What is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist that focuses on the early detection, treatment, and placement of dental implants as well as the prevention, diagnosis, and management of periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, affecting the gums and bone supporting the teeth. In addition to receiving three more years of training after dental school, periodontists receive special education in both of these fields and more.
Many general dentists will send their patients to periodontists for the more complex periodontal cases, even though some general dentists treat less severe periodontal cases. In a similar manner, many general dentists will send their patients to periodontists for the more complex implant situations, even though some general dentists do dental implant treatments.
Periodontists not only handle difficult periodontal and implant situations, but they also offer a variety of additional specialty services. These include oral inflammation treatment; cosmetic periodontal operations; root surface debridement; scaling and root planing; and removing damaged root tissue during root surface debridement.
If your general dentist recommends that you see a periodontist, it's only because the periodontist has the specialized training, expertise, and experience to give you the periodontal care or implant operation that you require.
Gingival flap surgery
Also called pocket reduction surgery, this procedure treats moderate to severe periodontitis (gum disease). During this procedure, your periodontist makes incisions and gently moves your gums away from your teeth. This allows them to see the infection that’s deep under your gum line. After thoroughly cleaning your teeth roots, your periodontist repositions your gum tissue and stitches it into place.
This procedure treats gum recession. People with gum recession don’t have enough healthy gum tissue around their teeth. During a gum graft procedure, your periodontist adds tissue to the area where your gums are thin. The graft might come from the roof of your mouth, or your periodontist might purchase the grafting material from a licensed bone and tissue bank.
Periodontists routinely extract hard-to-remove teeth, especially ones that have broken off at the gum line.
Dental bone grafts
Periodontal infection can erode the bone that supports your teeth. When this happens, your periodontist can place a bone graft to regenerate bone in that area. Periodontists often purchase the bone grafting material from a bone and tissue bank. But your periodontist might use some of your own bone from another area of your mouth.
Surgical crown lengthening
Sometimes when a tooth breaks off near the gum line, there isn’t enough room to place a dental crown. When this happens, your periodontist can remove a few millimeters of gum and bone tissue around that tooth so the crown can fit properly.
Some people have excess gum tissue that covers part of their teeth when they smile. People who want to improve the appearance of their smile can have a smile lift. During this procedure, your periodontist removes gum — and usually a small amount of bone — from around the affected teeth. Your periodontist can perform a smile lift as a stand-alone procedure, or they may recommend it in combination with veneers.
A frenum is a band of connective tissue that joins one part of your body to another. In your mouth, you have two types of frena: lingual and labial. Your labial frenum connects your lip to your gums. Your lingual frenulum connects your tongue to your gums just behind your lower front teeth. Sometimes, a frenum is too tight. This can cause issues like tongue-tie or gum recession. During a frenectomy, your periodontist makes an incision to free the frenum so it’s not too tight.
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Why the Right Periodontist?
A person could require the services of a periodontist for a number of reasons. Some patients only need to visit a periodontist once. In other words, they might require care that falls outside the ordinary dentist's area of expertise. You might require a frenectomy, bone transplant, or gum graft, for instance. Your surgical procedure might be carried out by a periodontist, who will then refer you back to your general dentist after your recovery is complete.
Others may require the services of a periodontist in the long run. This also applies to those who are at risk for gum disease. In addition to regular cleanings at the dentist's office, people who are genetically predisposed to gum disease typically need periodontal cleanings. In these situations, your periodontist will collaborate closely with your general dentist. Both of them will continue to provide you with treatment in order to keep your oral health at its best.
Periodontics is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. A periodontist's education is extensive, requiring three years of additional study after dental school.
If you choose a periodontal specialist for your care, you will gain access to the most up-to-date diagnostic techniques for treating periodontal disease and putting dental implants in accordance with your needs.
Are you looking for a Periodontist who will care for you? Our medical professionals at KellySearch create personalized strategies for each patient and/or their family. We have over 700k doctor listings on the website because our doctors want to give each client their undivided attention. They are also trustworthy and compassionate. Additionally, they are always available for conversation with anyone!
The material presented above is only meant to be informative and is not intended to take the place of advice from your doctor or another health care practitioner. We advise you to talk to your provider about any questions or issues you may have.