Periodontics is one of the specialties sanctioned by the American Dental Association. In effect, it’s the study and specialization of treating the teeth and gums. Periodontists are people who specialize in these areas, and it’s their job to provide expert care on a wide variety of issues.
What Do Periodontists Treat?
Like any area of dentistry, periodontics can treat a range of issues from the seemingly small, to the large and complex.
Periodontists are specialists at treating periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. While any dentist can treat periodontal disease — and any patient can fight it effectively with adequate oral hygiene — periodontists are often used to treat severe cases.
These include cases where the gum is severely inflamed, where teeth are starting to fall out, and where nerves are starting to be damaged by infection. They’re specially trained to use a variety of treatments and tools to carefully remove damaged tissue from these areas.
Periodontists are also used in cases where the patient has a complex medical history that requires carefully coordinated interventions that don’t interfere with existing plans.
Beyond periodontal disease, periodontists are also experts in the placement, maintenance and repair of dental implants.
Their specialist knowledge in the anatomy and function of the tooth and gum region makes them ideally suited to working on dental implants. They’re able to determine the ideal locations for implants in cases such as “All-on-Four”, where an entire arch of teeth is supported with just four implants. Without proper implant placement, the system wouldn’t work.
Who Should Visit A Periodontist?
If you have any of the signs of advancing gum disease, you may want to seek a specialist instead of seeing your general dentist. Those that have severe periodontal disease may not have a choice and may be referred to a periodontist by their general dentist.