What is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a dental specialist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and conditions that affect the supporting structures of the teeth, including the gums, bone, and connective tissues. Periodontics is a specialized field in dentistry that requires two to three years of additional education and training along with a residency program before board certification can be granted.
Meet Our Periodontist
Here at Nashua Riverfront Dentistry, we pay particular attention to the health of our patient’s gums! Our periodontist, Dr. Francesca Failla, is a Board-certified periodontal specialist who has been recognized as one of the leading providers in the state of New Hampshire! She exclusively works in our convenient location in downtown Nashua, making it easy to get the highest quality periodontal care without leaving our office.
Why Do You Need a Periodontist?
You might be referred to a periodontist if you are diagnosed with gum disease, including gingivitis or more advanced periodontal disease. These conditions can compromise the ability of your gum and jaw bones to hold your teeth in their proper alignment securely and
even lead to tooth loss.
Gum disease can be controlled and sometimes even reversed when diagnosed and treated early. If you are diagnosed with more advanced periodontal disease, a periodontist can help manage the symptoms it causes and treat damaged teeth or teeth that need to be replaced.
Gum disease progresses in stages. The earliest stage is gingivitis, which causes symptoms like irritation, redness, and swelling. It is caused by the buildup of plaque and bacteria along and under your gumline.
If left untreated, the irritation and swelling caused by gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease causes deep pockets filled with plaque, bacteria, and tartar (hardened plaque) to form between your teeth and gums. These pockets grow deeper over time and can cause bone and tissue loss.
Common Periodontal Procedures
A periodontist commonly performs dental procedures including gum recession treatment, pocket reduction, bone and gum grafts, dental implant placement extractions, and oral biopsies.
Depending on an individual’s diagnosis, a periodontist may combine one or more of these procedures to achieve optimal results.
Gum Recession Treatment:
The two most common procedures to treat gum recession caused by gum disease are scaling and root planing. During a scaling procedure, a periodontist will remove plaque and tartar along and below the gumline. Scaling is often followed by root planing, which is where a periodontist smooths out the roots of your teeth, helping separated gum tissue reattach to teeth.
Pocket Reduction Surgery:
Also known as osseous or flap surgery, pocket reduction surgery is performed to remove bacteria and tartar at the roots of teeth. During this procedure, a periodontist will uncover the gums to access deep deposits of plaque, bacteria, and tartar.
Teeth that have been affected by advanced periodontal teeth can compromise the density of underlying bone, causing it to shrink and become porous. As bone is the foundation of healthy teeth, bone loss can lead to bite misalignment or tooth loss.
A periodontist can perform a bone graft to strengthen and reinforce bone. A bone graft might be necessary as a base for dental implants and can also be used to make dentures fit more securely.
Healthy gums that cover and anchor the teeth are an important part of a healthy mouth. Gum recession can expose the sensitive roots of the teeth to decay. Gum grafts can be used to thicken thin or recessed gums. Grafts prevent further recessions and may even recover gum that has been lost.
Periodontists receive extensive training on all oral surgical procedures, including extractions. Their specialized knowledge of the gums and underlying bones makes them uniquely qualified to provide even simple extractions.
The soft tissue in the oral cavity can be vulnerable to diseases that are not related to the teeth and gums, including carcinomas, lichen planus, and leukoplakia. A periodontist can perform a biopsy on areas of concern and work with your medical provider to give you an accurate diagnosis on which to base your treatment options.
A periodontist can use dental implants to replace lost or damaged teeth as well as to create a secure anchor for a bridge or partial dentures. They offer superior stability for replacement crowns or other dental replacements.
A dental implant is comprised of a post which is surgically placed into the jawbone and a crown which is secured to the post and replaces the missing tooth. Missing even a single tooth can have a huge impact on your oral health, leading to bite misalignment and an increased risk of developing gum disease.
Advanced Periodontal Technology at Nashua Riverfront Dentistry
Our board-certified periodontist, Dr. Francesca Failla, is always looking for the latest periodontal technologies to provide our patients with the most advanced treatment options. These technologies include:
LANAP, or Laser-Assisted New Attachment Protocol, is a laser technology that can be used for pocket disinfection, providing effective cleaning that may even help with bone regeneration in deeper pockets. This technology has been shown to significantly reduce deposits of bacteria and alleviate inflammation, leading to greater periodontal health outcomes.
LAPIP, or Laser-Assisted Peri-Implantitis Protocol, is a laser technology that is used specifically to treat peri-implantitis, a gum disease specific to denture wearers. Like LANAP, LAPIP provides precise, effective treatment of gum disease if you wear dentures.
CBCT 3D Digital Scanning
Dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) is a special type of X-ray equipment used when regular dental or facial X-rays are not sufficient. We use this technology in our practice to produce three-dimensional (3-D) images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways, and bone in a single scan.
The Tooth Transformer is one of the latest, most advanced periodontal technologies available today. The Tooth Transformer allows us to create grafting materials from a patient’s extracted tooth.
Using a patient’s tooth to create grating materials can lessen the chance of a graft being rejected. Additionally, stimulating proteins in the teeth are thought to be able to actively work to create new bone, stabilizing both the jaw and the teeth.