I am often asked this question. 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, specializes in up to date 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 probably have 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. The second is advanced inflammation that creates pockets between the teeth and gums. If gingivitis goes untreated, the periodontitis can cause significant bone loss that can result in shifting teeth, or even losing them! As a Periodontist, I can perform a wide range of treatments to treat and stop the progression of gum disease, and replace teeth with dental implants, if necessary. This is why you want to choose a doctor who has specialized in Periodontology.
A Periodontist attends the same four years of dental school as a regular dentist, but then takes another three years of advanced specialty training 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. And, as periodontal medicine advances, I attend additional training classes, and receive specialty certifications, so that you are given the best, state of the art, treatment. Gum disease cannot be completely cured, but it can be treated and controlled. As your Periodontist, I will evaluate and treat your condition, give you “homework” to better care for your gums, and monitor your progress. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in this country.
Treating your periodontal disease involves many protocols. I am able to give you a comprehensive range of diagnostic, surgical, and non-surgical services to treat your dental health. 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.