Should you consult a Dentist or a Periodontist?

Should you consult a Dentist or a Periodontist?

What’s the difference?

Periodontist are Dentists who are Specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease. In addition, they are also experts in implanting dental fixtures and treating cases of oral inflammation. Dentists don’t just decide to become Periodontists when they graduate though, it takes another three years of additional education outside of their original dental courses in order to become sufficiently trained in the latest methods and techniques which will allow them to diagnose and treat periodontal disease as well as the cosmetic aspects of the periodontal procedures.

Who should you consult a Periodontist?

It’s not always necessary to rush straight to a periodontist, some of a patient’s needs can be handled by the general dentist, however more recently signs of periodontal diseases have become common place in more and more patients and the treatments that are involved tend to require a higher level of understanding and expertise that can only be supplied by an actual Periodontist. It is not an uncommon practice for patients with more complex cases, or moderate to high levels of the disease, to require a general dentist and a periodontist to work together to aid each other in the treatment, each taking a share of the work involved.

Periodontal Disease Treatment

Before a patient can begin to be treated, the periodontist will first overview their complete dental and medical history. This is a very important step as the treatment and a lot of the work involved may conflict with pre-existing conditions or medications that might affect the treatment or cause side-effects. The more common examples of this include conditions like diabetes, pregnancy and heart disease.

An examination naturally follows, where the periodontist will examine the gums, assessing the gums for any sign of gum line recession, noting how the patient’s teeth fits together when they bite and finally checks to see if there are any loose teeth. The next part of the check-up involves the periodontist using a probe, a little measuring instrument, and assesses the periodontal pockets, these are the depths of the spaces found between a patient’s gums and teeth and allow the periodontist to evaluate the state of the gums. In some cases, the periodontist might also require X-Rays to assess the health of the patient’s bone below their gum line.

Periodontists tend to offer a wider range of treatments and are often involved in the more difficult periodontal cases, usually those involving complex medical histories or severe gum diseases. A number of treatments that periodontists usually perform are or root surface debridements, where any damaged tissue needs to be removed, and scaling and root planning, where the infected surface of the roots are cleaned. In addition, they also use a wide range of surgical procedures to aid treating patients with severe gum problems and to repair and place dental implants.

A great way to help you find a dentist, a dental surgery or a periodontist within your local area is to look it up on! They can help provide you with the additional information on where to find what you’re looking for, as well as contact details and locations.

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