What exactly is a definition of periodontics? There could be many types of speciality doctors within one general field and dentistry is no different. Just as you would go to your primary doctor for your physical, you would visit your primary general dentist for your biannual checkups and cleanings. But often, there are cases where your family doctor may refer you to a specialist such as a cardiologist or some other type of specialty physician. Dentistry operates the same way, there may be cases where your dentist refers you to a specialist, or a periodontist in particular.
Periodontists are speciality dentists who have further training and education in the diagnosis, treatment and also prevention of gum disease. Although the gums are often a forgotten body part, they are actually essential to your overall health and well being. Gums are roots of tooth structures and they are critical for you to feel well. Maintaining healthy gums promotes oral health as well as structures of your jaw bone.
Periodontists undergo three additional years of education. It may be difficult to understand exactly what intricacies are taught, as gums may seem quite simplistic, but there is actually a wide variety of pathological symptoms which can affect one’s gums. They are also taught to treat different forms of oral inflammation, which we know can be very painful and uncomfortable. They also go through annual continued education, which allows them to stay up to date on the most modern periodontal technology, to best treat their patients.
Patients who visit the periodontist often have an extensive medical history, which can include autoimmune illnesses and even cancer. They are often in need of procedures such as scaling and root planning, which helps to treat any infection of the teeth’s root surface. A process called root surface debridement is also performed, where any traces of damaged or compromised tissue is removed from the oral surfaces.
One of the most common procedures periodontists perform are dental implants. It is not uncommon for a general dentist to refer their patients to a periodontal office for implants if their gums are compromised in any way. This is because for dental implants to be placed successfully, the base must be in proper shape. There is often some prep work of the gums which must be done before new implants can go in, so that they will last and maintain their structure.