The Advantages Of Seeing A Periodontist

Posted on Jul 13, 2017 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Some patients’ periodontal needs can be managed by their general dentist. However, as signs of periodontal disease grow, coupled with research that indicates a correlation between periodontal disease and other chronic diseases, periodontal treatment may resolve at a more effective level through the expertise of a trained specialist. Patients who have moderate or severe levels of periodontal disease, or patients with more complex cases, are often best managed through ‘team treatment’ between a general dentist and periodontal specialist.

What Is A Periodontist? The American Academy of Periodontology explains a periodontist as a “dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.

“Periodontists often treat more problematic periodontal cases, such as those with severe gum disease or a complex medical history. Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments, such as scaling and root planing (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned) or root surface debridement (in which damaged tissue is removed). They can also treat patients with severe gum problems using a range of surgical procedures.

In addition, periodontists are specially trained in the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants.”

On their web site, the American Academy of Periodontology lists the symptoms of gum disease as:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums or other sore areas in your mouth
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Gums that recede or pull away from teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus pockets between your gums and teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

Additionally, the site features an explanation of the various stages of gum disease (

Please know that you do not have to be referred to our office for care. While we want you to receive regular dental care once your mouth is restored to optimal health, we can suggest a general dentist for you if you do not have one.

Our goal is to ensure you are receiving the care you need to be healthy and to keep your natural teeth. As research continues to show, the health of your mouth has an impact on the health of your body.

Begin with a consultation or ask for a thorough periodontal exam by calling 828-274-9440. Let our specialty restore your teeth and gums to good health and confident smiles!


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