When you think of a periodontist, you most likely conjure up the image of a dentist who specializes in treating gum disease. After all, a periodontist is a person who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gum disease.
You might know that a periodontist is a specialist who performs procedures specific to gum disease and dental implants. But periodontal treatment has a broader scope. How do you know when it is time to see a periodontist like Dr. David Mugford or Dr. David Bruce?
Gum disease and dental implant treatments are the most common reasons to see a periodontist. But you can benefit from a periodontist’s skill in other areas such as tooth removal, bone grafting to repair bone loss after tooth removal, and soft tissue grafting and tissue sculpting.
So, preventing, diagnosing and treating gum disease are not the only things a periodontist can do. In fact, there are several services that your periodontist can provide.
“An abscess is a warning sign that you have a progressive infection that can lead to tooth removal,” notes Dr. David Mugford of the Mugford Center for Periodontics and Dental Implants. “Left untreated, it may cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, leaving an opportunity for bacteria to grow and infection to spread. Ultimately, this may create the need for tooth extraction.”
What is Gum Graft Surgery?
Your gums protect your teeth from sensitivity, root decay, and bone loss. If the gum tissue erodes, which is known as gum recession, your risk of losing the tooth will increase without treatment. When your gums recede, not only is your smile affected, so, too, is your oral health. You may experience severe sensitivity as the root is exposed, you are more at risk for tooth decay or loose teeth.
Gum graft surgery is a procedure that restores your gums to normal. Tissue is taken from the roof of your mouth, or from a donor, and stitched in place over the affected areas. That tissue reattaches to the existing gums and forms around your teeth to protect them.
If your gums extend too far down, or the gum line is uneven, your teeth may appear shorter than they really are. It can also result in a “gummy” smile. This can affect your confidence.
Your periodontist can remove excess gum tissue, a procedure known as gum reshaping, and create an even, natural gum line. The traditional procedure utilizes a scalpel, but the newest gum reshaping procedures use a laser, which reduces bleeding, pain and overall recovery time.
Missing teeth need to be replaced. Dentures, or partial dentures, as well as bridges, have all been used in the past to restore your smile and ability to eat and speak. However, these options do nothing for your jawbone, which begins to deteriorate without roots to stimulate it.
Now, however, more and more periodontists are providing dental implants, which not only replace your missing teeth, but stop bone loss, and keep your jaw strong and healthy.
This is where full-mouth restorations come into play. Historically, people only had one choice to replace all of their teeth: traditional dentures. Traditional dentures have been a standard tooth replacement choice for many people with missing teeth. However, they can be problematic and cause a lot of headaches. Some of the biggest complaints that traditional denture wearers include:
- Slipping dentures / embarrassing social moments
- Limited food choices
- Jawbone deterioration
A better 21st Century solution is implant supported dentures. While traditional dentures simply rest on your gums and fixed bridges rely on adjacent teeth for support, dental implants are surgically implanted into the jaw. This allows for maximum stability and reduces the risk of complications down the road.
These are composed of a few parts. The first is the dental implant posts. Screw-shaped and surgically placed in the jawbone, they stimulate the patient’s jawbone just like natural tooth roots would. The stimulated jawbone is healthy and strong enough to support dental implants.
The second part of the implant supported denture device is the abutment. The abutment is used to attach the denture to the dental implants. Finally, the denture itself is secured to the dental implants for a sturdier, more comfortable smile.
What’s Next in Your Journey?
While your periodontist is the obvious person to call when suffering from gum disease, he or she can provide you with more than just gum disease treatment. Want to speak with a doctor about your periodontics situation or your candidacy for implant-supported dentures? We’re here to help! Our Crofton, Maryland-based Mugford Center for Periodontics & Dental Implants is centrally located between Baltimore and Washington, DC. Our doctors and staff would love to have you come in for an initial examination and get you started on your journey toward a more comfortable, stable, and more natural looking smile.
Get More Information
Come into our caring and advanced practice to see if advanced periodontal treatments or dental implants are the right treatment option for you and your needs. Call The Mugford Center for Periodontics & Dental Implants today at (410) 260-0790.