Dr. John Woell | Dr. Elizabeth Woell Rhode | Dr. James Vang  |  Dr. Amanda Steffes

1717 East 66th Street, Richfield, MN 55423


Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums and tissues that support your teeth, and a very common health problem. It is caused most often by the build-up of plaque and tartar when teeth are not routinely brushed and flossed. There are also a number of risk factors that can increase your chances for gum disease, including tobacco and alcohol use, systemic diseases, genetics, and pregnancy. In addition, there are prescription drugs that may also increase the risk of gum disease.

We provide periodontal therapy in our office, known as scaling and root planing with one of our skilled hygienists. We typically appoint you back for two appointments to treat 2 quadrants of your mouth at each visit. In these visits, dental plaque, calculus and bacteria will be removed both above and below the gum line. In order for you to be comfortable while they are working below the gum line, local anesthetic is administered. Medications and/or rinses may be recommended following your scaling and root planing therapy.

Once you’ve finished the therapy, we see you back in 4-6 weeks for a re-evaluation. At this appointment we will measure your tissues and pocketing. Ideally at this visit we can see improvements in the gum tissues and home care, and your overall oral health is looking much better. Also at this appointment we will determine an interval for periodontal maintenance appointments. However, everyone is a little different, our hygienists and dentist will work with you to determine the best course of action.