Periodontics: The Practice of Prevention
The job of your periodontist is to prevent and treat periodontal disease. A periodontist’s responsibilities include the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease- but up until that point, prevention is our primary goal. Periodontists are also experts in treating oral inflammation, which is frequently an early sign of a developing problem.
Your periodontist has received extensive training in generalized dental care before receiving an additional three years of schooling in order to develop proficiency in their specialty. They are continually trained in the latest techniques and technologies. Periodontists are expected to keep up with all of the latest developments in diagnosing and treating periodontal disease.
Scope of Practice
Due to their extensive training and experience, a periodontist can do much more than just periodontal care. A periodontist can treat cases of acute periodontal disease, including advanced cases of gum disease, and patients suffering from severe gum and jaw problems. Periodontists are also able to offer a broad range of services that can include root planing, scaling, and root debridement. Your periodontist is also specially trained in the installation, maintenance, and repair of dental implants.
What to Expect
During the first visit to your periodontist, he or she will ordinarily review your whole medical record and dental history. He or she will ask if you are taking any medications or are being treated for any medical condition whatsoever. It is essential that they are given full and accurate information regarding your complete medical history, past and present. Anything your periodontist does not know can become a significant barrier to correct and effective treatment.
After the preliminary medical background review, your periodontist will examine your gums, check for any recession of the gum line, assess how well your teeth fit together while biting, and determine whether or not any teeth are loose or misaligned. He or she will then use a dental probe to measure the space between the teeth and gums to accurately determine the size of any gaps between those two surfaces.
X-ray images may be taken if your periodontist decides that more information is needed for the appraisal of your oral health. X-rays will be taken if there are any problem signs in the mouth that could be caused by a condition originating in or affecting the bone of the jaw.
When should you see a periodontist?
While many of a patient’s periodontal needs can be taken care of by a general dental practitioner, signs of periodontal disease may require the special training of a periodontal specialist.
As patients age, the likelihood of developing periodontal problems becomes progressively greater. For this reason, it is best for a patient to be in the habit of making regular visits to a general dentist. This enables your dentist to know your dental medical history well enough to foresee possible periodontal trouble in time to get you to make an appointment with the periodontist.
We want to prevent acute disease from developing by treating problem signs at the earliest possible stage. If you are interested in a periodontics consultation, contact our office today.