Dentist or Periodontist?
“Should I visit a regular dentist or a Periodontist?”. I get this question a lot. Since patients want to know if they really need a specialist for their critical dental care, let me explain why you do.
Periodontics, also called Periodontology, focuses on treatment of your teeth’s supporting structures, mouth and gum diseases and the conditions that affect them.
Your teeth’s supporting tissues are known as the periodontium, and includes the gingiva (gums), teeth roots, bone, cementum, and the periodontal ligament. You have probably heard these terms in relation to dental disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. The first is mild inflammation of the gums which may cause pain and bleeding. However, the second is advanced inflammation that creates pockets between the teeth and gums. If gingivitis goes untreated, it can cause significant bone loss that can result in shifting teeth, or even losing them! Therefore, as a Periodontist, I perform a range of treatments to treat and stop the progression of gum disease, or replace teeth with dental implants. This is why you want to choose a doctor who has specialized in Periodontology.
While a Periodontist attends the same four years of dental school as a regular dentist, we take another three years of advanced specialty training. As a result, we become experts in diagnosing, treating and preventing gum disease. My training was at Emory, where my primary focus was surgical and non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease and dental implant placement. Since periodontal medicine continually advances, I attend training classes and receive specialty certifications, to ensure that I provide the best, state-of-the-art treatment.
Diagnosis, Services, & Treatment
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in this country. Therefore, as your Periodontist, I will evaluate and treat your condition, give you “homework” to care for your gums, and monitor your progress. While gum disease cannot be completely cured, it can be treated and controlled. Because treating periodontal disease involves many protocols I offer a wide range of diagnostic, surgical, and non-surgical services. Depending on my diagnosis, I may: give you a deeper cleaning than you receive from a dental hygienist; use antibiotics to treat infection; perform laser surgery to reduce pockets; rebuild the gum or bone with regenerative stem cells; analyze and adjust your bite; make a personal nightguard; provide dental implants to replace missing teeth; teach you a higher level of home care; and treat your gum disease preventing further damage.
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