After practicing dentistry for 28 years I can say that the dental patients today are the luckiest patients in history. There are so many options available for so many dental problems and with a very high rate of success.
We have learned a lot about the causes of gum disease and numerous treatments are available. Of course the best way to prevent gum disease is with good home care. Once you have gum disease it can often be treated with antibiotics placed under the gums. New mouth rinses can be prescribed to keep bacteria in check but if you need gum surgery we now have new surgical procedures which preserve much of your gums instead of simply removing the bad parts of your gums. Not all periodontists are familiar with these newer surgical techniques so make sure you ask about it before your treatment.
Since there are so many ways to replace missing teeth today make sure your dentist is up to date on the new dentistry. Missing teeth can be replaced with permanent or removable replacements. Removable replacements can be made of flexible or rigid material. Each one has advantages and disadvantages. Also the clips that hold them in can be made of metal or they can look like your gums. Ask your dentist to show you examples of each. Non-removable replacements can be done with implants or crowns. Crowns require drilling on teeth and implants are placed in the bone. Today implants can last longer than crowns and they do not get decayed like teeth with crowns on them.
Teeth can be moved with traditional braces with wires and they can be moved with clear aligners. Clear aligners are not noticeable on the teeth and are made using computer aided design. In our office we can do both types of braces and sometimes we place small temporary implants in to help the teeth move. Once your problem is evaluated we can tell you what options are possible so you can make a decision. After you complete your orthodontic treatment we can make a clear retainer which is almost invisible.