Non-Surgical Treatment

Bacteria are the initial cause of periodontal disease. Bacteria form in plaque, which is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms over the teeth and destroys bone. Plaque that is not removed by regular brushing and flossing hardens into tartar over time. You cannot remove tartar (or calculus) on your own. The only way to remove tartar is with a procedure called scaling, which is done by a dentist or hygienist.

In moderate or severe periodontitis, it may be necessary to smooth the root surfaces of the teeth. This procedure, called root planning, removes residual calculus and bacterial by-products. We may also provide a non-surgical periodontal treatment that includes oral medication and helps stop enzymes from attacking the gums and bone.

Atridox® (doxycycline hyclate) 10% is a major advance in the treatment of periodontal disease. It is an antibiotic gel that is placed gently into your gum pockets where bacteria thrive. Atridox® then quickly hardens into a wax like substance, slowly releasing the antibiotic to the infected area for seven days.

Atridox® takes just minutes to administer and is a comfortable treatment. The benefits you’ll receive from one simple treatment can help you achieve better gum health. A common use for Atridox® is when we see patients on maintenance visits that have a few areas that have started to re-pocket. If we catch these cases early enough and treat with Atridox®, we are able to avoid surgical re-entry.

Periostat® is the first and only systemic pharmaceutical to help treat periodontal disease by inhibiting the enzymes that destroy periodontal support tissues. Periostat® is an adjunctive therapy to the traditional treatment of adult periodontal disease: mechanical scaling and root planning (SRP).

In 2001 Periostat® was granted the Seal of Acceptance by the American Dental Association (ADA). This is given to a very select group of patients who do not respond as would be expected to conventional therapy. Patients requiring this form of treatment are given a prescription for 6 – 9 months’ worth of pills taken twice a day. At six months, we reevaluate their periodontal status to determine if the Periostat® should be continued or some other form of non-surgical periodontal therapy be attempted.