periodontist Man having teeth examined at dentists. Overview of dental caries prevention

What is a Periodontist?

Have you heard the term “periodontist” and wondered what it means? Perhaps you have a general idea of what a periodontist does but don’t understand exactly what types of services this dental health specialist provides. Let’s take a quick look at the important role periodontists play in improving patients’ oral health and beauty.

The Duties of a Periodontist

Dentists are trained to treat oral health diseases yet there is the potential for severe cases to arise. This is where periodontists come into play. The periodontist prevents severe gum issues, known as periodontitis. Periodontists also diagnose and treat this inflammation of the gums. Periodontists complete extensive training and education. In fact, periodontists have three years of advanced education in addition to the years spent in dental school. Periodontists understand all the latest techniques for diagnosing periodontal disease and also treating it in every stage of development.

Meet with a periodontist and you will find this dental health professional is quite helpful in a number of regards. A periodontist manages treatment for individuals with particularly challenging periodontal challenges such as significant gum disease as well as additional health issues that have the potential to compromise treatment. Periodontists perform scaling which is a specialized form of cleaning that treats oral inflammation. If necessary, the periodontist will perform surgical procedures to treat particularly severe gum issues. Periodontists also place dental implants in the mouth and perform any necessary repairs.

The Etymology of the Word “Periodontist”

The etymological roots of the word “periodontist” are divided between “peri” which means “around” and “odon”, meaning “tooth” in Greek. These root words still hold true today as periodontists treat the gums around the teeth. The overarching aim of periodontists is to preserve the tissue around the teeth as well as the teeth and their surrounding bone structure. However, there is the potential for gum problems to reach the point at which they cannot heal. The periodontist performs all sorts of different techniques at this point including hard tissue procedures such as bone recontouring, tori removal, bone grafting and crown lengthening.

Periodontists also perform soft tissue procedures such as gum recontouring, gum grafting, gum removal, biopsies, a frenectomy, pedicle flaps and root coverage procedures. If necessary, this oral health specialist will extract a tooth and replace it with a dental implant. Periodontists perform combinations of procedures in a simultaneous manner if necessary. Periodontists can also perform cosmetic procedures and treatments to enhance the smile aesthetic.

How to Tell if a Periodontist can Help You

If you notice any of the common signs and symptoms that indicate you have periodontal disease or other gum-related problems, it is in your interest to schedule an appointment with our dentist in Vero Beach. Examples of such symptoms include bleeding gums, halitosis (bad breath), poorly-fitting dentures, teeth that move, gum recession and the accumulation of plaque and calculus.

Treatment and Procedures Tailored to Your Unique Oral Health Problem(s)

If you have plaque and tartar below your gum line, you might be a good candidate for scaling and root planing performed by a periodontist. This procedure is often tied to the use of antibiotic or antimicrobial medicines. The periodontist might also prescribe a tray delivery system that you will wear at home. This system is custom-fit based on an impression taken of your teeth and gums. If your gums recede due to periodontitis and the tooth root is exposed, a gum graft will be performed. Tissue is taken, typically from the roof of the mouth and added to the receding gum line. Additional surgical treatments available at the periodontist’s office include regenerative procedures that stimulate new tissue and bone growth, laser treatments, dental crown lengthening and periodontal pocket reduction.

Schedule Your Appointment With Vero Implants & Periodontics

Our office in Vero Beach, FL is here to bring out the best in your smile and improve your oral health. Contact Vero Implants & Periodontics today to schedule an appointment. You can reach us by filling out our online contact form or by calling us at 772.569.9700.