You might be used to being referred to other physicians when you see your primary care doctor. He or she might send you to see an ENT specialist or physiotherapist. However, perhaps you aren’t as familiar with different dental specializations. There is more than one type of dentist. It’s important to understand the differences between them. One of the dental specialists you might see is a periodontist. A periodontist carries out extra training to become an expert in periodontal disease. They are also experts in placing dental implants and dealing with oral inflammation. Keep reading to find out more about what a periodontist does.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontists are specialists in periodontal disease, but you might not know what that is. However, if we say “gum disease,” a light bulb will probably turn on. You’ve probably at least heard of gum disease, even if you don’t know the specifics of what it is. Gum disease can cover several different conditions. It might mean that your gums are slightly inflamed. Or it could result in severe damage to the soft tissue and bone around your teeth. Many people have some form of it, including gingivitis and periodontitis. You can help to prevent it by maintaining good oral hygiene.
What Are Dental Implants?
Periodontists also handle dental implants. Implants are a way of replacing one or more teeth that have been lost. This may be due to periodontal disease or for another reason. Unlike dentures, dental implants are permanent. They work by putting titanium posts in the person’s jaw bone. The post acts as the root of a tooth and holds the denture in place. Many people find them to be much more convenient than a denture or bridge. If you see a periodontist about a missing tooth, you can discuss the dental implants.
Training to Be a Periodontist
Many patients are curious about the training their dentists have to undergo. It’s reassuring to know that they have to spend a certain amount of time learning. A periodontist has to take further training after qualifying to be a dentist. In fact, they have to train for a further three years. So they have all the knowledge and expertise of other dentists but with years more of specialized training. They learn about the links between oral health and overall health so they can look after their patients fully.
When to See a Periodontist
It’s not always easy to know when you should see a periodontist. For most people, their first port of call is a general dentist when they have an oral issue. Usually, this is a good idea, as you don’t yet know if you need a periodontist. Your dentist can refer you to a specialist if they think you need extra treatment. You might sometimes want to go straight to a periodontist, such as when you’re interested in dental implants.
Familiarizing yourself with the different types of dentist will help you get the best treatment. However, if you’re ever unsure, your primary dentist can help you. At Greater Baltimore Prosthodontics, PA, Dr. Arash Mike Rostami is a Board Certified Periodontist and a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.