Periodontics refers to the infectious/inflammatory disease found initially in your gums that over time destroys the gums and the "seal" that the gums provide against infection. The disease can then reach the deeper jaw bone that supports the teeth, and as time goes on, the bone weakens, the teeth can start to move. Eventually tooth loss can occur if the problem isn’t treated, and the structure for a proper chewing function will be lost.
Implant dentistry is focused on restoring your teeth after you experience tooth loss from tooth decay and disease. The bone inside your mouth can be restored and implants placed to give you the happy and confident smile you deserve.
At many general and cosmetic dental practices, you’ll normally be referred to a third party Periodontist, however, at Greg L. LaVecchia, DMD, PC, we are proud to have a resident Periodontist, and dental implant expert, Lawrence A.. Snider, DDS, who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease right here at our office in Rosslyn, Arlington.
The following procedures are performed by a periodontal specialist:
This is also known as a gum graft. It is a procedure for patients with very badly receding gums that sometimes might even expose the root of the tooth. Depending on the severity of the gum recession, surgery might be needed to take tissue from the patient's palate and then graft it onto the site of the missing gum. This strengthens the seals around the teeth to protect them against bacteria and the forces of chewing.
Pocket Reduction/Pocket Elimination
When you have periodontal disease, the supporting tissue and bone can be destroyed around your teeth, forming "pockets" around them. Our Periodontist can help reduce or eliminate disease in the gums and bones to help restore your teeth to their best function, esthetics, and comfort.
Periodontal Bone Grafting
This is where your Periodontist will add extra bone to your mouth to restore the root of your teeth where you have teeth affected by periodontal disease. This will improve the health and function of your affected teeth.
If periodontal disease gets left untreated, it can get to the point where your tooth may fall out. If this is the case, it’s best to have it professionally removed before it falls out so the Periodontist can perform a clean extraction and ensure the disease has not spread to nearby teeth. Dr. Snider will also extract erupted wisdom teeth if they are causing problems.
If you or your dentist notices any questionable lumps in your mouth, our periodontist will carry out a biopsy to uncover more information about the growth.
Dental Implant Success
Replacing a missing tooth has never been easier with current dental advancements. Dr. Snider will set you up for implant success by ensuring the dental implant site has a strong and disease-free structure, and that the implant placement is accurate, using technology such as Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CT) X-rays. Another area that your Periodontist will look out for in the longer term is peri-implantitis, the inflammation of the soft and hard tissues around a dental implant. Even with an implant, it’s important to practice proper oral hygiene to ensure it’s secure and maintains full function and comfort.