Dental Implants Periodontist-Top Dentist Offering Periodontics Services in St. Charles & Kane County
It is a common misconception that only a periodontist can provide periodontics services. To be clear, Dr. Isbrandt at Dean Street Dental is not a periodontist; he is a licensed general & family dentist that also has post-grad certificates in many dental orthodontics treatments. This means he can provide things like fixed braces for children and perform periodontics procedures like ridge preservation for dental implants, as well as perform dental implant procedures himself. The doctor is more than comfortable with 90% of dental implant procedures and in the advent that he is unsure about the case, he will refer the patient to an oral surgeon and have the patient follow up with him afterwards. Therefore, you can rest assured knowing that the general dentist at Dean Street Dental is confident in treating your dental implants & periodontics cases.
What is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a specialist who treats issues that affect your gums and the bones in your mouth. A periodontist has completed a written and oral exam to become certified with the American Board of Periodontology, whereas a general dentist offering services that fall in the category of periodontics has completed 4 years of dental school.
What Does a Periodontist Do?
A periodontist helps you manage signs of advancing gum problems like oral inflammation. This is because they specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating gum disease.
Gum disease causes oral inflammation and happens when the tissue around your teeth gets infected. Plaque-forming bacteria that builds up on the teeth causes the swelling when it spreads below the gum line.
Gingivitis is the scientific name for an early form of gum disease and gingivitis can be kept away by seeing the dentist regularly, keeping your teeth and mouth clean, and by getting treatment. However, you may require more extensive treatment if you have gum disease that is more advanced, usually called periodontitis. At Dean Street Dental, we treat gingivitis and early forms of gum disease but if it is approaching periodontitis, that is when the dentist will refer you to a periodontist.
The periodontist will review your medical history and your dental history, then they’ll perform a dental exam to come up with the best treatment option. This could include both surgical and nonsurgical methods, as well as sending you back to the dentist for some work in an attempt to stop the progression before it becomes periodontitis:
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical treatment to remove plaque and tartar from deep beneath the gum line, respectively. These two procedures usually come hand-in-hand and are sometimes paired with antibiotic medicines too.
A periodontist might also prescribe a custom-fit impression of your teeth, called a tray delivery system, for you to wear at home. This tray puts prescription medication directly on your gums.
Gingivitis and periodontitis gum diseases can both cause your gums to recede, which can expose a tooth’s root. In this case, the periodontist will perform a gum graft procedure, where they take tissue, usually from the roof of your mouth, and use it to cover the gum line that has receded. This is because a healthy gum line can help improve your smile, reduce sensitivity and pain, and stop tooth decay.
Other surgical procedures that a periodontist might perform include:
- Laser treatments
- Regenerative procedures to encourage new bone and tissue growth
- Dental crown lengthening to remove excess gum tissue
- Dental implants to hold a replacement tooth or dental bridge
- Periodontal pocket reduction procedures, also called osseous surgery, to help limit the space around the tooth’s root to reduce the amount of area where the bacteria can form
- Dental crown lengthening to fix a gummy smile or to fix an uneven gum line
- Gum grafts to reduce the appearance of long teeth from age-related recession or prior gum disease
- Ridge augmentation after replacing a lost tooth with an artificial tooth in order to restore the natural curve of the gums and jaw again
Reasons to See a Periodontist
Many general dentists can treat your gum problems, including Dr. John Isbrandt at Dean Street Dental. However, if you have gum disease that is a complex case or is getting progressively worse, or if you are at the risk of tooth loss, the dentist will refer you to a periodontist in your insurance network. Periodontists require a referral so if you notice any of these common gum disease signs and symptoms, make an appointment with the dentist at Dean Street Dental to see if you should be referred out to a periodontist.
Swollen or Puffy Gums
The first sign of gingivitis is when the plaque and tartar-forming bacteria causes inflammation. This inflammation can make pockets form around your teeth when left untreated. These pockets raise your risk of infection that can lead to tooth loss.
If your gums are dark red rather than a healthy light pink, and if they make your teeth look smaller, you may want to treat this inflammation with a deep cleaning at your dentist, as well as be sure to take care of your oral hygiene at home.
Gums that Bleed Easily
When you are flossing, brushing, or eating and your gums start to bleed, know that that is caused by inflammation. See your dentist at Dean Street Dental if your gums are tender to the touch, you spit out blood when you brush or floss, or if your toothbrush is tinted pink after brushing.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is common and not always a cause for concern. However, if you take good care of your mouth and bad breath doesn’t go away on its own, it could be caused by holes in your teeth or it could be a sign of infection.
The pockets around the teeth, what was mentioned above, is caused by inflammation and the pockets can loosen teeth, making them more sensitive. You might also have difficulty chewing, in addition to the sensitivity. Make an appointment with your dentist at Dean Street Dental if you notice a change in the way your teeth fit together or if you notice new spaces forming between your teeth.
Receding Gum Line
Brushing your teeth too hard can injure the gum tissue and start to cause your gums to recede. A periodontist can fix this issue for cosmetic purposes, which will potentially lower your risk of gum problems in the future.
Gum recession that doesn’t occur as a result of too much brushing or brushing too hard is usually a sign of later-stage gum disease though. At this point, a periodontist can examine the issue and advise you on the appropriate path to treatment.
What to Expect at the Periodontist
They will first ask for some personal information like health conditions and which medications you take, as well as ask you about which symptoms you are having. Next, the periodontist will:
- Review your medical and dental histories to identify any factors that could be contributing to your symptoms
- Perform an oral exam to look for plaque and tartar buildup and to check for gum bleeding
- Measure the space between your gums and teeth, also known as your gum pocket depth
- Take Digital X-rays to check for bone loss
Your periodontist and the dentist may also recommend at-home treatments to help keep the gum disease in check and prevent further issues. You may need to:
- Brush and floss after every meal
- Brush lightly and in circles
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Rinse with the dentist’s recommended mouthwash
- Quit smoking and chewing tobacco
- Get regular dental cleanings
- Use an electric toothbrush to help fight the plaque buildup