Most people don’t know what periodontal disease is, but it’s actually the most common dental problem in the entire world. You might have heard it called another name—gum disease. This is a bacterial infection that specifically attacks the supporting structures of the teeth, and that’s why it’s the leading cause of adult tooth loss here in the US! Fortunately, Dr. Doctor is specially trained to find and treat gum disease right here in Arlington. At the earliest sign of trouble, he can provide proven periodontal therapy at Arlington Dental Professionals that is specifically designed to remove this troublesome bacteria and keep your smile safe.
If you address your gum disease before it becomes severe, scaling and root planing may be the only treatment you need. However, as with any dental procedure, after-care is vital. In order to keep your teeth in good shape and resist future occurrences of gum disease, you must brush and floss daily, eat a healthy diet, avoid tobacco use, and have regular dental checkups. Even after a successful scaling and root planing, if you don't attend to your teeth properly, it's quite likely that you'll develop gum disease again.
Surgical Treatment Options
If the tissue or bone surrounding your teeth is too damaged to be repaired with non-surgical treatment, several surgical procedures are available to prevent severe damage and to restore a healthy smile. We will recommend the procedure that is best suited to the condition of your teeth and gums. Following is a list of common types of periodontal surgery:
Pocket Depth Reduction
In a healthy mouth, the teeth are firmly surrounded by gum tissue and securely supported by the bones of the jaw. Periodontal disease damages these tissues and bones, leaving open spaces around the teeth that we call pockets. The larger these pockets are, the easier it is for bacteria to collect inside them, leading to more and more damage over time. Eventually the supportive structure degrades to the point that the tooth either falls out or needs to be removed.
During pocket reduction procedures (also known as “flap surgery”), we fold back the gum tissue and remove the bacteria hiding underneath, as well as the hardened plaque and tartar that have collected. We may also remove any tissue that is too damaged to survive. We then sew the healthy tissue back into place. Now that the tooth and root are free of bacteria, plaque, and tartar, and the pockets have been reduced, the gums can reattach to the teeth.
Gum and Bone Regeneration
When the bone and tissue supporting the teeth have been lost due to severe gum disease, we can restore these areas with a regeneration procedure. During this process, we begin by folding back the gum tissue and removing the bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Depending on your situation, we may then perform a bone graft to stimulate new bone growth, or we may apply a special kind of protein that stimulates tissue growth to repair the areas that have been destroyed by the disease.
A frequent symptom of gum disease is gum recession (also called gingival recession). As the gums recede, more of the roots are revealed. This can make teeth appear longer and can also create sensitivity to hot or cold liquids or food. It also exposes the tooth to increased damage from gum disease, as bacteria, plaque, and tartar attack the surface of the tooth and the root.
During a soft-tissue graft, tissue from the top of your mouth or another source is sewed to the gum area, covering the roots and restoring the gum line to its original, healthy location. This procedure can also be performed for cosmetic reasons.
Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique
Chao Pinhole Surgery is a much less invasive way to correct gum recession versus a traditional gum graft. Dr. Doctor only uses a literal pin-sized hole placed in the gums to move them back into the correct position. The procedure itself is fast, virtually painless, and extremely effective. Results are almost instant, and thanks to the lack of incisions and sutures, recovery is very quick as well.
One of the most common symptoms of gum disease is gum recession, in which the tissues actually pull away from the roots of the teeth. In addition to making the teeth appear unnaturally long, this also exposes the thinner enamel around the roots, making it more likely to develop decay and lead to tooth loss. In the past, a surgical gum graft was the only way to address this problem, but Dr. Doctor is able to offer a much less invasive solution: Chao Pinhole Surgery in Arlington. In a single appointment and without using any incisions, he can fully restore a patient’s gum line while keeping them completely comfortable.
What is Chao Pinhole® surgery
Anyone who has undergone a traditional gum graft will tell you that it isn’t exactly a pleasant experience! In most cases, tissue from the roof of a patient’s mouth is harvested, and this is used to replace the gum tissue that has receded. While the procedure itself is relatively painless when performed by a skilled doctor, recovery is always a tad uncomfortable, and it typically takes a week or more.
Chao Pinhole Surgery turns this approach completely on its head. First, a hole literally the size of a pin is placed into the gum line. Then, using special tools, Dr. Doctor can gently stretch and massage the gums back into their original position. He can then secure them in place using a surgical mesh. Just a little bit of local anesthetic is all that’s needed to keep a patient completely comfortable, and afterward, they will barely feel any lingering soreness at all.
Advantages of Chao Pinhole® surgery
- Virtually Painless: Because Pinhole surgery doesn’t require any incisions or sutures in the mouth, it doesn’t cause as much trauma to the tissues, meaning a patient won’t experience any discomfort while in the chair.
- Fast: This procedure is much more efficient compared to a traditional gum graft, meaning it can be performed relatively quickly to help a patient save time.
- Short Recovery: Patients are usually able to fully recover and feel completely normal within a few days as opposed to a week thanks to how non-invasive Pinhole surgery is.
- Quick Results: Patients will see a natural-looking gum line on the same day of the procedure, free of obvious sutures or other surgical marks.