Who Is a Periodontist?
It is a dental specialist who focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontium and potential problems affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. While other dentists can also attend to your needs, periodontists have undergone extensive training in periodontal health, making them more suitable to handle all your gum-related health concerns.
When Will a Dentist Refer You to a Periodontist?
Dentists’ referral to periodontists is not a sign of rejection. Instead, a dentist may refer you there when they suspect or diagnose a periodontal disease or when you require specialized treatment beyond the scope of general dentistry. Usually, periodontal referrals are if the dentist notices the following signs or symptoms:
- Gum inflammation or bleeding – typical during brushing and flossing, or when eating hard foods.
- Receding gums and exposed tooth roots
- Loose or shifting teeth – due to the loss of supporting bone and gum tissue. In the most severe cases, teem may start falling off.
- Chronic bad breath – does not get better even after brushing teeth.
- A persistent bad taste in the mouth
- Pus or discharge between the gums and teeth
- Deep pockets between the gums and teeth
- A change in the way the teeth fit together or discomfort when biting or chewing. If you have dentures, they may also become ill-fitting.
What Happens at a Periodontist Consultation?
A periodontist consultation may perform the following works during a periodontist consultation:
- Review and dental history review – to understand your overall health, medications you are taking, and any previous dental treatments you have had.
- Oral examination of your teeth, gums, and oral tissues – to check for signs of gum disease, bone loss, and other dental problems.
- Diagnostic tests – such as X-rays, evaluate the health of the teeth and surrounding structures in a way that the naked eye cannot.
- Periodontal probing – entails using a tool to measure the depth of the pockets between the gums and teeth. Deep pockets may indicate the presence of gum disease.
- Treatment recommendations – based on the results of the examination and diagnostic tests, the periodontist will create a treatment plan to address all your underlying issues. The treatment plan may include non-surgical therapies, such as scaling and root planing, or surgical procedures, such as gum grafting or dental implant placement, depending on the severity of your condition.
- Education and Prevention – Dr. Gabriela Vila cannot allow you to leave the dental office without guidance on preventing and managing gum disease, including proper oral hygiene techniques and lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking.
What Treatments Would a Periodontist Prescribe?
A dentist near you will generally recommend treatments based on the severity of your initial oral health. Some treatments that a periodontist may prescribe:
- Antibiotics – medicine may be the first line of action that a periodontist prescribes. Antibiotics help control bacterial infection and inflammation associated with periodontal disease. You may take them orally or topically, depending on the severity of the infection.
- Deep cleaning – is a non-surgical therapy entailing scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and below the gum line. These treatments are common at referral dental clinics in Largo to reduce inflammation and promote the healing of the gums.
- Surgical therapies – your periodontist may recommend invasive treatments such as pocket reduction surgery or gum grafting. These are surgeries to reconstruct the gums and treat advanced cases of gum disease to restore lost gum tissue. These procedures can reduce pocket depths, improve gum health, and prevent further bone loss.
- Dental implant placement – is specifically for patients that have lost teeth to periodontal disease. The Periodontist at Largo Dental One may recommend dental implants to replace the missing teeth or to stabilize dentures.
- Bone grafting – it is a surgery to augment or regenerate bone in areas where there has been bone loss due to periodontal disease or tooth extraction. These procedures are also crucial before getting dental implants or to prevent further bone loss.