What is Periodontal Dentistry?
Periodontal gum disease is a gradually advancing condition, worsening over time as naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth blends with particles of food and saliva. This forms a gummy, translucent plaque that can damage the health of your teeth if left untreated. Some patients assume that daily flossing and vigorous brushing are sufficient enough to eliminate the plaque, but it isn't. As the plaque builds up and turns into tartar on your teeth, your gums might start to become inflamed. At this point, it is important to see an experienced professional like dentist Dr. Jeffrey Weller at Weller Dental in Chicago and Hinsdale, IL. A periodontal examination and probing are used to assess the health of your gums and teeth. They will help to diagnose gum disease (gingivitis) and determine appropriate treatment.
When periodontal disease moves past the initial stage (which is gingivitis) into the stages called periodontitis and advanced periodontitis, bone and tooth loss can occur and both can cause a variety of complications for patients. The many periodontal services we provide at our practice include:
- Scaling and root planing
- Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy (LAPT)
- Local delivery of medication
- Periodontal maintenance treatments
- Periodontal screenings
"After just visiting Dr.Weller’s office ,I had to share what a great experience I had,just like every other!The office is so warm and relaxing and the staff are so friendly.Dr. Weller made sure I was comfortable before starting my work.His assistant made sure to explain everything that was being done.I was a dental assistant for many years.I’m so impressed by this office because of their professionalism and caring manor.Dr Weller is the best dentist and I’ve worked with a lot of them!"- L.G. / Google / Nov 10, 2018
"Really enjoyed my experience! From the intake, to the setup, to the cleaning, I had a tremendous experience. I also want to highlight Dr. Burns for being both professional and friendly/easy to talk to throughout the process.Would highly recommend the downtown office!"- J. / Healthgrades / Feb 07, 2019
"Always wonderful, well as wonderful as teeth cleaning can be! Gianna is so gentle & thorough, I’m always anxious to see her! Dr. Weller is so professional & he doesn’t recommend anything you don’t really need or want! Thumbs up to Weller Dental!"- M.T. / Facebook / Feb 01, 2019
"I have been a patient of Dr. Weller for a couple of decades and I have always been extremely satisfied with my dental care. The location is easily accessible in the Gold Coast neighborhood where I live. I wandered in by mistake all those years ago looking for the office of my new dentist. Although I was in the wrong office, I switched dentists and became Dr. Weller's patient. Dr. Weller stays on top of the most advanced techniques for dental care. He and his team are always in the know of all the cutting edge dental information. His office staff is courteous and easily assist in scheduling and billing. Throughout the years I have needed several different treatments from small to large. The care I have gotten from Dr. Weller and his team has always been perfection. Emergency appointments or a scheduled cleaning have always been handled with professionalism and kindness. I have sent many people to see Dr. Weller and his staff and everyone has loved this dental practice as much as me!"- R.F. / Yelp / Jan 22, 2019
"Fantastic location, great customer service, very attentive and friendly staff. Jackie is my absolute favorite hygienist!"- A.K. / Facebook / Jan 18, 2019
Do I have Periodontal Disease?
Healthy gums are firm and pink. The gum line appears normal and symmetric. Patients who may have periodontal disease will show the following symptoms:
- Red or bluish-red gums
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Puffy or spongy gums
- Gums that are shaped abnormally
- Consistent bad breath (in correlation to any of the symptoms above)
- Loose teeth or tooth loss
Periodontal Pocket Depth
The depth of the space between your tooth and gum is referred to as the pocket. It is where the gum attaches to the tooth. Pockets that are deeper than normal can be an indication of gum disease. The hygienist or dentist uses a periodontal probe to measure the depth of these pockets at various places around each tooth. Healthy gums cling tightly to the tooth, with the pockets measuring only 1 to 3 millimeters deep. Diseased gums tend to swell and detach from the tooth resulting in deeper pockets. In advanced stages of periodontal disease (periodontitis), the pockets can be more than 10 millimeters deep. If a pocket is this deep, it can mean that the soft tissue and bone anchoring the tooth in place has been lost. In some situations, the condition has already led to tooth loss.
No matter how your minor or advanced your periodontal disease is, we recommend seeking treatment to prevent further damage. Swollen and bleeding gums are quite often a sign of gingivitis or periodontitis, which is the second stage of the disease. This can cause bad breath that cannot be masked, uncomfortable, loose teeth, painful chewing, and receding and bleeding gums.
If you are currently suffering from similar symptoms, we encourage you to make a consultation at Weller Dental. Dr. Weller will provide a thorough periodontal screening examination before recommending the appropriate treatments.
What can I expect?
There are a number of periodontal procedures that might be used to combat gum disease. The fundamental goal is to prevent further infection. Dr. Weller and the staff at Weller Dental usually initiate treatments with a small instrument known as a probe, which works similarly to a small metal ruler which can check and measure the affected pockets beside and under the teeth. Oral x-rays may also help identify any tooth loss and deterioration. This examination will help determine the type and how much treatment is necessary to address the condition. Therapies usually begin with a focused gum treatment in which includes plaque removal with a technique known as scaling and root planing. In advanced cases of periodontal disease, some form of medication may be provided to help ward off infection. Tissue and bone graft procedures may be recommended to patients with advanced cases of gum disease.
At Weller Dental, catching gum disease early is important to us. We often perform scaling and root planing on many patients to help keep the gums healthy year round. Often, this is considered a preventive measure, which offers our patients a deeper, more thorough gum treatment, which does not cause any discomfort. It takes place right inside our treatment room just like any other oral cleaning.
What is the Follow Up?
The trick to effective healing from many periodontal therapies is keeping consistent dental hygiene in your home. During your consultation, Dr. Weller will examine ways you can further take advantage of treatment by altering, enhancing, or quitting some habits like smoking (which can intensify the effects of gum disease).
Since periodontal therapies are customized based on the severity of the disease (and also the needs of the patient), healing timeframes and directions will differ. It's extremely important that you brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, floss frequently to eliminate build-up collecting amongst the teeth, and then see Weller Dental often for exams and professional analysis.
Can I use my Insurance?
Since the suggested treatments for gum disease could vary, so may insurance policy and related benefits. Our staff will advocate for you on a personal basis to maximize the part of your therapies funded by your provider. If you don't have health insurance, a member of our financial team can talk with you about treatment choices and costs to come up with a treatment plan that meets your needs and fits your budget. During your consultation, inquire about medical financing options and ask us to help you learn more about it.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- From $120
- Recovery Time
- How Long It Takes
- 1 Hour
- Follow Up Time
- 4 - 8 Weeks
Ready for a Consultation?
Through comprehensive therapy and scheduled check-ups by our skilled and trained dental staff, patients can help ward off periodontal disease as well as successfully manage the condition should it exist. If you think you might be experiencing the symptoms of periodontal gum disease, or if you'd like more details about the condition and other treatment choices we currently provide, we invite you to schedule an appointment at Weller Dental in Chicago or Hinsdale today.