Non-surgical periodontal therapy
Non-surgical periodontal care consists of full mouth debridement, oral hygiene improvement as well as modifying risk factors which contributed to the problem in the first place. We will help you identify factors which can interfere with the healing process and eliminate or minimise its effects as much as possible.
For typical cases, this would be cleaning and smoothing of the root surfaces for all of your teeth over two sessions, one week apart ideally. Local anaesthsia will be administered. We apply ample topical anaesthetics first for a few minutes so that the numbing injections are as comfortable as possible. All care will be taken to ensure that your appointment is as smooth as possible. Please let us know at your initial consult if you are feeling very apprehensive about procedural appointments so that we can discuss ways to make the appointment easier for you. We will provide specific aftercare information for you.
You should brush thoroughly with your interdental brushes and any other recommended brushes no later than 48 hours after your visit with us. Preferably no later than 24 hours later. If you delay proper toothbrushing the oral bacteria which would have continue to multiply will interfere with the gum healing process. It is ok to have a small amount of gum bleeding when you brush your teeth, be assured that as you heal the bleeding will soon disappear.
We frequently prescribe a topical re-mineralizing paste to protect the root surfaces from tooth decay or dental caries and to alleviate any sensitivity issues.
We will give you some feedback as to how you are doing with your homecare and revise your toothbrushing when you attend your aftercare check one to two weeks later. We will remind you to book in for your 12 week full mouth re-evaluation visit with the periodontist and the first maintenance clean with the hygienist on the same day.
We may ask you to see your family doctor for a wellness check if you present with medical conditions which may affect your care. We may ask you to see your dentist for removal of teeth which are considered hopeless and not retainable. We may ask your dentist to polish or replace existing fillings if they harbour bacteria. We may ask you to help monitor dubious teeth with cracks. We will ask you to stop smoking if you smoke cigarettes.
The 12 week follow up marks the end of the course of non-surgical care. There will be a report back to your dentist or referring specialist with a treatment plan for the next 12 months. This is often the time when significant discussions take place. For example questions surrounding long term prognosis and longevity of teeth and what treatment options are available for missing teeth and smile enhancements.
A typical patient plan for the first 12 weeks
- Optimise your daily homecare so that you are cleaning thoroughly 360 degrees around each individual tooth. Doing it properly once a day is sufficient. You can start right now and do the best you can and we can give you feedback on your techniques when we see you.
- See your family doctor if you have been asked to do so by your periodontist
- See your family dentist or prosthodontist if you have other dental issues which requires concurrent care. Your periodontist would have discuss this with you at your initial consult during your first visit.
- Attend your visits with us as per your customised treatment plan.
- See your periodontist for a full mouth re-evaluation 12 weeks later to to discuss the next step forward for your overall treatment direction.
- See your hygienist or family dentist for regular maintenance. This is usually three to four times a year. Your periodontist will formulate and prescribe a maintenance plan for your hygienist and dentist.
- Remember to bring all of your brushes when you come to see us so that we can revise your homecare.
Oral hygiene coaching / Lessons in toothbrushing
Our team is highly trained and qualified in teaching you how to maintain your teeth. It is not easy to brush well and there is a bit of a learning curve at the beginning. It's all about the technique itself and being consistent day to day. Over the years we were taught many different toothbrushing techniques, most of us would be able to recall childhood oral health campaigns. However these techniques are outdated as the focus has moved from tooth decay prevention to maintaining teeth for life. What you've been taught in the past may not be sufficient to keep disease processes at bay today.
Learning to brush your teeth optimally is no different to learning how to strike the goal ball or perfecting your swing. Like the novice musician who's learning to playing the piano by practising their scales or the child learning to write. It takes practice and time to get it right.
Our oral hygiene coaching session is a personalised one-on-one lesson in showing you the techniques that is most appropriate for your tooth. We will demonstrate techniques which are effective and gentle.
We use a variety of teaching methods. We find that many patients respond well to a "hands-on" teaching method with direct constructive feedback. Often we take photographs of the interior of your mouth to show you what we see.
Feel free to take a look at the homecare section on our website for some pointers and make a start today and do the best you can until you see our hygienist or periodontist.
If you've had oral hygiene coaching sessions in the past you may find that you require slightly different techniques to reflect the changes in your mouth. Homecare review is an essential component of your care.
Is gum disease curable?
With good management it is possible to be attain healthy gum measurements but this does not mean that you are cured. Regular gum check-ups and maintenance are important components of care to prevent or minimise the risk of deterioration.
The information presented here is for information gathering purposes only. It is not a substitute for clinical advice.