Periodontics & Implant Dentistry
Specialist management of the tooth-supporting soft and hard tissues, plus dental implants to replace missing teeth.
Periodontics is the dental speciality which involves surgical and non-surgical periodontal management of the hard and soft (gum) tissues that support the teeth. This includes the reconstruction of soft tissue and bone deficits (tissue recession), often referred to as 'plastic surgery for the gums'.
This occurs in many adults, where teeth lose their soft tissue and bone support, leading to tooth sensitivity, unsightly gaps between teeth, root decay and even loss of teeth. Routine gum (periodontal) treatments, eg tooth and root scaling, are performed by general dentists and hygienists. However, there are very few specialists in periodontics – these are dentists with additional training and qualifications in the provision of advanced gum treatments and dental implants.
Non-surgical treatments include deep cleaning of infected gum tissues. Surgical work, the ‘plastic surgery of dentistry’, involves tissue grafts to reconstruct lost soft tissues (for severe gum recession), cosmetic sculpting of the gum and bone tissues, plus all aspects of dental implantology.
Dental implants are biocompatible titanium alloy screws inserted in the jaw bone. Each implant is held in place by a biological healing process know as osseo-integration, meaning that the implant acts as a permanent base for either a dental crown or bridge, hence mimicking a tooth root.
Implant placement may require various bone and soft tissue augmentation procedures, depending on the amount of previous bone loss (due to infections and the removal of a tooth). In general, the greater the tissue loss then the more complex the implant treatment process. This is why the specialist training and skills of a periodontist are often highly beneficial.
The restoration of dental implants ranges from a single tooth crown to full mouth reconstruction techniques.
The dental implant is shown on the x-ray. The white insides of both central incisor crowns are also seen on the x-ray.