This is a photo of a patient’s mouth, one week after periodontal treatment had been carried out on the right-hand side.
This patient had come in as a new patient the previous week and the dental history revealed she had had previous bad experience at the dentist so had not re- attended for almost three years. There was no relevant medical history and the main concerns were bleeding and receding gums. After a history and full examination including radiographs were carried out, a diagnosis of chronic periodontal disease was made.
Treatment options were discussed with the patient including a thorough explanation of her condition using a hand mirror and diagrams. The definitive agreed treatment plan included:
(a) Oral hygiene instruction over 2 visits.
(b) A full mouth scale over 2-3 visits including root surface debridement here needed.
(c) Review appointments at three months until the periodontal condition stabilizes.
This case demonstrates how quickly periodontal disease can resolve with a motivated patient and effective treatment. This patient initially presented with poor hygiene, gums that would easily bleed by light brushing and deep periodontal pocketing. On the right-hand side, all that was carried out was a gentle scale and polish without local anaesthetic. This resulted in the patient being able to brush better on that side and immediately became more motivated. Without any treatment, it would have been fair to say that the patient would eventually have lost all her teeth due to chronic periodontal disease.