A Periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic and esthetic periodontal procedures.
Periodontists often treat more problematic periodontal cases, such as those with severe gum disease (bone loss, periodontal pockets, teeth mobility, gum bleeding) or a complex medical history.
Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments, such as scaling and root planning (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned) or root surface debridement (in which damaged tissue is removed). They can also treat patients with severe gum problems using a range of surgical procedures. In addition, periodontists are specially trained in the surgical treatment of those patients that shows the gums when they smile or patients that have gum recession and placement and maintenance of dental implants.
The periodontist examines the gums, checks to see if there is any gum line recession, assesses how the teeth fit together when biting, and checks the teeth to see if any are loose.
The periodontist will also take a small measuring instrument called a probe and place it between the teeth and gums to determine the depth of those spaces, known as periodontal pockets; this helps the periodontist assess the health of the gums. X-rays may also be taken to observe the health of the bone below the gum line.
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