Why Am I Being Referred to a Periodontist?
Most people have only seen a dentist in their lifetime, which is generally the norm when it comes to checking in on your oral health and providing any necessary treatment to keep your smile in good health. But many people are referred to other dental specialists, such as a periodontist. You may be wondering, “What exactly is a periodontist?” A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the treatment of the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Periodontist are ideal specialists for severe cases of gum or bone issues that require complex treatment.
Generally, dentists will refer patients to a periodontist if he or she has periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease. In addition, if a dentist determines that a patient is at risk of periodontal disease, then the dentist will likely be referred the patient to a periodontist. Periodontists provide specialized care and attention to patients suffering from gum or bone complications.
Both dentists and periodontists are required to attend dental school after obtaining their bachelor’s degree. While dental school for general dentists is only a four-year program, periodontists require an additional three years of postdoctoral training on top of completing dental school.
In addition, dentists usually refer patients to a periodontist if a patient is at a higher risk of periodontal disease, along with other relative complications. There are a variety of risk factors in regards to periodontal disease, including diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy, recent cancer treatment, along with other factors.
With that being said, it is important to receive regular dental checkups to ensure that you are receiving the best care possible. If your dentist notices any irregularities in your oral health, then they can provide you with the right care and treatment, as well as a referral to a periodontist if needed.