Scaling and Root Planing (SRP)
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums and tissues that support your teeth. It is caused most often by the build-up of plaque and its hardened form, tartar, when teeth are not routinely brushed and flossed.
There are two major stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Gingivitis affects only the gums. It is a mild form of periodontal disease and can be reversed if properly treated.
- Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis worsens. Bacteria penetrate into the deeper pockets of tissue where bone and membrane support your teeth. This can lead to bone and tooth loss.
The most well-known type of non-surgical treatment is known as scaling and root planing (SRP). This procedure involves a careful removal of plaque and tarter from the teeth and tooth roots.
Scaling involves the removal of plaque and tartar gums, below the gum line along the roots of the teeth. During root planing, the roots of your teeth are smoothed out, promoting healing and preventing bacterial colonization.
Scaling and root planing may take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic.
Benefits of SRP includes:
- Disease prevention- SRP reduces the risk of bacteria from periodontal infections traveling through the blood to affect other areas of the body.
- Teeth protection- As gum pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response as the body attempts to destroy affected gingival and bone tissue. This leads to tooth loss.
- Reduction of bad breath- SRP reduces bad breath caused from food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity.
- Removal of superficial stains.
When you experience tooth decay or damage such as from a cavity, it is important to get these problems fixed as quickly as possible. Without repair, these issues may become worse and result in more extensive dental treatments.
There are 2 types of fillings: amalgam and composite resin fillings. Silver-colored metal amalgams were commonly used to repair teeth, but most practices now use composite resin materials. Some of the most important benefits of composite resin fillings over traditional amalgam include:
- Natural appearance of the tooth-colored composite fillings
- Composite resin can be applied directly to the existing tooth structure preserving tooth structure. While, amalgam fillings are made outside of the mouth and held in place by wedges etched into tooth enamel.
- Composite resin provides a more effective bond between the filling and the tooth, preventing further tooth decay.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are porcelain restorations that replace tooth structure lost due to tooth decay or trauma. If a filling cannot adequately restore a tooth, but an entire dental crown would be excessive, an inlay or onlay may be the best solution.
Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.
Unfortunately, teeth can become diseased or damaged or infected and may need to be removed or extracted. We offer same day emergency service for people in pain.
When a tooth is extracted, nearby teeth may shift to fill the socket, the surrounding bone and soft tissue diminish, and the shape of the jaw can change. To ensure the maintenance of the shape and structure of the jaw, placing a bone graft directly following an extraction may be necessary.
Furthermore, we can help you understand all of the treatment options for tooth replacement, including dentures, dental implants, and bridges.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars to appear in the mouth, usually occurring in the late teens or early twenties but some people never develop them. As they come in, they may not be positioned properly and need to be removed to prevent problems in the future. Wisdom teeth can be impacted and may not completely erupt. That is, they are:
- Positioned horizontally, being angled toward or away from the second molars.
- Grow at a right angle to the other teeth, appearing to be lying down within the jawbone.
- Grow straight up or down like but are trapped within the jawbone.
This can cause a multitude of symptoms such as:
- Infection or gum disease.
- Tooth decay.
- Damage to a nearby tooth or surrounding bone.
- Complications with orthodontic treatments to straighten other teeth.
Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is typically the best course of action.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) Exam
There is one temporomandibular joint or TMJ located just in front of each ear. Problems in this area can cause:
- Difficulty biting or chewing
- Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
- Dull pain in the face
- Reduced ability to open or close the mouth
A thorough exam may involve:
- A dental examination to check your bite alignment.
- Feeling the joint and connecting muscles for pain.
- Watching, feeling, and listening to the jaw open and close.
- Sliding the teeth from side to side.