If you are wondering what exactly a periodontist is, then you’ve landed at the right source for information! Figuring out what a periodontist is responsible for and what periodontics means, isn’t something you learn about every day! And that’s why our staff of highly qualified dentists here at Lifetime Family Dental chose to put this piece together to definitively answer some of the usual questions people like to ask about periodontics and periodontists.
What is a Periodontist? Plus More Questions People Ask About Periodontics
What is a Periodontist?
Periodontists are dental specialists that focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and dental implants. The additional three years of education and training beyond a basic dentistry degree that periodontists receive equips them to diagnose underlying conditions and offer a range of effective treatments.
What Does a Periodontist Do?
Many people are familiar with dentists and what they do, however not as many people are familiar with the various types of dental specialists. While general dentists can treat a range of dental concerns, certain dental specialists tend to focus on a specific area of study and have a deeper level of knowledge about that area.
One such dental specialist is called a periodontist. A periodontist, or periodontal specialist, works to prevent, diagnose, and treat periodontal disease. Essentially periodontists are specialists that focus on the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. They can also place dental implants and perform gum grafting or contouring surgeries. For this reason, periodontists are sometimes referred to as “the plastic surgeons of dentistry”.
Periodontists have to undergo the same training as a general dentist. This means they must complete an undergraduate degree and four years at an accredited dental school. To earn their specialty title, however, periodontists must complete an additional three years of specialty and clinical training in the field of periodontology. Once their training is complete and they obtain the proper practicing license, they can officially practice as a periodontist.
While general dentists can treat minor gum issues, you may want to see a periodontist if:
- Your bite has suddenly changed
- Your teeth are loose
- Your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding
- Your gums are receding or your teeth suddenly look bigger than usual
- You feel pain in your gums
Why Would You Need to See a Periodontist?
Oral pain can usually be traced to a specific tooth. If you notice discomfort within, around or underneath your gums, however, this could be a sign of a serious issue. Schedule a comprehensive examination with your dentist to uncover the root of the problem, so you can get it treated in time. Your general dentist can recommend the best next steps and whether or not you should visit a periodontist.
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Look at our other blog posts for more information on specialty dentistry and oral surgery.