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Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment

Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment

The emphasis of our practice is conservative periodontal therapy. Very often, early stages of periodontal disease are effectively treated with non-surgical periodontal therapy. This involves the removal of bacterial plaque and tartar which is present at and below the gum line.

Periodontal “gum” disease is typically a chronic infection caused by bacteria that works its way under the gum line, destroying the gum and eventually the bone that supports the teeth. Because the bacteria can firmly attach to the tooth roots under the gum line, regular dental cleanings may be inadequate to resolve the infection. In these instances, root planing, commonly referred to as “deep cleanings”, becomes necessary.

Unfortunately, periodontal infections are usually silent, and can be present for many years, without any significant symptoms like pain. This is why regular visits to your periodontist are important especially if other health problems are present, like heart problems or diabetes. However, subtle signs such as red or swollen gums, gums that bleed when brushed or flossed, chronic bad breath or loose teeth can alert you to the presence of gum disease and the need to see a dentist/periodontist.

Scaling and Root Planing

To effectively take care of periodontal disease, the initial treatment is typically scaling and root planing for teeth that have pocket depths of 4-5mm and above; this treatment exists to remove tartar at or below the gum line. Standard cleanings and polishes only deal with the plaque above the gum line, and these procedures aren’t effective on their own to truly treat gum disease.

“Scaling” is a necessary first step in the treatment process, and it clears the way for a deeper clean. “Root planing” involves cleaning plaque from below the gum line that is most often the culprits in periodontal disease. Local anesthetics may need to be used to numb the area for greater comfort. Scaling and root planing are a basic non-invasive approach to effectively treating the disease and allowing the gums and surrounding bone to heal properly. We use ultrasonic tools and will not remove layers of the cementum. Collectively, these methods represent the fundamentals of non-surgical periodontal therapy.

Once successfully completed, the scaling and root planing procedure should leave patients feeling little or no discomfort. After 6 weeks, the dentist will schedule an appointment to examine the patient’s response to the treatment. If the non-surgical therapy effectively eliminates the gum disease, the only further requirement will be periodic maintenance every 3-4 months. With simple scaling and ultrasonic cleaning, and some home care instructions, the gum disease will be a thing of the past in most cases.


A tray delivery system consists of a custom-fit tray made from impressions of the patient’s mouth. Patients use the tray at home to deliver medications that have been prescribed by their dentist. The tray delivery systems were cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).These custom made trays can deliver the medicament below the gum tissue long enough for the material to do its work. They are specifically designed to place the medication in the periodontal pocket, the space between tooth and gum tissue that harbors the infections. These trays have a special seal that prevents leakage and directs and maintains the medication in the pocket.


When laser treatment is added to the non-surgical periodontal treatment, it brings an important benefit in reducing bacteria in the periodontal pockets. This is a good alternative to antibiotic application in the periodontal treatment. Laser is considered as a non-antibiotic solution. Addition of Laser therapy to the Scaling and root planning can produce significantly improved results.

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Modern Smile Dental uses a biological, holistic approach to dental care considering your oral health is important in relationship to your overall health and wellness. Biological/Holistic Family Dentistry is a safe, mercury free and mercury safe environment.

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