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Advanced Education Clinics: Periodontics

What is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease and in the planning, surgical placement, and maintenance of dental implants. After completing their dental school training, periodontists continue their education for three years to obtain a postdoctoral specialty degree in Periodontics. 

The main focus of a periodontist is to prevent or halt periodontal disease.  Periodontal disease is a chronic disease that generally begins to affect adults as they enter their fourth or fifth decade of life.  Other contributory factors towards the disease include systemic disease, such as diabetes, and smoking.  Adolescents may also be in need of periodontal services for the correction of a gummy smile or the repair of a defect.  These are only a few of the reasons for which patients are referred to a periodontist. 

Another rising demand of dental patients is the need for implants. Some patients may be born without all of their teeth, or may lose a tooth from extensive decay or some type of traumatic event.  Also, patients who wear complete dentures will frequently complain of dentures moving around, and an implant-supported denture is a good option.  In this event, these patients will seek the surgical placement of implants from a periodontist.  Again, these types of procedures usually originate in a general dentist practice, and patients are referred to the periodontist for these services.

Become a Patient
If you are interested in becoming a patient in the LSUHSC Periodontics Clinic, please contact your dentist for a referral.

If you are a referring dentist or physician, please contact 504-941-8278 to refer your patient directly to the department. Please fax this referral form to 504-941-8279. 

Location
LSUHSC School of Dentistry
Department of Periodontics – Located on the 4th Floor, Clinic Building
1100 Florida Avenue
New Orleans, LA  70119

Services Provided
The practice of Periodontics includes, but is not limited to, the following procedures:

1.       Preventive dentistry including prophylaxis, fluoride, and dental education

2.       Non-surgical treatment including scaling and root planning (deep cleaning), anti-microbial therapy, and laser treatment

3.       Surgical treatment for periodontal disease:

a.       Resective surgery / Pocket reduction surgery – removal of infected gums and/or bone

b.      Regeneration procedures (bone grafting)

c.      Periodontal plastic surgery – gum grafts to cover recession defects

4.       Surgical placement of implants – including any site preparation surgery that must be done

5.       Sedation – either oral sedation or IV sedation

Fees
Fees within the Department of Periodontics at the LSUHSC School of Dentistry will typically be 1/3 to 1/2  the cost of  private practice.  Before providing each patient with an estimate of treatment costs, a thorough examination and the necessary x-rays will be performed.  With this information, we can diagnose the case, develop a treatment plan that helps meet the patient's goals, and provide the patient with an estimate of the costs involved.

Technology Available
Within the Department of Periodontics, we have the traditional surgical and nonsurgical methods available for treating periodontal disease.  As our profession continues to develop new treatment methods, we will strive to offer the most up-to-date treatment alternatives for our patients.  Some of the more current services that we can offer are:

  • Laser Treatment:
    Laser treatment is an alternative to surgery for patients who have significant pocketing.  The goal of this type of therapy is to regenerate the supporting structures that have been lost.  With this treatment, a certified dentist or periodontist will remove the inflamed gum tissues with a laser, and in using the laser, stimulate the regeneration of lost structures.  Some studies show that through this type of treatment, the patient will experience less bleeding,  less swelling, and less discomfort.   

  • Surgery under the Microscope:
    New advances in microscopic surgery are now available.  With increased magnification, clinicians now can use the increased visual acuity to improve wound closure and reduce trauma to the tissues.  Through both nonsurgical and surgical methods of treatment, the microscope allows us to visualize our working area, and increase the success rates of our procedures. 

  • PRGF machine:
    Platelets Rich in Growth Factors, or PRGF, is a new clinical concept that enables us to use the patient’s own blood to help speed up the healing time of periodontal surgery, as well as reduce the costs of outside materials that would normally be used.  By taking a blood sample from the patient prior to surgery, we can take advantage of the platelets and growth factors that are present in the patient’s blood, mix them with a graft or implant surgery, and allow them to help speed the healing process and regenerate lost tissues.  

Implant Studies - Screening
The Department of Periodontics currently has two implant studies underway for which we are recruiting patients.  Patients must meet certain criteria to participate in this study, including health criteria and specific dental conditions. Currently, if accepted, patients will receive an implant as well as the crown for a total of $700.

To find out if you qualify, please contact 504-941-8276 to set up a screening appointment.

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Last Update 2/2012