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What Is a Periodontist?

Are you struggling with advanced periodontal disease? Many practices offer some form of periodontal therapy, but because most dentists are only general practitioners, they can't provide the same level of care as a specialist. That's why it's not uncommon for general dentists to refer gum disease patients to a specialist known as a periodontist.

A periodontist is a dentist who has not only completed the basic training necessary to practice dentistry, they've also completed three additional years of periodontal-related coursework. During this time, periodontists-in-training are exposed to the most advanced treatment techniques and therapeutic tools. With this advanced training, they're equipped to help patients prevent, diagnosis, and treat the most common oral health problems.

When you visit a periodontist for the first time, you'll receive a thorough periodontal exam that includes X-rays. Your doctor may use a special instrument to measure the depth of any pockets in your gumline. The depth and severity of these pockets informs the treatment process going forward. For advanced gum disease, the most common treatment is scaling and root planing.

Periodontists and Dental Implants

Periodontists also play a vital role in the dental implants process. Most dentists don't place a patient's implants. They merely attach the finished restoration once it's ready. Periodontists, on the other hand, have the expertise necessary to surgically place one or more dental implants for a patient undergoing treatment. Once in place, these implants act as prosthetic roots strengthening the jaw and providing stability for the patient's restoration.