Pocket reduction surgery, as the name implies, is intended to make these areas much smaller, which provides both cosmetic and health benefits.

The areas between the teeth and gums tend to be the prime breeding ground for periodontal disease bacteria, so in order to eliminate it, these pockets need to be thoroughly cleaned. As you can imagine, these spaces are extremely small, so with a pocket reduction surgery, Dr. Fatima Robertson can gain access to these hard to read areas of the teeth and clean them in order to halt the spread of periodontal disease.

After taking an X-ray to assess the condition of your teeth beneath the pockets, Dr. Robertson will apply a local anesthetic to make sure you’re completely comfortable throughout the procedure. She will then gently pull back the gums to expose the roots of the teeth and use sophisticated tools to clean away any plaque or calculus (hardened tartar) on them. In addition to stopping periodontal disease in its tracks and halting bone loss, this procedure can also make home care much more effective by reducing the size of these hard to reach areas. Plus, these pockets can also negatively affect the appearance of the smile, so a pocket reduction can help restore a person’s original look as well.

Scaling & Root Planing
Protect Your Gums

Scaling and root planing (SRP) is usually how we try to prevent the damage that makes all of the above procedures necessary. It’s our first line of defense against early-stage periodontal disease, and it’s basically a very deep cleaning that’s focused solely on the gums and the roots of the teeth. An ultrasonic scaler will be used to break up and clear away plaque built up around the gum line, and then the roots of the teeth will be gently smoothed out. This will make them less likely to accumulate plaque over time, and therefore develop gum disease, in the future.

There are two distinct kinds of periodontal disease. The more mild form is called gingivitis, and the more advanced stage it called periodontitis. We, along with your general dentist, will try to catch your gum disease as quickly as possible in order to minimize the harm to your smile and enable us to help you with more conservative procedures. Chief among them will be a scaling and root planing (SRP) treatment.

SRP is sometimes also known as a deep cleaning, and this will be used as the first line of defense against your periodontal disease.

For scaling, Dr. Robertson or a member of our staff will use special tools to break up and clear away the plaque and calculus (hardened plaque) deposits located around your gum line, and with root planing, we’ll gently smooth out the rough surfaces of your teeth’s roots. This will make plaque less likely to become trapped on them and cause gum disease in the future.

A complete SRP treatment can usually be completed over the course of a few appointments, and your mouth will be numbed to ensure your comfort throughout.

If you are experiencing red, swollen, or tender gums that bleed easily, please contact us as soon as you can to get the attention you need. If we’re able to treat your periodontal disease soon enough, a deep cleaning may be all we need to fully restore your smile.