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Why Choose a Periodontist?

Why Choose a Periodontist

Tooth with dental toolsEvery dentist has some training and familiarity with identifying and sufficiently treating gum disease. However, like any specialist, a periodontist goes more in depth to study about the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease as well as other jawbone and oral soft tissue problems. A specialist stays up-to-date on the latest innovations in the technology and techniques used for diagnosis and treatment of the bone and soft tissues in your mouth.

At J. Paul Foster, DDS, we focus on your gum and jawbone health to develop a strong foundation for optimal oral health. We have provided the Minnetonka communities with exceptional periodontal care and dental implant placement since 1993. Dr. Foster’s outgoing personality and precise technical abilities combined with our dedication to your comfort results in oral health care you can be genuinely confident about. Call today and schedule your consultation!

CALL US: (952) 933-1361 REQUEST APPOINTMENT

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontics includes the treatment of the tissue, bone, and ligaments that support your teeth. Even though dentistry has improved dramatically, gum disease is still widespread, occurring in half of all adults across America. Our goal is to help you understand the condition and provide the best treatments to repair damage and prevent its progression. The stages of gum disease include:

Gingivitis: This stage is a widespread form of minor infection that affects the soft-tissue surrounding your teeth. This stage is the only one that is reversible because it has not penetrated below the gumline. Treatment is minimally invasive and we may suggest slight alterations to your brushing and flossing routine to maintain your gum health.


Slight Periodontal Disease: This stage is manageable, but not reversible. When bacteria evolve, it creates pockets separately the soft tissue from your teeth. The pockets provide a breeding ground for the bacteria that will travel down the roots to the bone and ligaments if left untreated. With regular deep cleanings, antibiotics, and more frequent exams, we can prevent the progression of the disease, and repair any existing damage.


Moderate Periodontal Disease: The pockets are deeper at this point and scaling, root planing, and antibiotics are used to remove the bacteria and halt the development. Depending on your situation, other surgical and restorative procedures are done to return balanced oral health. More frequent exams and cleanings are needed to maintain stability.


Advanced Periodontal Disease: Also called periodontitis, this stage can be much more painful, and the risk of bone and tooth loss increases. As the infection progresses, it moves beyond the bone and enters the bloodstream affecting the immune system. Treatment usually consists of periodontal surgery and antibiotics, along with more frequent follow-up care. These treatments can relieve pain and allow for restorative procedures to bring back normal function.

Advanced Periodontal Care at Our Professional Minnetonka Practice

Gum disease is a silent disease and may not show itself without a professional exam. Gingivitis has few notable symptoms, but left unaddressed, it can lead to pain, infection, and potentially tooth loss. Getting a periodontal exam from an expert like Dr. Foster can mean the difference between minor treatment or costly invasive surgical procedures. Fortunately, we can take care of gum disease no matter what stage it is in, and we will work with you to make your treatment affordable and convenient. Common procedures we offer include:

  • Thorough and regular cleanings can be enough to correct gum disease at the early gingivitis stage with no long-term damage to the gums or teeth. An intensive deep cleaning allows tissue to heal before the disease can advance.
  • Antibiotic treatment alone is an option for mild to moderate bacteria buildup and also used to support more advanced treatment to remove the infection completely. Our team can also provide additional instruction to help prevent the infection from returning.
  • Scaling and root planning is used when gum disease has progressed beyond gingivitis. It is a specialized cleaning that removes tartar, plaque, and toxins from above and below the gum line—a process known as scaling. Then the surfaces of the roots of the teeth are smoothed with specialized tools, also known as planing. After this procedure, the gum tissue can heal and recover from the disease.
  • Gingivectomy is sometimes needed in severe cases of gum disease. It involves the surgical removal and reshaping of infected gum tissue to improve the aesthetics of the gum tissue.
  • Pocket Reduction: Advanced gum disease can result in bacteria forming pockets beneath the gum line, causing the tissue to pull away from the root. This procedure helps to reduce the depth of the pocket decreasing the area susceptible to new plaque formation. 
  • Gum Grafts: With periodontitis, the gums may begin to recede, giving teeth less support. Gum grafts place new tissue in depleted areas to bolster the teeth and create healthier gums overall.

Cheerful couple in bed smiling at cameraIf your gums are swollen, tender, or bleed easily, it is essential to attend to these symptoms before a more serious condition develops. Dr. Foster has completed thousands of hours of continuing education to offer you the most effective treatments possible. Our knowledgeable Minnetonka team will work with you to arrange the details and walk you through every step. We also offer nitrous oxide to relieve anxiety during your procedures. Regardless of the level of treatment you need, J. Paul Foster, DDS can provide the highest quality of care in a relaxing environment.

Count on a Skilled Professional

Experienced and competent periodontal care is a critical step in every dental health routine, but it is especially important if you’ve been diagnosed with a periodontal condition. If you or a family member think you might have gum disease, seeking help from our highly experienced team is the best way to restore your optimal health. Call us today and find out more!

CALL US: (952) 933-1361 REQUEST APPOINTMENT

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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.