To understand the area of periodontistry, it’s helpful to understand what a periodontist does. A periodontist is a dentist who has undergone additional training to specialize in periodontal disease and dental implants. Generally, this specialization requires three additional years of schooling after completing dental school.
If you have a healthy mouth and simply need routine checkups with your dentist, then it’s unlikely that you will need to schedule an appointment with a periodontist. Patients are generally, and most frequently, referred to periodontists when they are experiencing the symptoms of moderate and advanced periodontitis, also known as gum disease. The stages of moderate and advanced periodontitis include, but are not limited to:
- Swollen and red gums
- Frequent bleeding, especially when brushing and flossing
- Bad breath
- Receding gum line
- Gum tenderness
- Loose teeth
If your general dentist refers you to a periodontist, you can expect them to thoroughly examine your mouth during your first visit. They will usually measure the pockets around your teeth, as the depth of the pockets can be a good indication of the disease’s progression. Your specialist will likely ask you about your current oral health regimen, and the primary goal is to prevent the disease from worsening. Your specialist may prescribe medication, ask you to change certain habits, or in extreme cases, recommend surgery.
While treating periodontitis is one major aspect of periodontistry, periodontists are also known for working with dental implants. We’ll save the small details for another blog post, but at their most basic, dental implants are metal structures that allow for the installation of tooth replacements. Many people find dentures to be uncomfortable and embarrassing, as they must be taken out while eating and sleeping. For others, dentures are simply not a feasible option, and dental implants offer an ideal and natural-feeling alternative.
Dental implants require a healthy mouth, so if you are suffering from gum disease or have poor oral hygiene, your dentist may recommend that you focus on improving your oral health before scheduling an appointment for dental implants.
We hope that this introductory post has helped you to understand more about periodontistry. We’ve only scratched the surface, so please check our blog frequently to read more about this fascinating area of oral care.