If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, you have likely thought about getting dental implants. Dental implants are a popular and permanent solution, and they can blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth. They help maintain the natural structure of your mouth, and they can give you the confidence to smile proudly. However, it is best that your gums are in prime condition for dental implants.
How Does The Dentist Determine Gum Disease?
Before your dentist gives you the green light for dental implants, he or she will perform a routine dental examination. During your initial exam, the dentist or dental hygienist will evaluate your gums. You may notice that your dentist or hygienist recites numbers aloud while poking your gums. This is part of diagnosing periodontal disease.
Your dentist or hygienist will use a periodontal probe to examine your gum pockets. The numbers they say out loud are millimeter measurements. Your dentist uses numbers on a scale from one to seven to determine the severity of your periodontal disease.
One millimeter to three millimeter gum pockets indicate that there is no gum disease. Four millimeters pockets and higher indicate that there is gum disease, and these gum pockets are often red or swollen. You may notice that these areas bleed when you floss, too.
How Does The Dentist Treat Unhealthy Gums?
When gum pockets are above four millimeters and there are other signs of gum disease, your dentist may perform a deep cleaning procedure. This procedure is called root planing and dental scaling. Root planing and dental scaling involve the use of hand-held tools or ultrasonic devices. In many cases, dentists will provide local anesthetic during the procedure. Diseased gums are often sensitive, so the cleaning procedure may be uncomfortable without anesthetic.
Additionally, your dentist will likely encourage you to change your at-home care routines. This will reduce the chances of recurring gum disease, and will help keep your gums healthy for upcoming dental implants. He or she may tell you to:
Floss more often and more thoroughly.
Use an antiseptic mouthwash to help kill germs in your mouth.
Rinse after consuming sugary or acidic beverages.
Brush and floss after eating meals.
Getting Implants Post-Periodontal Treatment
Once your gums are healthy, your dentist may go over your dental implant treatment plan. Dental implants are custom designed to fit your mouth and match your natural teeth. Ask your dentist about the implant procedure and the best aftercare practices. With healthy gums and high-quality dental implants, your smile may look better than ever before. For more information, contact a company like Woodland Family Dental.