The Journal of the American Dental Association (2009) defines Periodontal Disease as “an Archetypical Biofilm Disease”, meaning that communities of different types of bacteria forming thick sticky plaque leads to gum disease. Research shows clear evidence on the connection between gum disease and diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease. Routine brushing, flossing, dental visits and a diet with low carbohydrates help keep the bacterial balance of our mouth at a healthy state. When the balance is disturbed, the disease process starts and if goes unnoticed, it progresses, leading to bleeding gums, bad odors from the mouth, teeth drifting, and moving back and forth. The gum disease can be painless till teeth can not be saved and have to be removed.
Gum Therapy Protocol
At Metrowest Dental Care we offer our patients state-of-the-art, evidence-based Gum Therapy Protocol that provides positive results against Periodontal Disease. Our patients avoid invasive surgeries, and they get a second chance with their teeth. The Gum Therapy protocol has 3 easy, non-surgical, steps.
STEP 1: Identify and remove tartar and plaque underneath the gums (scaling) and eliminate harmful bacteria so healthy cells can grow.
Perioscopy is a tiny fiber-optic camera that helps clinicians see beneath the gums under 48x magnification during non-surgical periodontal treatments. As the clinician moves the camera around the root surfaces and views them on a screen, s/he uses an ultrasonic instrument to remove plaque and tartar. Sticky Bacterial plaque and tartar on the root surfaces cause the periodontal disease which is the #1 cause of tooth loss in America. Complete removal of destructive microbes is essential for the treatment of Gum Disease and can only be possible through visual access. The perioscope also shows root fractures, root decay and discrepancies on existing restorations, which makes it a beneficial tool for diagnosis.
Photodynamic laser therapy is performed on the same day of your non-surgical gum treatment to eliminate harmful bacteria. Photodynamic therapy (aPDT) enhances the clinical outcome of scaling and root planing treatment through further bacterial reduction. It is very easy to use because you simply let the power of light eliminate photosensitized bacterial cells. The application is very comfortable and it does not have any side effects. We use Lumix laser at its ‘cold laser’ setting with 650nm continuous wavelength, which is the most effective wavelength to activate the photosensitizer dye that is applied under gums previous to the laser application. Research articles that you may find helpful: "Photodynamic therapy in periodontal therapy: microbiological observations from a private practice" and "Efficacy of antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) for nonsurgical treatment of periodontal disease: a systematic review"
Following the completion of scaling and photodynamic therapy, Dr. Alptekin uses FDA-approved Fotona’s Twin-light Lightwalker Nd: Yag laser. Similar to LANAP procedure, the Lightwalker helps with periodontal regeneration of the teeth attachment apparatus, cementum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone.
STEP 2: Home care support with easy to use custom Perio Protect
Perio Protect is an FDA approved method to deliver medication beneath the gums where a toothbrush, mouth rinse or floss cannot reach. We first take a digital imprint of your teeth and deliver custom made special trays that you can wear at home for 10 minutes a day for the hydrogen peroxide to effectively break any bacterial colonies that are forming. It is very easy to use and can comfortably become part of your daily routine.
The third step is your routine three months hygiene care visits to your dentist, to keep the disease under control. Like Diabetes, periodontal disease can not be cured, it needs to be controlled. We partner with our patients to maintain their oral health for them to achieve fulfilling lifestyles.
Is the non-surgical periodontal treatment painful?
No. Prior to the procedure, we make sure our patients are super comfortable and don’t feel anything with the help of local anesthetics. Following the treatment usually Tylenol or Ibuprofen is sufficient to help with any discomfort.
Is the non-surgical periodontal treatment expensive?
When compared to the cost of replacing teeth with implants, saving the teeth through periodontal treatments is a much smaller investment. If non-surgical periodontal treatment is an option for you it is worth taking advantage of the opportunity as it will save you time and money.