|Periodontist - The Periodontal Specialist Dentist|
A periodontist is a dentist who practices the specialty of periodontics. Periodontists are the dental experts who prevent, diagnose and treat diseases of the periodontium. The words periodontist/periodontium come from the Greek words ‘peri’ (around) and ‘odontas’ (tooth). Periodontium is a term that describes the periodontal tissues that surround, support teeth and keep them in place including the gums, alveolar bone and the periodontal ligaments.
The most common disease treated by a periodontist is periodontal disease, including conditions such as gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), gum recession and periodontitis (advanced gum disease affecting gum and bone structures).
Periodontists offer a wide range of dental treatments ranging from common non-surgical treatments such as tooth scaling and root planing, to more invasive surgical treatments such as bone and gum grafts.
In recent years, beyond the maintenance of the health and function of periodontal tissues, periodontists also perform many cosmetic dental treatments to improve the esthetics of the mouth. Periodontists along with oral surgeons are the dental specialties usually involved with the surgical placement of dental implants to replace missing teeth.
Periodontists must complete three years of additional periodontal specialty training in an accredited residency program in periodontics, after graduating from dental school. During their periodontology specialty training, periodontists are trained in:
Periodontics is a continuously evolving dental specialty, therefore in most countries a periodontist must fulfill specific continuing education requirements to remain familiar with the latest techniques and maintain his certification.
A periodontist performs a variety of periodontal treatments (surgical or non-surgical) in order to either treat periodontal disease, replace missing teeth or improve the appearance of the patient’s smile, including the following:
In the early stages of gum disease, common treatments include:
In cases of advanced periodontal disease, periodontists use surgical treatments such as:
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed inside the jawbone to support a dental restoration. Periodontists use dental implants to replace missing teeth to restore mouth functionality and esthetics, and prevent jaw bone loss.
Many periodontists use today laser equipment to perform several of the periodontal surgery procedure. Laser gum surgery can minimize bleeding, swelling and discomfort for the patient during surgery.
Usually, your general dentist is the one that will refer you to a periodontist if you need periodontal treatment. Generally you should visit a periodontist whenever you need an expert opinion about periodontal disease, dental implants or cosmetic gum treatments.
Many patients tend to ignore or fail to recognize the symptoms of periodontal disease, increasing the risk of severe periodontal disease and tooth loss. Therefore, periodontists recommend regular periodontal examinations as one of the best measures to prevent periodontal disease from causing irreversible damage to gums and jawbone. You should visit a periodontist for consultation if:
Regular periodontal evaluation are especially important for those who belong in the high risk groups for developing periodontal disease. The following should visit a periodontist regularly:
A periodontist is the specialist dentist who can help you keep your teeth for a lifetime, restore confidence in your smile and improve your overall health by treating periodontal disease.