While many oral issues can be managed by a general dentist, some require an increased level of expertise from a trained specialist. Periodontists provide expert care for people with moderate or severe periodontal disease, which could pose serious long-term problems down the road.
What Is Periodontics?
Periodontics is an oral specialty focusing on inflammatory diseases that affect the gums and oral structures supporting the teeth. Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. They also specialize in the placement of dental implants.
With extensive training beyond traditional dental school, periodontists often treat especially problematic periodontal cases, involving severe gum disease and patients with complex medical histories. Among the specialized services periodontists provide include:
- Scaling and root planing, during which the infected surface of a tooth’s root is cleaned
- Root surface debridement, involving the removal of damaged tissue
- Crown lengthening services, soft tissue grafting and removal or re-contouring
Periodontists are also able to treat severe gum problems using an array of surgical procedures. They are also specially trained in the maintenance, placement and repair of dental implants.
Who Needs a Periodontist?
If you have significant gum disease or require dental implants, you should consider seeing a periodontist. Since gum disease can lead to other serious medical conditions, it’s important to talk with your general dentist if you have any symptoms of gum disease, including bleeding, swelling or tenderness.
If you are unhappy with the aesthetic appearance of your gums, a periodontist may also be able to recommend effective cosmetic treatments.
How do I get a Referral for Periodontics Care?
If your family dentist has identified potential periodontal issues during an examination, you should ask if a visit to a periodontist is in order.
From there, the professional staff at Gentle Dental can help you schedule an appointment with one of our expert neighborhood periodontists.
What Can I Expect at a Periodontal Appointment?
Once you arrive for your appointment, the periodontist will carefully review your patient history and thoroughly examine your mouth.
During the exam, the periodontist will check for gumline recession, jaw alignment issues and loose teeth. He or she will also use a small measuring instrument to measure the depth of the spaces – known as periodontal pockets – between the teeth and gums. X-rays may also be needed to assess the health of the bone below the gumline.
Once he or she has identified the problem, the periodontist will recommend an appropriate treatment plan to correct the issue.
How Much Will it Cost?
Overall costs will vary depending on the extent of the problem and required treatment. Since periodontal treatments are considered necessary, dental insurance typically covers all or most of the associated costs.
If affordability is an issue, we are pleased to offer flexible financing plans, along with discounts for patients without insurance.