Dr. Richard W. Oliver, Jr., DMD
Periodontics, Dental Implants and Laser Therapy

Periodontics

The term “periodontics” refers to the dental specialty that pertains to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease that affects the gums and jawbone.  The gum tissues serve to surround and support the teeth and the underlying jawbone anchors teeth firmly in place.  Periodontists have completed several years of extra dental training and are concerned with maintaining the function, health and aesthetics of the jawbone and tissues.

Reasons for periodontal treatment

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which begins with mild gum inflammation called gingivitis.  It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults living in the developed world, and should be taken very seriously.  Periodontal disease (often called gum disease) is typically signified by red, swollen, painful, or bleeding gums, but in some cases has no noticeable symptoms.

Periodontal disease generally begins when the bacteria living in plaque cause an infection in the surrounding tissues of the teeth, causing them to become irritated and painful.  Eventually, this infection may cause the jawbone to dissolve and the tooth to become loose.

There are several reasons why periodontal treatment may be necessary:

  • Moderate/advanced gum disease – This occurs when the gums are bleeding, swollen or red around most teeth and the jawbone has begun to dissolve.

  • Localized gum recession – The infection which propagates moderate or advanced gum disease often begins in one area.  Gum recession may also be caused due to over brushing with a hard bristle brush, or due to a tooth that is not positioned properly.  Immediate treatment is required to prevent further spreading.

  • Crown lengthening – The periodontist may lengthen the crown of the tooth by removing surrounding hard and soft tissue to provide more tooth exposure of decayed or broken teeth.

  • Ridge augmentation – This procedure allows us to regrow bone of the jaws to improve the stability of fixed bridges or dental implants.

The treatment options we offer include non-surgical, surgical, laser and dental implant therapies.  We design a treatment plan to specifically meet the needs of the individual patient.

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