By Dr. Aaron T. Ward
Why are there so many dental specialists? Knowing which specialist to go to can be confusing. So many of them are now placing dental implants and claim to be experts. Even general dentists have advertised being “dental implant specialists”.
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. They receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.
Periodontists often treat more problematic periodontal cases, such as those with severe gum disease or a complex medical history. They offer a wide range of treatments, such as scaling and root planing (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned) or root surface debridement (in which damaged tissue is removed). They can also treat patients with severe gum problems using a range of surgical procedures. In addition, periodontists are specially trained in the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants.
Dental implants provide a strong and comfortable replacement for lost teeth. They can’t get decay like natural teeth, but they can still get gum disease. Gum disease around implants leads to bone loss and eventual loss of the dental implant. That is where the periodontist comes in. A periodontist has received extra training to resolve these problems often associated with dental implants. In addition, he or she has also received training in the surgical placement of implants which often requires grafting procedure to ensure a healthy and esthetic result. Make the extra trip to a specialist. It will be worth your time.
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