A periodontist is a dental specialist who deals diagnosis, prevention, treatment of gum’s diseases and deformities. The procedure could be surgical as well as non surgical and includes placing dental implants, cosmetic surgeries, periodontitis, gingivitis, gummy smiles, gum recession and a lot more.
One should see a periodontist if you are experiencing any symptoms of oral disease. Regular oral examination is an important routine for oral health care, but it not just helps you detects gum problems but others issues that are closely associated to illness like diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, respiratory disorder, malnutrition and consumption of smoke or tobacco. When choosing a periodontist for yourself, you need to be careful about certain things and confirm the following:
How To Select A Periodontist
Is The Periodontist Board Certified?
When selecting a periodontist you need to confirm if the dentist is board certified. A periodontist not only has to complete four years of undergraduate degree, graduation from accredited dental college and holds a Doctor of Medical dentistry(DMD) or Doctor of Dental surgery(DDS) degree. Besides that a periodontist also need to hold a formal training of three to seven years under a residency program of periodontology accredited by American Dental Association.
After the training program if the periodontist has certain excitement towards achieving more then he/she may opt for board certification from the American Board of Periontology. This helps the dentist in covering every disease and treatment involved and the certification needs to be renewed after six years. Recertification is a proof of dentists ongoing education, the demonstration of competency and updated knowledge in periodontics.
Consultation With a Periodontist
It is important to know as to what to expect during your visit to a periodontist, the first consultation would be an evaluation where the dentist confirms about your medical and dental history. Any chronic illness should be discussed with the periodontist as even that might be the reason of your gum problems and it is not just the plaque that affects your oral health. Oral contraceptives and on going medicines should also be told about to the periodontist.
In case of a surgery the patient is advised to quit smoking because smoking can cause gum infection. If you have any gum problems, smoking can worsen it and also affect the healing process. Thorough examination of the patient’s neck, head, jaw joint, throat, mouth, gums and teeth is done. For detailed study periapical X-ray is also taken that not only shows the structure of the entire tooth but also the roots. After complete examination, the periodontist creates a dental care plan depending upon your requirement. The patient needs to follow an oral hygiene regime of regular brushing and flossing along with regular dental check-ups as advised by the dentist.
These are the following procedures that can be used for treating your gum problems:
To fight early symptoms of gum infection all you would need is a deep cleaning, root planing, and scaling that is done professionally to remove the accumulation of tartar and plaque from the periodontal pockets that are created by these bacteria. Proper cleaning is a must to protect the gums and the roots from harmful toxins. Cleaning is followed by antimicrobials and antibiotics. Proper cleaning and hygiene can help you get rid of gingivitis.
Dental implant means placing artificial tooth in your jaws where it is binded properly with the jaw bone and this entire process is known as osseointegration. After complete healing, the artificially placed tooth is then carefully attached with the implant post.
Regeneration is the process where the gum tissues is folded backwards to completely remove bacteria. Bone grafting, skin membrane and proteins for tissue- stimulating is used for encouraging regeneration of tissues and bones naturally. Periodontal pockets can be very harmful as bacteria sit back in them and can completely damage the gum and the roots. Pocket reduction is done to minimize the areas leaving no space for the bacteria to hide.
Gingivectomy is another procedure in which the damaged and excess gum tissue is removed by making use of local anesthesia. It takes only few days for the gums to heal.
Plastic Surgery by Periodontists
Gingival sculpting, soft tissues grafting and ridge augmentation are the procedures performed by the periodontists to bring back the esthetics of your smile. Gingival sculpting is also known as crown lengthening where the bone tissues and excess gum tissues is reshaped to give exposure to your natural teeth. This techniques gives you a broader smile and is performed on single tooth to entire gum line.
Soft tissues grafting, as the name suggest means grafting of gum tissues by taking tissue from the palate and covering the over exposed tooth. This gives a good look to the gumline and also helps in reducing sensitivity. Next is ridge augmentation which is used to improve jawbone identation and brings back the natural appeal of your jaws and gum. This gives a natural look the artificially placed tooth.
Question to Ask While Finalizing a Periodontist
One can clearly ask the dentist about the dental degree and the ongoing dental education but besides that you can also ask for few more details to make the right decision while choosing a periodontist. Education, certification, duration of practice, recent patients, before and after pictures, proposed plan for treatment, post treatment care and most importantly if there could be any side effects of the procedure. You can also confirm if your periodontist has procedures that can avoid surgery. You can clearly discuss if the dentist makes use of perioscope, it is the latest periodontal instrument to provide and alternative to surgery. Knowing if the periodontists has expertise in the latest technique can simplify your search.
You can also confirm if they make use of latest devices like Piezo electric and Cone beam imaging. Piezo is a quality instrument for surgical procedures like sinus elevation and extraction while cone beam imaging is a digital X-Ray that gives you 3D view of gum and jawbone, widely used for bone grafting and implants.
It is also ideal to ask for the estimated cost of the treatment and is that covered under your dental insurance. In case the treatment is not covered in the insure, does the dentist offer any in-house or third party financing. Choose the dentists that is easily available with flexible office hour and the clinic is conveniently located that you do not face issues during your appointments.