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What is a Periodontist: A Guide on the Common Traits

Good oral health care can mean a number of things. Of course, daily brushing and flossing is part of maintaining a healthy smile. But some problems can’t be solved with simple brushing alone. In fact, some oral issues are unique enough that even a regular trip to the dentist won’t do the trick. 

A specialist is required for more advanced oral issues including gum disease, possible cancerous growths, and a need for dental implants. This is where a periodontist comes in. But what is a periodontist and how can you be sure you need help from one?

Read on to learn more about what periodontists do and how one can be of help to you: 

What is a Periodontist?

So what is a periodontist? A periodontist is a dentist that specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of any and all periodontal diseases. They also install dental implants for patients when needed. 

Periodontists are experts when it comes to treating oral inflammation. They have been well educated in and received extensive training in oral inflammation and how to treat it. Their education includes three additional years after dental school. A good periodontist will be up to date on the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating any periodontal disease. 

Periodontists have also been specifically trained to perform all types of cosmetic periodontal procedures. 

For patients with more serious periodontal situations such as severe gum disease, a periodontist is the one to visit. They are trained on surgical procedures for treating damaged tissue and deep infections. They’re also the experts when it comes to dental implants, both with placement and repairs. 

What is a Visit to a Periodontist Like?

What is a periodontist visit like? During your initial appointment, your periodontist will review all of your medical and dental records to see if you’re taking any medications that might conflict with periodontal care. Diabetes, heart disease, and pregnancy can complicate periodontal treatments. 

Next, your periodontist will examine your gums thoroughly to check for any inflammation of the gums or gum line recession. They’ll take note of how your teeth fit together when you bite down and look to make sure none of your teeth is loose. 

X-rays might also be taken to check the health of your jaw bone below the gums. 

After these steps are taken, your periodontist will give you an update on the state of your jaw, teeth, and gums and let you know if you have any procedures that need to be done. 

How Do I Know if I Need to See a Periodontist?

Research indicates that nearly half of U.S. adults aged 30 and above are suffering from gum disease. Should each of these people see a periodontist? Well, it depends. 

There are plenty of cases in which a regular family dentist can treat the early symptoms of gum disease as long as it hasn’t advanced too far. If you’re unsure whether your oral health problem requires the speciality of a periodontist, here are some signs to look out for:

  • Have you noticed a change in your bite? If your teeth feel different while you’re brushing, speaking, or chewing, you might need to see a periodontist. If a bite pattern changes, this can point toward a bigger problem that needs to be addressed. A periodontist can help in determining the reasons for the chance and offer treatment options. 
  • Are your gums swollen and red or do they bleed often? Swollen, bleeding gums are among the most obvious signs that a periodontist is needed. Even if the issue is minor, a periodontist can address the problem before it gets much worse. 
  • Loose teeth are another sign of a bigger problem. If you’ve noticed your teeth beginning to feel loose, this can be a sign of infection or thinning bone. Schedule an examination with a trusted periodontist for treatment. 
  • Although gums tend to recede naturally with age, a drastic change could be a sign of advanced periodontal disease. Ask a periodontist for a diagnosis.  
  • Oral pain underneath or around the gums is sometimes a sign of something more serious. Your family dentist can examine your teeth and gums at your next appointment and let you know if a periodontist visit is required. 

Keep in mind that these are just some of the bigger signs that visiting a periodontist is a good idea. If you have any other concerns, start with a visit to your regular dentist who can point you in the right direction. 

So What is the Difference Between a Dentist and a Periodontist?

What’s the difference between a regular dentist and a periodontist? Traditional dentists can diagnose a variety of oral health issues while periodontist specialize in diagnosing, treating, and preventing periodontal diseases. They’re also the experts when it comes to dental implants. 

Traditional dentists can diagnose and treat minor gum problems, but they’ll usually refer patients to a periodontist if the problem is more severe. 

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Now that you have some answers to the question, “What is a periodontist and what do they do?”, give us a call to schedule a free consultation to see if a periodontist can be of help to you. 

Our professional team stands ready to perform oral cancer exams, x-rays, cleanings and prevention services, and dental implants for our patients. 

We’re here to help you on your road to good oral health and a beautiful smile that you can be confident with. Contact us today!