Dental Hygiene and Periodontal Therapy

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is an infection of the
gum tissue and bone that surrounds and supports the teeth.  Because gum disease is often painless, many
patients are unaware of any problems until they become severe.  If left untreated, gum disease can progress
and the continuing bone loss around the teeth can result in loose teeth and
possible tooth loss.

In addition to affecting the mouth, bacteria
associated with gum disease can enter your blood stream, gaining access to
every organ in your body.  Research
suggests that periodontal disease is a major risk factor for several conditions
such as heart disease and diabetes.

Our office takes a progressive approach to treating
gum disease and works in close partnership with our patients to achieve a
healthy smile.  By thoroughly examining
the gums and supporting bone, we can accurately diagnose the presence and
severity of gum disease.  If diagnosed,
patients with gum disease are treated with the appropriate periodontal therapy
according to severity of the disease.

Here are a few of our top FAQ’s regarding periodontal
therapy appointments at our practice:

How long will my visit be?

  • Each Perio Therapy (PT) visit is about an hour.

Do I need to take special precautions after
my periodontal treatment?

  • Use of warm saltwater rinse will be soothing. Use for two
    days, 2x day after therapy as desired.
  • You should avoid foods with small seeds and kernels like
    popcorn and raspberries.
  • It is in your
    best interest to follow the suggested home care routine that your hygienist has
    given you.

Will I need to take any medication?

  • You may take ibuprofen following your therapy. However, most
    patients do not require it.
  • Some patients require an antibiotic to control the
    disease-causing bacteria, based on the results of your molecular testing if
    administered.

What is included in each Perio Therapy
appointment?

  • Any necessary anesthetic to keep you comfortable
  • Ultrasonic technology to remove bacteria and toxins from the
    pockets and root surfaces
  • Oral irrigation with a prescription anti-microbial medication
    delivered into the pockets to reduce the bacteria, aid in the healing process
    and decrease your post-operative discomfort
  • Customized co-therapy or home care instructions so you can
    ensure the best healing
  • Monitoring and documentation of your healing at each therapy
    visit to ensure the best possible results and allow for any necessary
    adjustments to your treatment plan
  • In the case of bleeding pockets 5mm or greater, for an additional fee, 1mg of
    minocycline (a powdered antibiotic called Arestin) may be placed in those
    infected sites to aid in healing

What type of follow up will be required?

  • Six weeks following your last PT appointment, your hygienist
    will see you for a one hour 6-week perio therapy visit – the most important visit of the entire
    sequence
    which includes:

    • Comprehensive
      periodontal charting
    • Full mouth
      calculus and stain removal
    • Full mouth
      biofilm disruption
    • Full mouth polish
    • Oral irrigation
      with anti-microbial medication
    • Co-therapy
      coaching
    • Exam by the
      Doctor

At this appointment your
hygienist and dentist will determine your first balance point, usually 10-12 weeks. 
Your balance point is the length of time you can go between professional
sub-gingival (under the gums) biofilm removal and maintain disease remission,
which is the ultimate goal of periodontal therapy.

Providing Traverse City periodontal therapy.

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