Periodontist in Astoria, Queens

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There are many different specializations in dentistry focused on certain areas and treatments of the mouth. The dentist that takes care of your gums is called a periodontist. They are considered experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Our periodontist, Dr. Victor Terranova is skilled with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and trained in performing cosmetic procedures with gingiva. The most common issue that periodontists treat is gum disease. Treatment for gum disease usually involves scaling and root planing (cleaning of the root surface), root surface debridement (removal of damaged tissue), and some surgical procedures. The periodontist is also trained in the placement and repair of our patients’ dental implants.

What Can I Expect from Periodontal Treatment?

There are many nonsurgical and surgical treatments your dentist or periodontist may choose to perform, depending on the condition of the teeth, gums and jawbone. A complete periodontal exam of the mouth will be done before any treatment is performed or recommended. The first step is to know if you may be developing the early signs of gum disease. We always recommend visiting your dentist or hygienist regularly for cleanings and checkups to prevent any complications.

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What exactly is Periodontal Treatment?

Periodontal Treatment is  is a 3 step process at Steinway Family Dental Center

Our First step is periodontal diagnosis.

Diagnosis of periodontal disease - Periodontal disease is diagnosed by your dentist or dental hygienist during an examination. This normally happens at your dental check-up or cleaning.

Our Second step is periodontal treatment.

The different methods of periodontal treatment depend on the type of periodontal disease and the severity. Once your dentist and hygienist have diagnosed the particular type of periodontal disease they will recommend the appropriate treatment.

Our  third step is periodontal maintenance.

Many patients don’t realize that it takes 24 hours for plaque that is not removed from your teeth to become calculus. Patients who have a proper cleaning regime can control plaque and tartar formation. Difficult to reach areas will always have to be removed by the dentist, periodontist or hygienist.

How does a dentist diagnose Periodontal Disease?

The dentist, hygienist or periodontist  uses a periodontal probe in order to gently measure the sulcus (this the pocket or space) between the tooth and the gums. A healthy sulcus measures 3 mm or less and will not bleed. The probe allows the dentist to indicate if the pockets are more than 3mm. As a patient’s periodontal disease progresses the pockets will become deeper.

The dentist or hygienist uses pocket depths, the amount of bleeding from the gums and mobility of the teeth to make a proper diagnosis that will allow them to ascertain if you have periodontal disease.

What exactly is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the first stage of a patient’s periodontal disease. Plaque and its toxin by-products can irritate the patient gums causing inflammation, tenderness and bleeding.

What is Periodontitis?

Once plaque hardens into calculus and the plaque and calculus begin to build up the gums start to recede from the teeth. Larger pockets can form between the gums and it is possible that the teeth can become filled with bacteria and puss. There may be some bone loss present and the gums can become inflamed, irritated and begin to bleed.

 

Examination:  

The step is to let the periodontist measure the extent of your periodontal disease by a thorough examination.

Dr Terranova will first review your dental history. He will measure how clean your teeth are, how inflamed your gums are and if they are loose or if they have shifted. If the periodontal probe that he uses shows that the pockets are deeper than 4mm then he knows that these can only be cleaned by professional help.

Dr Terranova will also confer with your physician. If you are taking certain blood medications such as Procardia, Norvasc or Plendil these can cause your gums to become swollen. He may advise you to change your blood pressure medication to one with a lessening side effect.

  1. Dr Terranova may advise you how to clean your teeth correctly. Many people people don’t floss and brush properly. You can do harm by brushing and flossing too hard. This may cause gingival recession ( the shrinking of the gums from the roots of your teeth). This can cause longer looking teeth.

    2) Scaling and root planing - This is the normal process for most patients. We firstly make your gums numb to make you more comfortable . We then carefully clean inside the pockets using a special vibrating tool called a Caviton or Ultrasonic. This will remove the plaque, tartar and germs from the teeth. Once the toxins and germs have been removed the gums will begin to heal.

3) Re-evaluation - We wait a month or so for the patient’s gums to respond to all the deep cleaning and improved brushing and flossing. As the tissue becomes healthier the pockets may shrink. We then re-measure the pockets to see if any areas need help.

4) Surgery - In some cases despite our efforts to be conservative periodontal surgery is required. The gum tissue is lifted back so that  can look inside the pockets more clearly. He will then perform deep scaling and root planing with better visibility.

Does Periodontal Treatment work?

For most patients beginning periodontal therapy will result in saving their teeth. If the periodontist, dentist or hygienist can make an early diagnosis, then the cure is simpler and the patient prognosis can be better.

The periodontist highlights a few factors that can help save your teeth:

  1. Patients must stop smoking due to the fact that chemicals in the smoke can affect your gums. This can have an adverse affect on any periodontal treatment you are undergoing.
  2. A patient’s teeth must be cleaned thoroughly with proper brushing and flossing techniques.The first defense in preventing new bacteria from attacking the gums is patients dental habits.
  3. Periodontal maintenance - having a thorough cleaning every 3 months is most important way to prevent new problems.

If you have any questions or concerns about periodontal disease, periodontal treatment, or dental implants give us a call at 718-728-3314 .

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