Dental Specialist: What is a Periodontist?
Your dentist is the first line of defense against oral health foes, but sometimes he or she needs a little help. While a dentist is trained in all oral health diseases, some severe cases require a team of trained dentists. And that's where a periodontist comes in. A periodontist specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of more severe gum problems, called periodontitis – an inflammation of the gums around the tooth.
A periodontist is an expert in the treatment of oral inflammation. They receive extensive training, 3 years of education beyond dental school. They know the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. They can:
• Manage treatment for people with difficult periodontal cases, such as severe gum disease or other health problems that can complicate treatment.
• Perform scaling – special cleaning treatments for oral inflammation.
• Use surgical procedures to treat severe gum problems.
• Place and repair dental implants.
Periodontitis happens when gingivitis, the bacteria that cause inflammation of the gums, spreads and grows below the gum line. If you don't get treatment, the bones, gums and tissue that support your teeth are destroyed. You may have to have teeth removed.
If you're visiting a periodontist for the first time, don't worry. They will check to see if your gums are receding from your teeth and how your teeth fit together when you bite down. They also use a small measuring instrument, called a probe, to find out if you have pockets. Pockets are small spaces between the teeth and gums, which can become infected. X-rays may also be taken to the periodontist can see if your bone below the gum line is healthy.
If you are referred to a periodontist, enjoy knowing that you are in the hands of the very best person to help with your oral health issue.