What is a Periodontist?
In a sentence, periodontists are charged with saving teeth. Thats our mission and goal for all of our patients.
Like medical specialists, periodontists concentrate and gain expertise in a specific area of dentistry. Periodontists receive three additional years of extensive educational training beyond four years of dental school. We are dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal (gum and bone) disease, and are experts in the placement of dental implants. In addition, we perform cosmetic periodontal surgeries to help you achieve the smile you desire by utilizing the most current and advanced techniques. With recent studies showing a link between the inflammatory process present in periodontal disease and its effects on other organ systems in your body, improving your periodontal condition can even improve your overall general health.
Periodontists work with your dentist to give you the most comprehensive care available. Often, dentists refer their patients to a periodontist when periodontal disease is present. If you are beginning extensive dental work including crowns or bridgework, your dentist may also refer you to a periodontist to ensure the long-term stability of your new restorations. However, you don’t need a referral to see a periodontist. There are many occasions when you may choose to go directly to a periodontist or to refer a family member or friend to your own periodontist.
If you value both your oral and general health, anytime is a good time to see a periodontist for a periodontal evaluation. Sometimes the only way to detect periodontal disease is through a periodontal evaluation. A periodontal evaluation is especially important if you exhibit signs of periodontal disease such as:
- Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
- Any bleeding at any time while brushing, flossing or eating hard food
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of dentures or removable appliances
Additional treatments that periodontists perform
- Bone grafts to regenerate lost bone around teeth
- Gum grafts (called free gingival grafts, autogenous gum grafts, pedicle grafts, etc.) cover exposed roots, increase the zones of attached gingiva and thicken the gums when needed for cosmetic reasons
- Cosmetic surgeries – excessive gum is trimmed away or thickened when needed.
- Dental implants – both for single or multiple teeth
- Remove / Extract teeth
- Adjust the bite / Occlusal adjustment
- Make occlusal guards / Night guards
- Ridge augmentations – this replaces the tissue that is lost when teeth are removed and will enhance the esthetics of bridges. In some instances ridge augmentations widen the jaw bone in places that would be too narrow to receive dental implants, or in areas that have shrunk as a result of teeth being removed.
- Maxillary sinus lifts and other jaw reconstruction techniques to construct and regenerate missing bone
- Scaling and Root planing (Deep cleaning below the gumline) and maintenance (Re-care) cleaning
- Biopsies of soft tissue lesions – we perform cancer inspections and remove unwanted lesions from the soft tissues of the mouth, including the lips and cheeks.