Everybody needs to see a dentist on a regular basis, at least once every 6 months. A general practitioner (GP) dentist offers all the basic dental services such as cleanings and checkups that everybody needs. Yet if you’re also going to see a dental specialist, you may as well see a periodontist. Experienced periodontists have the expertise and skills that you won’t ordinarily expect from an average GP dentist.
- Gum disease prevention. Many people are under the impression that dental care is just about maintaining the health of their teeth. But the health of your gums is important too. If your gums recede, then the quality of your smile diminishes and your teeth also become unstable. Gum disease can even cause tooth loss.
Periodontists are gum experts, and they can make sure that your gums remain in perfect health. They’re able to see the earliest symptoms of gum disease so the problem won’t get worse. Treatments can begin much earlier instead.
- Scaling and root planing. Your GP dentist or dental hygienist can provide regular dental cleanings so that tartar and plaque can be removed from your teeth. But sometimes even this measure can prove inadequate when the first symptoms of gum disease can appear. When that happens, a periodontist can perform a “deeper” type of cleaning called scaling and root planing.
The scaling part of the treatment removes tartar deposits, plaque, and bacterial toxins from the surfaces of the teeth and root. The root planing involves smoothing the rough areas of the roots so that the tartar, plaque, and bacteria won’t reattach back to the underside of the gum line. The gums can then heal and they can reattach to your teeth more securely.
This is just one of the treatments that a periodontist can provide for gum disease. If you’ve delayed seeing a periodontist so that the gum problem has worsened considerably, other surgical treatments may then have to be implemented.
- Dental implants. As you get older, it’s pretty much inevitable that you may lose a permanent tooth (or even several teeth). Fortunately, there are plenty of options for tooth replacement, including bridges and dentures. But the best option for tooth replacement is, without a doubt, dental implants.
With dental implants, the periodontist installs a screw through the gum line and into your jawbone. This titanium screw will then provide a stable and firm foundation for the dental crown that will replace the missing tooth. A dental implant and crown looks very natural, and more important, it feels and works just like your real teeth as well. Many patients remark on how normal they feel with their dental implant, especially when compared to bridges and dentures. These dental devices work almost as good as your real teeth, and there’s no need for any special maintenance procedures. You can just brush and clean them like you would your regular teeth.
It’s important that you replace any missing tooth, but dentures and bridges can feel unnatural. With dental implants, it almost feels like you have your teeth back. You can resume your normal diet almost immediately and you won’t have to speak with a lisp for months at a time.
Periodontists are very beneficial for dental patients that some people even make regular appointments to see them every 6 months instead of going to a GP dentist. There are definitely more reasons to see one. When you have an experienced periodontist monitoring your teeth and gums, your overall oral health can be maintained and cared for properly.