"After almost 2 years of on and off abscesses and many, many trips to my dentist and hygienist I can honestly say I couldn't have been more relieved to be...” referred by my dentist to Amit - a periodontal and implant specialist. For years I have been really careful and almost obsessive about cleaning my teeth; brushing 3 -4 times a day, using mouth washes and weekly flossing; so to be told I had chronic periodontal disease was devastating. I have seen the posters of the disease and my teeth did not look unhealthy on the outside, neither did they bleed that often but I knew the recurring abscesses, courses of antibiotics, and throbbing tooth ache and bleeding when I flossed wasn't right.
So whilst I was nervous, emotional and feared I would lose my teeth and have black gaping holes in my mouth I attended my first appointment.
Amit explained the disease and helped me understand the treatment and also the options I could consider. He showed me close up photographs and x-rays of periodontal disease before and after treatment. He showed me the x-rays of my teeth and showed me what to look for and explained how my gums, teeth and bone had been affected by the disease. He gave me all the time I needed and was very honest and explained that gum disease is not always visible but if left untreated, like mine had been, can progress to a chronic state. He also said I was under no obligation to have the root planing treatment and explained how I might feel during, straight after and after 3 months. He also made it clear that the key to a very good response to the treatment is meticulous cleaning; Amit used a mirror and interdental brushes and coached me on how to clean my teeth to get the best result.
After taking many measurements of my teeth - lots of numbers using a probe, the next appointment was the root planing treatment. I knew what to expect but I can honestly say that whilst it was tiring to be so tense and in the dentist chair for a couple of hours my mouth was so numb I didn't feel any pain - just a slight pinch and a weird tingling feeling when the injections were done. My whole mouth, tongue, cheeks and chin were numb, I felt no pain and Amit was careful to make sure every part of my mouth was numb and that the numbness lasted for the duration.
After 24 hours I brushed for the first time, very gently, then used interdental brushes after 48 hours. My electric toothbrush wasn't nice to use as it sent vibrations in to my teeth roots but the brushes were surprisingly easy to use. It was a bit of a shock to find large pockets between my teeth that weren't there before and even more strange to find that my gums moved when I brushed which made me feel a bit queasy. After I got used to it though and remembered Amit's advice on meticulous cleaning by the third or fourth day I was able to brush normally and use the brushes easily. After about 2 weeks I found my gums had started to shrink back and the pockets weren't so loose and I gradually began to use smaller brushes. I didn't experience very much sensitivity like Amit said I might feel; the only exception was when I used the antibacterial gel on my brushes which made the vibrations of my electric toothbrush feel too harsh. This stopped as soon as I stopped using the gel.
I continued to brush twice a day, slowly and carefully using a mirror to make sure I had covered every surface and used the brushes every night.
My follow up appointment (3 months) involved the probe again and lots of numbers. This time I was so relieved to find the numbers had gone down from a bad 9 to a good 3 in some cases. The gums that were previously so severely affected are now pink and healthy and whilst my gum line looks like I have slightly longer teeth in some places it is hardly noticeable. Amit found just one area that needed more localised attention but by following up with brushing and cleaning it should improve as much as the rest of my gums.
The root planing treatment, followed by my careful cleaning has undoubtedly stabilised my gums and has probably saved me from losing my teeth and having big gaping holes in my mouth. I realise that I will need to see a hygienist every 3 months and to brush this way now for as long as I have teeth but I can't help thinking that if I had seen a periodontal specialist earlier I may not have had so severe a problem and had I not seen a specialist such as Amit I would have undoubtedly lost several of my teeth. Hopefully now each time I have a check up those numbers will stay at a healthy level.
What can say - but thank you for specialists like Amit who understand the fear of gum disease and can explain periodontal treatments with unembellished bare bones facts and as a testimony conduct the treatment with successful results."