Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)
The first cleaning you will receive will be for a deep cleaning called a gross scale (also referred to as a full mouth debridement or heavy cleaning). A combination of hand scaling and the use of a machine called a cavitron unit are used. The cavitron unit is a machine that helps to remove the tartar by way of vibration and water. This deep cleaning is used to remove tartar and plaque that will enable us to do a more thorough examination once the tissue is healed.
The 2nd and 3rd cleanings are called scaling and root planing (deeper cleaning). Usually two quadrants (one side of your mouth) are treated per visit. Local anesthesia is used prior to cleaning the areas above and below the gum level. Plaque and tartar are scraped off the crown and root of the tooth and rough surfaces of the root are smoothed. A combination of hand scaling and the use of a machine called a cavitron unit are used. Following the procedure measurements will be taken around your teeth to check your pocket depths. A periodontal pocket is caused by infection that has damaged the bone and gum tissue causing recession around your tooth. The pocket that has formed below the gum line easily traps plaque and food debris. A medicated rinse is used to irrigate the area and reduce bacteria levels that may be present.
All follow up cleanings will be referred to as periodontal maintenance. The first appointment will be scheduled one month later and every three months thereafter.
If you have an infected periodontal pocket of 5+ mm the doctor and hygienist will recommend a powdered antibiotic called Arestin. “Arestin” is placed in pockets to continue killing bacteria for at least 14 days (may last at least 21 days) after treatment. You will not know that it is there and it will dissolve on its own. Arestin can be used to maintain health throughout all future care as isolated areas become reinfected.
Chlorhexidine (also known as Peridex)
Sometimes a liquid antibiotic called Chlorhexidine is prescribed for you to use as an oral rinse at home. Use as directed.
A combination of good homecare, regular dental check-ups, and cleanings will help you to maintain healthy teeth and gums.