Problems with your teeth or gums that general dentists are unable to treat are referred to the periodontist. The periodontist is a specialist dental surgeon who specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases relating to teeth and the gums. Additional, the periodontist is an expert at placement of dental implants.
A Periodontists offers a wide range of treatments including root planing (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned), scaling, root surface debridement (in which damaged tissue is removed) and rectification of severe gum related problems.
Periodontal procedures includes a study of the patient’s medial history to ensure there are no pre-existing medical conditions that might in any way affect or have a bearing on the patient’s teeth and gums – especially heart disease, diabetes, and pregnancy.
Next, the periodontist examines the gums for signs of gum line recession, he assesses how the teeth fit together when biting, and also checks to see if any teeth are loose. The periodontist will also (usually) test for periodontal pockets by placing a probe between the gums; this helps the periodontist assess the health of the gums. Most periodontist will also X-ray the patients gums to determine the health of the bone below the gum line. All the information the periodontist so gathers has a bearing on the procedures he may have to perform next.
While your general dentist might clean your teeth by removing the accumulated plaque and tartar, periodontists performs a much deeper cleaning of the gums. In fact, regular scaling and planing is recommended as it provides a clean, smooth surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth and this can only be done by a periodontist.
If there are indications of severe gum diseases such as gingivitis, periodontitis flap and periodontal pockets, the periodontist will recommend surgical procedures to correct these. During the surgery, the periodontist will lift back the gums and remove the tarter that might have accumulated under the gum line. Once the tarter is removed, he places the gums so that the tissue fits snugly around the tooth. While doing so, he also decreases the space between the gum and tooth. This clears out the periodontal pockets that tend to accumulate harmful bacteria that are also the cause of bad breath.
Some senior patients might exhibit bone destruction due to gum disease. You periodontist can regenerate the tissue which in turn will stimulate bone and gum tissue growth. Your periodontist might also place a mesh-like fabric between gum and the bone. This allows the bone and connective tissue to grow back without having to combat with the gums for space.
Preventative Dentistry specialists is especially effective in treating patients who have suffered injuries due to some accident. For example, the periodontist can perform soft tissue grafts that reinforce thin gums or perform bone grafts or even add synthetic bone to strengthen tissue and bone that might be damaged in an accident.