What is a Periodontist?

26 Jan 2018 Uncategorized

Periodontists are dentists who have specialized training in dealing with the supportive structures of the teeth. That includes the gums, cementum (calcified substance over the roots of the teeth), periodontal membranes, and the alveolar bone (the bony ridge containing the tooth sockets). Here is a closer look at these dental specialists.


What Training Do Periodontists Get?

Like general dentists, periodontists complete a bachelor’s degree, typically in a science-related field. Then, they go to dental school. After dental school, they go through an additional three years of training. During that time, they learn how to treat and diagnose periodontal diseases as well as how to perform cosmetic periodontal procedures.


What Do Periodontists Do?

Periodontists treat gum or periodontal disease, and their specialized training allows them to work successfully with patients who have complex medical histories. Periodontists do scaling and root planing, which cleans the exposed, infected surfaces of the patient’s roots. They also do root surface debridement, which consists of removing damaged tissue. For patients with severe gum issues, periodontists can offer a number of surgical periodontal treatments. For instance, they can graft subepithelial connective tissue from the top of the mouth to the gum line.


Do Periodontists Handle Implants?

Periodontists also help patients who need dental implants. Dental implants are prosthetic teeth that are attached to small metal or ceramic posts implanted into the patient’s jaw bone. The crown of a dental implant may need to be replaced after ten to fifteen years, but the post is a permanent solution to missing teeth. Periodontists tend to be best equipped to handle these procedures because the implantation process requires surgery on the gums.

This type of restorative dentistry can work for patients who are missing a single tooth or multiple teeth. For patients who need full dentures, a periodontist may be able to put in implants that protrude slightly from the gum line and allow the dentures to snap into place for a tight fit.


What Should You Expect When You See a Periodontist?

When you make an appointment with a periodontist, they typically start with an examination of your mouth. They look closely at the gum line for any signs of infection or receding gums. They look at your bite (how the teeth fit together), and they examine periodontal pockets, which are the spaces between the teeth and the gums. They may also use X-rays to assess the health of your bone beneath the gum line.


Who Should See a Periodontist?

If you are interested in getting dental implants, if you are suffering from periodontal disease, or if you have a family history of periodontal disease, you should make an appointment with a periodontist. Their specialized training allows them to give you advice or ideas that a general dentist may overlook. As indicated in the descriptions above, they can help with both medical issues and cosmetic dentistry.


To make an appointment, contact us at Suwanee Center for Family Dentistry today. We offer a huge range of restorative, cosmetic, and general dental procedures. We look forward to treating your family’s dental needs.

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