Everyone is pretty familiar with the term “dentist,” and it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what a “dental surgeon” is even if you’ve never met one before. But then there’s another type of person that works on the mouth, and this professional goes by the name “Periodontist.” But who is this person and what does he or she do?
The Sick Mouth Specialist
Like medical doctors, people that look after the health of your mouth and teeth can choose to specialize. While a dentist is exactly the person to go when you have cavities or need a thorough cleaning, a periodontist is a doctor of dentistry that has chosen to look after your gums and treat the various illnesses that can affect the gums specifically.
Gum diseases come in many forms and can have different effects on the mouth and, ultimately your overall health. In addition to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment, periodontists deal with oral inflammation and they are trained in the techniques for using dental implants on patients. One technique periodontists may use is called scaling and root planing, where infected areas and roots in the gums are cleaned out. Another technique they specialize in is called root surface debridement, which is a process by which infected tissue itself may need to be removed to ensure the health of the gums. People with gum disease or those who have complex medical issues relating to their gums are best suited to visiting a periodontist rather than going to a dentist.
In most cases, if you a dentist believes your case requires more specialized treatment, they will likely refer you to a periodontist, but if you feel you may already require these services, you can always book an appointment for an examination to see if your suspicions about your gums are correct.