Periodontics and their advantages

Periodontics is a specialised field of dentistry. A periodontist must study for three additional years to achieve their designation. But the skill stands apart, and has become more and more vital to Australians over the years.

If you suffer from gum disease, you are not alone. Millions of Australians suffer from similar ailments, ranging from the relatively benign, to those that potentially stand to impact greatly upon your quality of life.

A great number of dental health, and overall health, problems emanate from your gums. Humans are coping with profound changes to our diets; we tend to consume far different foods than what we evolved to process. This has had numerous issues on our dental health, and dealing with these has become a focus of periodontists both here in Australia, and globally.

A qualified periodontist is able to provide a management and treatment plan for almost any recurring issue impacting your teeth and gums. These includes:

We at National Periodontics are oral specialists, but our care goes beyond the gums. Proper treatment of gum ailments can ensure better tooth retention, and can even prevent the extension of gum problems in to your overall health.

Periodontists have a great deal to offer sufferers of gum disease to improve both their overall health and their quality of life. Contact National Periodontics to find out more.

The crown lengthening procedure is a common surgical procedure performed by a periodontist. This procedure is typically done for aesthetic reasons. The specialist will expose a greater amount of tooth structure to assist the restoration of the tooth. Typically, this procedure is made by cutting the gingival tissue around the tooth, after temporarily displacing the soft tissue. This will remove a given height of alveolar bone from the tooth being operated.
A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes or loosens a band of muscle/tissue that is connected to the lip, cheek or floor of the mouth. This procedure will be done under local anaesthetic, and generally has a short healing time.

Guided bone regeneration (GBR), and guided tissue regeneration (GTR) are procedures that are generally carried out under local anaesthetic. These surgical procedures use membranes to direct the growth of new bone and gingival tissue (gum) at sites with insufficient volumes of bone or gingiva for proper function, aesthetics or prosthetic restoration. Currently, GBR is mainly applied to support tissue growth for dental implant stability. Bone grafting used in conjunction with sound surgical technique, GBR is a reliable and validated procedure.

GBR is similar to guided tissue regeneration (GTR) but is focused on development of hard tissues in addition to the soft tissues of the periodontal attachment.

The membranes used by National Periodontics are collagen based membranes. It is important to note, that these membranes are animal based.

In the back of the upper jaw, where premolar and molar teeth are located we can find the maxillary sinuses very close to the root tips of the teeth. In some cases, these roots even protrude into the sinus.

After a tooth extraction, the bone that used to host the tooth is undergoing partial resorption and the sinus enlarges (we call it “pneumatisation”), so the overall bone height between the crest of the bone to the floor of the sinus decreases.

In some cases, where there is not enough height of the upper back jawbone to place an implant of a desired length due to these processes, we need to perform a “sinus lift” procedure. It means lifting the membrane outlining the sinus without tearing it and grafting the area with a bone substitute material to regain the required bone height. There are other names for the same procedure – sinus augmentation, sinus floor elevation.

There are two types of sinus lift procedure:

  • Closed/Intracrestal approach – when there is substantial height of bone is present and only several additional millimetres are required for placing the implant, this procedure can be done during the implant placement.
  • Open/lateral window approach – when there is minimal residual bone left, and more significant augmentation is required, it cannot be done through the hole we create for the implant placement. The open approach is done through the side of the jaw, the same way the ENT doctors use to gain access to the sinus. Once again, the membrane that lines the sinus is elevated and the gap is grafted with a bone replacement material. In some cases, implants might be placed during the same procedure, but in the majority of situations requiring an open sinus lift, the implant placement is postponed by a few months in order to allow the grafted bone to integrate with the existing one.