At the initial consultation, the periodontist checks the patient’s medical condition. They find out the reason why the patients is referred to see them.
Photographs are taken, followed by a clinical examination of the gums. This involves taking measurements between the gum and the teeth (periodontal probing) and seeing if bleeding occurs. The periodontist will take measurements around any exposed root surfaces and check if the teeth are mobile or loose.
Often the patient is given thorough oral hygiene instruction with tips on toothbrushing and cleaning between the teeth during this appointment.
The periodontist will explain their clinical findings and give treatment options, including a quote if appropriate.
Non Surgical Treatment
This is the cleaning or debridement of teeth above and below the gum line to remove the plaque and calculus (calcified plaque) using a special ultrasonic machine and hand instruments. Often local anaesthetic is given for patient comfort. This may occur over a few visits.
For non surgical treatment to be successful, it is very important that patients have good home care to prevent the accumulation of plaque on their teeth.
Patients are taught to clean their teeth thoroughly at home with a manual or electric toothbrush and in between the teeth with dental floss and interdental brushes.
It is very important that patients return regularly for their periodontal maintenance appointments so they can have their gums checked and teeth debrided thoroughly above and below the gums. This will help prevent any progression of the periodontitis.
Occasionally, gum surgery is required if a particular site has not responded to non surgical treatment. The surgery involves gaining direct access to the root surfaces for thorough debridement.
Other surgical procedures include uncovering teeth that are impacted in the bone, making the tooth longer so it can be filled or crowned and aesthetic shaping of the gum to improve its appearance.
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