WHY CHOOSE A PERIODONTIST?
A periodontist is a dental surgical specialist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and know when each treatment is appropriate for your particular circumstance. Periodontists are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures and are experts at helping restorative dentists achieve the best possible outcome. Periodontists often treat more problematic periodontal cases, such as those with severe gum disease or a complex medical history. Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments, from non-surgical options to complex surgical options. In addition, periodontists are specially trained in the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants. Periodontists are also well versed in management of surgical complications in periodontal and implant surgery, which allows them the modify their surgical plan if the need arises during surgery.
WHO SHOULD SEE A PERIODONTIST?
Some patients’ periodontal and implant needs can be managed by the general dentist. However, patients who present with moderate or severe levels of periodontal disease, or patients with more complex periodontal and implant cases, will be best managed by a partnership between your family dentist and periodontist. Some examples may include:
Patients With Moderate-to-Severe Periodontal Disease
- Probing depths (also known as “pocketing”) of 6mm or greater
- Patients with bone loss in between the roots of teeth (also known as “furcation involvement”)
- Patients with mobile teeth
Patients With Medical Conditions That Put Them At High-Risk For Periodontal Disease
- Patients that have diabetes or are smokers
- Patients that have immune problems that limit healing
- Patients above the age of 65
Patients With Gum Recession
- Patients with a receding gum line exposing the roots of the teeth
- Patients with “thin” gum tissue – those that lack firm, pink tissue surrounding a tooth/teeth
- Pre- or post- orthodontic patients with existing gum recession or with risk factors for recession
- Patients needing implants, especially in esthetic areas
- Patients with diminished bone that require grafting prior to implant placement
Patients With a “Gummy Smile”
- Patients who “short teeth” who would like to improve the appearance of their smile
- Patients who are undergoing dental crowns or veneers who need reshaping of their gumline prior to restorations
WHAT IS A DIPOMATE OF THE AMERICAN BOARD OF PERIODONTOLOGY AND IMPLANT DENTISTRY?
A Diplomate is a periodontist who has made significant achievements beyond the mandatory educational requirements of the specialty and who is certified by the American Board of Periodontology.
To be educationally qualified for Board certification requires:
- Certification as a dentist, including basic college education and completion of dental school to earn the D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree and;
- Certification as a periodontist after successful completion of an educational program in Periodontology, which is accredited by Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.
- Comprehensive qualifying and oral examination covering all phases of periodontal disease and its treatment, including dental implants.
- Recertification every six years.
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