Periodontists are dental specialists who diagnose and treat dental diseases affecting your gums and the hard and soft tissue that supports your teeth. The most common gum diseases are periodontal gum disease and gingivitis. If you are suffering from either, you are referred to a periodontist.
Periodontists are not limited to treating periodontal gum disease and gingivitis. Some also specialise in dental implants, which involve a surgery that cuts into the gum and drills into your jawbone. Here's everything you need to know about periodontists.
When to Visit a Periodontist
Sometimes, you might not know that you need to see a periodontist. You may experience tooth pain or swollen gums and decide to visit the nearest dental clinic for a check-up. Based on what the dentist finds, he or she may treat you or refer you to a periodontist or another dental specialist.
However, if you can see that your gums are not looking healthy and are in pain, you need to visit a periodontist; you might have gingivitis or periodontal disease. These two illnesses result from not maintaining good oral hygiene.
What Happens When You Visit a Periodontist?
Your dentist will ask you different questions to generally find out when your symptoms started and how you are feeling. He or she may then need to inspect your teeth and gums visually.
An X-ray is requested if the dentist wants a better view of the part of the tooth located inside your gum; this helps the periodontist see how extensive the problem is. The periodontist inspects your periodontal pockets and checks for loose teeth. Periodontal pockets are the spaces between your gums and teeth; they should be between one and three millimetres wide. If this space is too wide, bacteria multiply rapidly, leading to tartar and plaque formation, which are responsible for gum infection and tooth decay.
What Treatment Do You Receive?
This is based on your diagnosis; however, in most cases, expect the periodontist to clean tartar and plaque off using a method known as scaling and root planing. This can be uncomfortable for various people, but others claim they feel some slight pain. Periodontists can numb you to make you extremely comfortable during scaling and root planing.
If you visit a periodontist when it is too late for scaling and root planing to work, you might require dental surgery.
Healing time depends on the procedure performed. Scaling and root planing require several days and surgery a few weeks.
To learn more, contact a periodontist.