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What is a periodontist?

A periodontist (formerly called a periodontist), is a dentist who has completed a postgraduate university program in periodontics.

Periodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease as well as the placement of dental implants. Specialty programs in periodontics last two to three years after the normal dentistry course which is four years long.

A periodontist is an oral health specialist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and problems that affect the supporting tissues of teeth, gums and bones. After their studies in dentistry, periodontists do an additional three-year specialization at university.

Periodontists are specialized experts in managing and treating inflammations and other surgical procedures for the diagnosis of gum disease. They also perform aesthetic procedures to enhance your smile and correct receding gums. These dental health professionals also have extensive training in reconstructive surgery, like bone grafting and dental implant placement, to help replace missing teeth.

When should you consult a periodontist?

The most common reason for seeing a periodontist is to treat periodontal disease – that’s what gum disease is called – when it’s in its early stages. You should see a periodontist when you notice any of the following symptoms, especially if you have other pre-existing health conditions:

  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing;
  • Redness or inflammation of the gums;
  • Bad taste in the mouth or bad breath;
  • Abscess;
  • Loosening of teeth;
  • Moving teeth;
  • Loss of teeth.

The role of the periodontist is to treat mild or more severe periodontal disease. 

The most common problems treated by the periodontist are:

  • Gingivitis: inflammation of the periodontal soft tissues
  • Missing teeth: Loss of teeth is usually a loss of bone mass
  • Mild or severe periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

The earlier periodontal diseases are detected, the easier they are to treat. Do not hesitate to make an appointment with the periodontist as soon as you feel the first symptoms.

In conclusion, the periodontist is a certified specialist in the field of periodontics.

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