What Do Periodontists Do?
General dental practitioners, like all dentists, must graduate from a 4-year dental school. Periodontists add to that another 2 to 3 years in specialized periodontics training.
An ordinary general dentist can normally handle a wide range of services, and there is certainly overlap with the field of periodontics, but periodontists are much more skilled in the focus area of treating gum disease, correcting receding gum lines, installing dental implants, performing bone graft surgery to prepare for implants, and thoroughly cleaning your gums/teeth to help prevent gum (periodontal) disease.
Aside from their main focus on preventing and treating periodontal disease and its effects (especially tooth loss), periodontists also help treat oral inflammations and perform cosmetic periodontal surgeries.
When Should I See a Periodontist?
In general, your regular dentist will refer you to a specialist in periodontics whenever the severity or complexity of a periodontal or tooth loss problem exceeds his or her expertise. However, you don't need to limit your use of periodontal services to such referrals.
Remember that, whether it be a prosthodontist (cosmetic dentistry), endodontist (root canal specialist), orthodontist (specializes in correcting tooth misalignments), pediatric dentist, or periodontist, a specialist will have skills and tools that a general dentist will lack. The best possible person to turn to when your gums are deteriorating or receding or if you need titanium dental implants, is a periodontist. Your teeth and gums are worth preserving with the best possible treatment. Periodontists should also be turned to when you need a thorough cleaning of the gums. Especially with those middle aged to elderly, it is wise to schedule one periodontal check up per year.
Now, for very minor periodontal problems, your general dentist may be able to render you adequate service, but for moderate to severe gum disease and related issues, you should definitely see a periodontist. Just remember that gum disease comes in several stages, and that the longer it remains untreated, the more likely it will lead to a more severe stage. Left unchecked, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
Periodontists are experts in treating all manner of gum disease and other gum-related problems, besides having great skill with dental implants. Turn to a periodontist for an annual periodontal check-up and treatment of moderate to severe periodontal problems.
If you believe you may need some form of periodontal treatment or are considering dental implants, acting as soon as possible will help protect your oral health. In Ormond Beach and surrounding areas of Florida, contact periodontist Dr. Raymond Kenzik for sound periodontal advice or to schedule an appointment.