Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that gets under the gums and into the bone around your teeth.  This infectious material must be removed and the area given a chance to heal. There are two generally accepted treatments for this – depending upon the severity of your infection.

Minimal  Infection

Bacterial infection which is in the upper levels of the pockets around your teeth can be removed using specialized instruments.  This procedure is called tooth scaling and root planing. It is done under local anesthesia and is quite different from routine, or deep, cleaning which is traditionally done in the general dentists’ office.

Severe Infection

If your infection has gotten into the bone which supports your teeth, and is below the level that can be reached with specialized instruments, then a minor surgical procedure must be done to pull back the gums and remove the lower level infectious bacteria.

Bone Grafting Your jaw bone is what supports your teeth and gums.  Unfortunately, periodontal disease can eat away at your jaw bone giving it a “depressed” or shrunken appearance in places.  In many cases, this lost bone can be partially grown back using various bone grafting techniques.

Procedure: The periodontist gives you a local anesthetic and gently opens the area filling in the missing section with bone grafting material.

Soft Tissue Grafting Longer teeth or exposed tooth roots can look unsightly.  They can also increase your sensitivity to heat, cold or sweets. In some cases, gum tissue can placed in these areas.

Procedure:  The periodontist gives you a local anesthetic and gently places a gum tissue graft over the area.

Ridge Augmentation Sometimes after an extraction there will be a sunken in spot in your gum line.  This looks unsightly and can jeopardize the appearance of a bridge which goes over this area or may prevent future dental implant placement.  Bone grafting material can be inserted to fill out this depression.

Procedure:  The periodontist gives you a local anesthetic and gently opens the area – filling the sunken area with bone grafting material.

Sinus Lift

If dental implants are to be placed in the back upper jaw, sometimes there is not enough bone to support the implant. This is usually due to bone loss and location of your air space above your teeth (maxillary sinus). Occasionally a procedure called an internal or external sinus lift is needed in which bone graft material is placed safely into the sinus allowing for enough bone to support a dental implant.


Sometimes a tooth has broken down so much it can not be saved and must be removed. Also, wisdom teeth which tend to erupt between ages of 17-21 can be difficult to clean, may jeopardize adjacent teeth and must be removed.

Procedure: The periododntist gives you local ansethsia and removes the tooth atraumatically as possible

Crown Lengthening When getting a crown, the general dentist must prepare your tooth to receive the crown. Sometimes there is not enough tooth surface above the gumline to accomplish this. Crown lengthening provides more tooth for your crown. This ensures a more stable crown with less gum irritation afterwards. Also, if you have a “gummy” smile or uneven gum line, crown lengthening can help your teeth to look longer and more even.

Procedure: The periodontist gives you a local anesthetic and gently removes excess gum and bone tissue to expose more of your natural teeth.

Dr. Michael Weisner, DDS Dr. Marta Janion, DDS