A periodontist is a dentist who specialises in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. This is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place, which is typically caused by poor brushing and/or flossing habits that allow plaque (the sticky film of bacteria) to build up and harden on the teeth. In some advanced cases, periodontal disease can lead to sore, bleeding gums, painful chewing problems and even tooth loss.
Periodontists are experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, as well as trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures. That’s why they typically focus on treating more problematic periodontal cases, such as those with severe gum disease or a complex medical history. They can offer a wide range of treatments such as: scaling and root planning (which cleans the infected surface of the root), root surface debridement (where damaged tissue is removed), a range of surgical procedures as well as placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants.
What happens during the first visit?
The appointment will start with a review of the patient’s complete medical and dental records. It is imperative that the periodontist be made aware of any medications that are being taken or if the patient is being treated for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or pregnant.
Next, they will examine the gums and check to see if there are any issues such as: gum line recession, how the teeth fit together when biting and if any are loose. They’ll also take a small measuring instrument called a probe and place it between teeth and gums to determine the depth of the spaces. This helps them assess the health of the gums. It is also not uncommon for them to take X-rays to assess the health of the bone below the gum line.
Who should see a periodontist?
Some periodontal needs can be managed by a general dentist alone. Patients who present with moderate or severe levels, or patients with more complex cases, are best managed by a partnership between both the dentist and periodontist.
For more information please don’t hesitate to contact Heybridge Dental Practice.