Medically Reviewed By Dr. Tina Beck

Couple in white robes smilingPoway residents who have loose or missing teeth as a result of periodontal disease often ask Dr. Beck of Southern California Periodontics & Implantology if they qualify to receive dental implants. Periodontal disease is a serious oral health condition and dental implants should not be placed while the disease is active. If you desire dental implants but think you may have periodontal disease, don’t lose hope! As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Beck is also a specialist in the treatment periodontal disease and can help restore your oral health to optimal conditions.  Once gum health is restored, dental implants can be placed.  Keep reading to learn more about dental implants and periodontal disease!

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease most often occurs when Poway men and women do not practice adequate oral hygiene for an extended period of time. Poor oral hygiene habits leads to gingivitis, or gum inflammation, which left untreated, often spreads to the bone supporting the teeth, and progresses into periodontal disease.

Patients who have periodontal disease sometimes suffer from red, swollen, and tender gums. Gums that remain inflamed for a prolonged period will begin to pull away from the teeth, causing “pockets”. These pockets allow bacteria to grow on the tooth root deep beneath the gum line where it is impossible to reach with toothbrushing or flossing. If treatment to remove the bacteria and clean the contaminated tooth roots is delayed, bone loss can occur. As the bone deteriorates, the teeth begin to loosen, may become painful, and may require removal.

As you can see, periodontal disease is very serious and should be treated by a professional in a timely manner. The longer the disease progresses, the harder (and more expensive) it is to treat.  If you hope to have one or more dental implants, Dr. Beck must fully treat your periodontal disease so your gums and bone will be healthy enough to securely hold dental implants in place.

How Can Dr. Beck Treat My Periodontal Disease?

Dr. Beck offers a few different treatment options for Poway patients who are suffering from periodontal disease. Which one she recommends will be based on how severe your periodontal disease is and how many teeth are involved. Common procedures that may be needed include the following:

  • Deep cleaning

If you catch your periodontal disease early enough, a procedure referred to as “Scaling and Root Planing”can be performed.  During a Scaling and Root Planing procedure, Dr. Beck thoroughly numbs the area requiring treatment, and cleans the roots of the teeth deep below the gum line, removing all the bacterial plaque and calculus. Within weeks, the inflammation resolves, allowing the gum and bone to heal and reattach to your teeth. After 4-6 weeks, Dr. Beck will reevaluate you to see if you qualify for dental implants.

  • Periodontal “gum” surgery

For Poway patients with severe periodontal disease that has progressed too long, it is impossible to clean all the bacterial plaque and decontaminate the roots of the teeth so deep under the gum line with just scaling and root planing. In this case, Dr. Beck may need to perform a minor surgical procedure to loosen the gums from the teeth ignorer to access all the bacteria growing deep below the gum line. If bone loss is present, Dr. Beck can also sometimes regenerate some of the damaged bone to help restore your teeth and gums back to optimal health.

Once the area has healed for a few months, Dr. Beck will re-assess your gum health to determine when you will be ready for the placement of dental implants.

  • Periodontal maintenance

Once you’ve had periodontal disease, you’re at an increased risk of developing it again. Periodontal maintenance is a very thorough professional cleaning that is usually done quarterly to remove any debris in difficult to reach areas that you might miss during your daily hygiene routine.  Periodontal maintenance is critical to help your gum and bone remain healthy, and ensure long-term success of dental implants.

Call Dr. Beck to Find Out More About Periodontal Disease and Dental Implants

If you’re in the Poway area and believe you could be suffering from periodontal disease, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Beck at (858) 635-6700 to schedule a consultation!  The sooner you get treatment the better!