A Periodontist is a dental specialist who has trained extensively (an additional 3 years beyond dental school) in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists are trained to replace lost teeth with the surgical placement of dental implants and to perform cosmetic periodontal procedures. They work closely with your dentist to provide you with optimal oral health care.
Periodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal diseases.
The word “periodontal” literally means around the tooth. Periodontal disease, also known as “gum disease” is a chronic bacterial infection that damages the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. More importantly, research links periodontal infection to more serious problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and pre-term low-birth weight babies. As ongoing research continues to define how periodontal disease is linked to these and other health problems, good oral health is essential.
Many factors, such as oral hygiene habits, tobacco use, genetics, stress, general health conditions and medications may have contributed to your disease and can influence treatment effectiveness and disease recurrence.
Periodontal diseases are bacterial gum infections that destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold the teeth in the mouth. The main cause of these diseases is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colourless film that constantly forms on the teeth. Daily home oral care, including proper brushing and flossing with regular professional care can prevent plaque build-up. When plaque is not removed, it hardened to form calculus (tartar). Professional cleaning is required to remove calculus above and below the gums.
Periodontal diseases can affect one tooth or many teeth. The early stage is painless. At a more advanced stage, bone and supporting tissues of the teeth are destroyed. Periodontal diseases can result in bad breath; red, swollen and bleeding gums and eventually teeth loss. Other signs of periodontal diseases include gums that have been pulled away from the teeth, pus between teeth and gums (leaving a bad taste), a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite, and a change in the fit of partial dentures. More than 75% of adults over age 35 have some form of periodontal disease.
General Consult and Radiographs
Your first appointment with your periodontist is an information gathering session. It will begin with your doctor asking you about your medical history, your past and your current dental practices, your social history and oral hygiene routine. We want to know your specific concerns about your gums, your teeth, your smile and what you would like us to achieve with your treatment. Finally, a thorough review of your periodontal (gum) condition including a review of your radiographs will be done.
The doctor will perform a comprehensive clinical exam consisting of an assessment of your oral tissue checking on irregularities and cancer. Measurements are made that include: the mobility of your teeth, the colour and tone of your gum tissues, pocket depths, noting areas of gingival recession and root exposure and determining what periodontal problems you may have. Your doctor will combine this information with radiographs and derive a periodontal diagnosis for you. This diagnosis will include an overall prognosis for your periodontal condition as well as the prognosis for each individual tooth.
Your doctor will discuss all treatment options available to you and review the benefits and risks of each treatment option.
I.V. sedation is a form of conscious sedation used to manage moderate to severe anxiety in the dental office. Other methods of conscious sedation include oral (pill form) and Nitrous Oxide (gas form), but I.V. is the treatment of choice for higher levels of anxiety management due to its predictable results. The intravenous route allows the dental specialist to deliver exactly the right dosage of medication to the patient in order to make them feel relaxed and able to undergo the dental treatment recommended.
You will feel extremely relaxed and tired. You will retain the ability to speak and communicate any discomfort you are feeling to the dentist. Patients are unlikely to remember the procedure once they recover completely. Local anaesthetic will be administered after the sedation is given so it is likely that you will not remember the needle at all.
I.V. sedation use typically used for:
- Moderately to severely anxious patients needing dental surgery
- extensive surgical procedures
- patients with profound gag reflex
- patients that ‘don’t freeze well’
I.V. sedation is an extremely safe method of sedation. Unlike with oral sedation, the medication can be given until the desired effect is reached. Therefore it is much more predictable. You will be monitored with an ECG to observe your heart function and rate. Your blood pressure, oxygen perfusion and respiratory rate will also be monitored throughout the procedure. In addition to I.V. sedation training, Dr. Thang is also certified in CPR and has Advanced Cardiac Life Support training. The administration of I.V. sedation is regulated by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario. Our office meets and exceeds all of the requirements put forward by the RCDSO.
After the procedure it is unlikely that you will remember your dental treatment. You will be very tired and should not drive or make important decisions for 24 hours. For this reason, you must have a responsible adult to accompany you home in a private vehicle. Depending on the procedure you have done, you will need to relax for 1-3 days after the appointment.