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Cleanings & gum disease...

Few things in dentistry are more confusing to the typical dental patient than gum disease. The scientific name is Periodontal Disease and it means that, due to chronic irritation, the ligaments and bone surrounding the teeth are beginning to break down. The condition is diagnosed using radiographs and measurements taken around the teeth by Dr. Stahly or dental hygienists. These records are made at the initial visit, though established patients are checked for gum disease as well.

If no gum disease is found, a simple cleaning and polishing of the teeth is performed, and then the patient is checked every 6 months for changes and cavities. If gum disease is found, it is often first treated by deeply cleaning the roots of the teeth. The procedure is broken down into 2-4 appointments and local anesthetic on the gums is often used for comfort. After the whole mouth is treated, we check the patient every 3-4 months to make sure the disease is stable. Based on the severity of the disease, the treatment can be completed in anywhere from 1-4 visits. Periodontal Disease is common in teeth that have not been professionally cleaned in several years but responds to initial conservative therapy in 80% of cases. If the case is more advanced or does not respond to initial therapy, then there are specialists, called Periodontists, who specialize in helping advance cases be treated successfully. Patients can be seen in Muncie so travel is kept to a minimum.

The above information is a very quick and basic overview of gum disease. For more information please contact Dr. Stahly via phone or e-mail or visit www.ada.org .

 

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