Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common condition that affects many people worldwide. It’s caused by bacterial plaque buildup on the teeth and gums, which can lead to inflammation and eventual tooth loss if left untreated. While traditional gum disease treatment often involves surgery, there’s a relatively new, non-surgical technique that’s gaining popularity among dental professionals and patients alike: Perioscopy®.
What is Perioscopy?
Perioscopy is a non-surgical procedure that uses a miniature digital camera and fiber-optic technology to view the inside of the gums and teeth. This technology allows clinicians to diagnose and treat areas below the gumline without the discomfort and inconvenience of surgery. The camera is inserted into the gum pocket and provides a magnified view of the area. This level of focus allows the dentist to identify and remove bacteria and plaque buildup that may be causing gum disease, without the need for surgery.
Perioscopy also pinpoints unseen deposits that cause bleeding and inflammation, as well as other dental problems, in earlier, more manageable states which might otherwise go undetected. In addition, perioscopy treatments enhance the effectiveness of regular periodontal maintenance programs.
Benefits of Perioscopy
According to John Bruce, DMD, of The Mugford Center for Periodontics and Dental Implants in Crofton, MD, the primary benefits of perioscopy over traditional gum disease treatment methods are improved diagnosis and more efficient treatment, both of which are wins for the patient.
Improved diagnosis. This means finding and treating fractures, periodontal defects, and root resorption through intense subgingival microscopy and instrumentation on teeth. Perioscopy, because of its precision, allows dental professionals to identify and remove bacteria and plaque buildup that may be causing gum disease. In short, targeted treatment is highly effective treatment.
“We are often able to confirm hairline fractures in teeth, or the absence of them, before extraction,” Dr. Bruce notes. “This is a huge benefit as we can feel confident about our diagnosis and treatment in either maintaining or removal of a tooth as indicated, while sole use of radiographs can lead to less conclusive findings.”
More efficient treatment. By using the periscope, practitioners are able to use very conservative means of treatment to accomplish tasks that otherwise would require more time and more traditional surgical techniques. As a non-surgical procedure, there’s no need for incisions, sutures, or any other invasive techniques that can be uncomfortable and require a long recovery time.
“We see a dramatic difference in the effectiveness of non-surgical treatment when using it as an aid as it allows us to visualize an area that otherwise would be performed blind, with only tactile feedback” adds Dr. Bruce.
Other patient benefits include:
- Comfort: Perioscopy is a comfortable procedure that is well-tolerated by most patients. The camera used is small, and the procedure is relatively painless.
- Minimal recovery time: Since perioscopy is a non-surgical procedure, the recovery time is minimal. Patients can usually return to their normal activities the same day as the procedure.
- Cost-effectiveness: Perioscopy is a cost-effective procedure that can save patients money in the long run. Since the procedure is less invasive than traditional gum disease treatment methods, there are fewer associated costs.
Who is a Candidate for Perioscopy?
If you have a pocket over 4 millimeters deep, then you may be a candidate for perioscopy. Your doctor here at The Mugford Center will review your case with you and outline treatment options, including the decision if perioscopy is right for you.
We often get asked: How long does the perioscopy treatment take? Perioscopy procedures tend to take a bit longer than a standard hygiene appointment. That said, depending on the condition and location of the teeth being cared for, treatment usually takes approximately one hour per quadrant.
Generally speaking, perioscopy is an excellent option for patients who have gum disease but don’t want to undergo surgery. Patients with mild to moderate gum disease are the best candidates for perioscopy. However, patients with severe gum disease may still require surgery to effectively treat the condition.
The Mugford Center’s Expertise in Perioscopy
As a specialist in microsurgical techniques, The Mugford Center is uniquely qualified to use this technology and has a half-dozen years of perioscopy experience. “Many of the treatments we practice are conservative and as minimal as possible to improve results,” says Dr. Bruce. “This falls into that category. We have developed a specific protocol to maximize the effectiveness of the periscope and to provide maximum benefit to the patient. This protocol utilizes the benefits of laser-assisted nonsurgical / surgical treatment and air polishing for removal of biofilm and debris.”
If you would like more information on perioscopy or to see if you might be a candidate for this comfortable, precise, and cost-effective way to treat gum disease without the need for surgery, please call the Mugford Center for Periodontics & Dental Implants today: (410) 260-0790.