You may be wondering why your dentist referred you to a periodontist. Or maybe you’re just curious about the difference between a general dentist and a periodontist.
What is a periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating and diagnosing periodontal disease and the placement of dental implants. It is a field of dentistry that specializes in gums and other tooth supporting tissues. They are experts in oral inflammation as well as cosmetic periodontal procedures. Often your general dentist will refer you to a periodontist if you have a complex case of periodontal disease or other oral issues that these professionals specialize in. In some cases, your primary dentist can treat early signs of gum disease or other oral issues.
Periodontists require an additional three years of education beyond dental school. They are highly trained in periodontal procedures and are equipped to handle patients with complex cases or those who have a complicated medical history. It is important that your periodontist is informed on your complete medical and dental history so that they can use their expertise to design the best treatment plan for you.
When should I see a periodontist?
It is wise to be aware of some signs that you should consult a periodontist. In most cases, your general dentist will refer you to these specialists so you can always ask their opinion if you are unsure. It may be time to see a periodontist if you notice a change in your bite, your teeth feel loose, your gums are receding or bleeding, or you are experiencing tooth or gum pain. These may be signs of serious oral issues.
What does a periodontist do?
Periodontists treat a wide range of oral health issues. Some procedures that they specialize include:
Check out an interview with Dr. Yashar where she talks more about being a periodontist and what makes this profession special. Here are some questions from the interview.
How much schooling did you go through to become a periodontist?
“A total of 13 years after high school. Four years to obtain my bachelor's degree. Dental school is 4 more years on its own. Followed by residency in Periodontics, which is an additional 3 years. The residency was very demanding, but the job has been highly rewarding. It sounds like a very long journey, but it actually goes by pretty quickly.”
How does periodontics differ from other specialties?
“In many ways, periodontics is the foundation in dentistry. Without a solid foundation, any beautiful smile will fall apart sooner or later. Oral inflammation, periodontal disease and peri-implantitis are all important conditions that can affect the rest of the body. To many people, a dental visit is only about teeth. It’s important to understand that what goes on in the rest of your body affects your mouth and vise versa. The connection between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, diabetes and pulmonary diseases have been well established in studies over the years and should not be taken lightly.”
Contact our team today at Simi Valley Periodontics today and get the dental care that you deserve.
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Contact our team today at Simi Valley Periodontics today and get the dental care that you deserve today.