Publish Date: 18 August 2022
What is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a dental practitioner who treats periodontal (gum) disease and other oral disorders that affect the soft and hard tissues that support the teeth. Periodontal disease affects the supporting structures surrounding teeth, including jawbones and gums.
The periodontist offers extensive diagnostic, non-surgical, and surgical procedures focused on improving periodontal health. A periodontist can do pre-prosthetic surgery to make restorations like crowns and bridges. Periodontists often use dental implants, especially when aesthetics is the most important factor. Periodontists also deal with problems with dental implants, like peri-implantitis, which needs to be treated. Periodontists work closely with dentists, hygienists, and other dental specialists.
Infections and inflammation of the gums and bones surrounding and supporting the teeth are the primary causes of periodontal disorders. The initial stage is called gingivitis, where the gums could become swollen, red, and bleeding. In its more severe form, it is known as periodontitis. The gums can separate from the tooth, bone can be lost, and teeth can become loose or even fall off. Periodontal disease predominantly affects adults, and the two greatest dangers to dental health are periodontal disease and tooth decay.
The following are the symptoms of Periodontitis
- Foul breath or a persistent bad taste
- Swollen gums
- Painful or bleeding gums
- Any change in partial denture fit
- Discomfort when chewing
- Loose teeth
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Sensitive tooth
- Gums that have separated from the teeth
Periodontist vs Dentist
A dentist treats the teeth, gums, and other parts of the mouth, but a periodontist treats solely the gums and the bone that supports the teeth. A periodontist is an expert in periodontal disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as dental implant surgery. The periodontist typically treats severe, difficult situations requiring a specialist rather than having a regular dentist.
To become a dentist, you must have an undergraduate and a dental degree. While on the other hand, to become a periodontist, you must complete an additional two to three years of periodontics training after completing dental school.