Dental Specialist Spotlight: What Is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is still a dentist, but these professionals have an additional three years of training
to become specialists in all things related to your gums. This includes the prevention of gum disease, diagnosis of gum disease, and the treatment of gum disease. Sometimes, periodontists will even help patients with the placement of dental implants to ensure the best fit. What else do periodontists do?

Cosmetic Procedures

If you have a cosmetic issue with your gums that needs to get fixed, a periodontist would be the
person to see. This includes gummy smile, where the gums tend to cover more of the teeth
than necessary. Since periodontists are experts at handling gum tissue, they can reposition the
gums to help reveal more of your smile.

Treat Severe Gum Disease

Periodontists are skilled professionals when it comes to treating inflammation in the mouth.
This includes patients who have an advanced stage of gum disease.
Although many dentists can treat gum disease, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist if
you have a case that warrants extra attention. This includes aggressive gum disease, severe
gum disease, or gum disease which is recurring.

Periodontists can also clean the gums in a procedure called root planing and scaling, in which
the infection and bacteria from gum tissue is removed to help your gums heal from gum

Help With Dental Implants

Periodontists can assist with the placement of dental implants as well. Since these special
dentists know all about gum tissue, they can help determine where the best place to put them
is. Dental implant procedures involve a post inserted into the jaw through the gum tissue, so
ensuring the right placement can be incredibly helpful for healing.

Periodontists can also help maintain dental implants or repair them if they were done
incorrectly. Your dentist can help you determine when and if you need to see a specialist when
it comes to placement of dental implants.

Who Should See a Periodontist?

Not every dental patient will need to see a periodontist. Many gum health needs can be
addressed by your dentist, but some patients may need a level of care and expertise that can
only be provided by a periodontist. At this point in time, your dentist can refer you to a
periodontist to help.

People who may need to see a periodontist include those that have advanced gum disease, a
complex medical history that may make regular treatment for gum disease too risky, chronic
gum disease, or gum disease that’s set in early, such as in childhood. Other cases include
patients who have a gum abscess, or significant gum recession.

Have you ever seen a periodontist? These dentists receive years of extra training to be skilled
and experienced in treating your gum tissue. If your dentist thinks you need to see a
periodontist to treat your gum disease, determine dental implant placement, or conduct a
cosmetic procedure, you’ll be in good hands!