What Does a Periodontist Do?
Periodontics is the field of dentistry that focuses on the support structures for the teeth, including the jaw, gums, and bone. Your teeth can only be healthy and function properly if they have adequate support, which can be a separate but related issue in oral health. In certain cases problems with these support structures require treatment by a specialist. People can lose their teeth because of cavities as well a periodontal disease or loss of gum and bone around the teeth.
What is Periodontics?
The primary focus of periodontics is treatment and prevention of gum disease. It also includes repair of damage resulting from gum disease. The health and function of the jaw is another major focus of periodontics. Periodontists also specialize in the placement of dental implants.
Services a Periodontist Provides
A periodontist typically provides the following periodontal services:
- Periodontal cleanings. When you have or have had gum disease, periodontal maintenance refers to deep cleaning of the teeth on a customized schedule to eliminate the infection and prevent reinfection.
- Gum grafting. Gum disease can cause the gum tissue to recede, or pull away from, the teeth. Gum grafting is a procedure to replace or regenerate the lost gum tissue.
- Bone grafting. Loss of bone tissue in the jaw may result in the need for bone grafting. This procedure is most often performed to save teeth as well as in preparation for dental implant placement.
- Crown lengthening. When there is excess gum tissue covering the teeth, it can increase the risk of developing gum disease. Crown lengthening is the process of removing the excess tissue to expose more tooth material. It is also done for cosmetic reasons and to prepare a tooth for a crown.
- Dental implant placement. Periodontists also specialize in dental implant placement since they are implanted directly into the jaw bone.
- Periodontal surgery. In cases of severe gum disease, surgical procedures are sometimes required to treat the infection and prevent reinfection.
- Bad Breath. Halitosis is a problem caused by volatile sulfa compounds that can come from your mouth, gut, and nasal cavity. Specialized tests can be performed to find out where the bad breath is coming from and how it can be treated properly.
How Does a Dentist Become a Periodontist?
A periodontist must first complete the requirements to become a general dentist, which involves earning a doctor of medical dentistry or a doctor of dental surgery degree. In addition, a periodontist must complete additional training and education in periodontics, typically three more years of advanced training in a specialty program.
Why Do I Need a Periodontist?
Your general dentist may refer you to a periodontist if:
- You have severe or recurring gum disease. Sometimes special procedures are required that can provide a long term solution to keep gum disease at bay.
- You have residual damage from gum disease. Gum disease can also cause damage to the gums and jaw bone, requiring specific procedures that are designed to repair the damage.
- You have a tooth abscess or need a dental extraction. If you have pain in your jaw and tooth, you may have a gum infection that requires immediate treatment.
- You have excess or receding gum tissue. Periodontists provide procedures that correct problems with your gums.
- You need one or more dental implants. Periodontists specialize in dental implant placement and any preparatory procedures that may be necessary.
How Do I Find a Periodontist?
Dr. Scott H. Froum DDS is a highly qualified periodontist in Midtown Manhattan. Dr. Froum provides a wide range of periodontal and dental services to treat gum disease, and improve the health of the support structures for your teeth.
To learn more, call 212-751-8530 or contact us today to schedule an appointment.