Family, Orthodontic & Implant Dentistry


Family, Orthodontic & Implant Dentistry

What is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist that specializes in the soft tissues of your mouth and jawbone which support teeth. They must first graduate from an accredited dental school before undertaking three more years of study as part of their residency training program, to become eligible for certification by licensing boards across North America (in some cases).

The focus of this residency training is on both surgical and non-surgical management as well as placement for dental implants.

Conditions Treated by a Periodontist

The periodontist is focused on the prevention of gum diseases like gingivitis and chronic dental problems that can lead to tooth loss. They also diagnose abnormal conditions affecting your mouth, such as an infection in this area between teeth orths known as plaque buildup.

The periodontist is a specialist in gum disease who can treat mild, moderate and advanced cases by first addressing the bacterial infection at its root. They provide medical treatment for your teeth as well as information on proper oral hygiene habits that will help you avoid having any other serious health problems related to poor dental care.

The most common conditions treated by a periodontist are:

  • Gingivitis – This is the mild inflammation of the gums which may or may not be signified by pain and bleeding.
  • Mild/moderate periodontitis – When the pockets between the teeth and the soft tissues are measured to be between 4-6mm it is classified as moderate periodontitis (gum disease).
  • Advanced periodontitis – When the pockets between the teeth and the soft tissues in general exceed 6mm in depth, significant bone loss may occur; causing shifting or loss of teeth.
  • Missing teeth – When teeth are missing as a result of bone loss, the periodontist can implant prosthetic teeth. These teeth are anchored to the jawbone and restore functionality to the mouth.

Treatments Performed by a Periodontist

The periodontist is an expert in the art of dental care. From replacing missing teeth to making your smile more aesthetically pleasing, they are able treat all kinds if gum disease with their wide range treatments.

Here are some of the treatments commonly performed by the periodontist:

  • Implant placement – When a tooth or several teeth are missing, the periodontist is able to create a natural-looking replacement by anchoring a prosthetic tooth to the jawbone.
  • Osteoplasty (hard tissue recontouring) – Once periodontitis has been treated, the periodontist can recontour the hard tissue to make the smile both natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Gingivoplasty (soft tissue recontouring) – As gums recede due to periodontitis, the teeth may appear longer; causing a “toothy" smile. The periodontist can remove tissues or straighten the gum line to make the teeth look more even.
  • Bone grafting – Dental implants can only be positioned if there is sufficient bone to attach the prosthetic tooth to. If bone loss has occurred, bone grafting is an excellent way to add or “grow” bone so that an implant may be properly secured.
  • Deep pocket cleanings – As gingivitis and periodontitis progress, it becomes more difficult to cleanse the pockets between the soft tissues and the teeth. The periodontist can scale and root plane the teeth (sometimes under local anesthetic) to remove debris and infection-causing bacteria.
  • Crown lengthening – In order to expose more of the natural tooth, the periodontist can remove some of the surrounding gingival tissue.

The periodontist is a highly skilled dental health professional who can diagnose and treat many commonly occurring problems in the oral cavity.