Miami’s Gallardo & Lamas Periodontics and Implant Dentistry knows the importance of healthy gums. Statistics show that approximately 9 out of 10 adults and 3 out of 10 children have some form of periodontal disease. As a result, there is urgency to go for regular periodontal check-ups so that treatment plans can be followed in the earliest stages. Unfortunately, gum disease often lacks noticeable symptoms, so almost 4 out of 10 people end up with a severe form. The one good thing is that advancements in technology have made gum surgery much easier on the patient.
The Origins of Gum Surgery
Going back in history, many people went to their barber or blacksmith if they had a problem with their teeth. It wasn’t until 1840 that the first dental school opened, and that soon led to the formation of the American Dental Association in 1859.
It was Dr. John Riggs who first discussed periodontal disease in 1890, only he named it Riggs Disease and marketed an alcoholic mouthwash designed to treat the disease. It would be another 24 years before two physicians formed the American Academy of Oral Prophylaxis and Periodontology, which was shortened to the American Academy of Periodontology five years later. Still, periodontics was not a recognized specialty until the 1940s.
While periodontics was practiced in the 1900s, pioneers in this field often treated the disease by removing all bone, gum tissue, and teeth that were infected. With someone in the advanced stages of gum disease, this could lead to a long, painful recovery. By the 1970s and 1980s, doctors tried filling the now cleaned gum pockets with an antimicrobial agent like betadine or even tetracycline drugs.
As technology advanced, periodontists turned to scaling and root planing. An anesthetic is given to numb the gums and nerves at the roots of the teeth. A scraping tool is then used to scrape any tartar build-up from the tooth’s surface all the way down to the tooth root. If there was not enough gum tissue covering the roots, skin was grafted from the roof of the mouth and transplanted to the new area. This meant two surgical sites within the mouth that needed time to heal.
Advancements in Grafting
AlloDerm Regnerative Tissue Matrix provides periodontists with the gum tissue needed to graft over your exposed tooth roots. The tissue comes from donors who go through a meticulous screening process and is then harvested for use in the periodontist’s office. Once the gum tissue is harvested, it is processed to remove any of the donor’s cells.
Because the tissue is being grafted, there is still a surgical site. You will take antibiotics after the surgery, and pain medications help keep you comfortable.
Introducing Laser Surgery
In the 1990s, laser gum surgeries started gaining attention. The LANAP® laser is used to clean the tooth’s surface and the gums of infection. Once the tooth surface and gum tissue is clean, the laser helps prepare the gum for reattachment to the tooth. No scalpels are needed to cut gum tissue, so you do not need stitches. One LANAP® procedure is all you need, as long as you return to the periodontist for two follow-up appointments. As a result of a LANAP® procedure, the recovery is faster and leads to very little discomfort.
Watch Gallardo & Lamas’s periodontal consultation video. This video, along with the information provided on the web page, gives you excellent information about your options to treat gum disease. The very next step should be visiting Dr. Gallardo or Dr. Lamas for a consultation to find out if you have gum disease and what treatments are available to you. Call the Florida periodontists at (305) 447-1447 to schedule a consultation.