Have you ever wondered, “what does a periodontist do?” Knowing the answer is vital to your continued excellent oral health!
Did you know there are meaningful differences between a general dentist and a periodontist?
We’ll discuss those differences and when you would need to seek the care of a periodontist.
What does a periodontist do?
A periodontist is a specialist in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease.
While a general dentist is trained in the treatment of gum disease, becoming a periodontist requires an additional three years of specialized training beyond general dentistry.
They are trained in the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease and can care for more complex or problematic cases.
Here are some of the treatments they are qualified to perform:
- Scaling & Root Planing
- Socket Preservation
- Cosmetic Periodontal Surgery
- Pocket Reduction
- Guided Bone & Tissue Regeneration
A periodontist has also received additional and specialized training for the placement of dental implants.
Why does periodontal disease treatment require such specialized skills?
What is periodontal disease?
Did you know gum disease is the #1 reason adults lose teeth?
You’ve probably heard of gum disease. It’s one of the most common diseases Americans experience just behind the common cold!
The first phase of gum disease, also known as gingivitis, happens when bacteria-laden plaque builds on the surface of teeth because of inadequate brushing and flossing. You may notice your gums look red or inflamed and bleed easily when you brush your teeth.
If left untreated, the inflammation of gingivitis can lead to the more severe consequences of periodontitis.
Periodontal disease causes the inner layer of the gum to pull away from the teeth, leaving pockets. These pockets become filled with debris and bacteria and start to break down the gum and bone tissue, causing the pockets to deepen and making your teeth unstable. Eventually, you could be at risk of losing your teeth.
How can you tell if you have periodontal disease?
Knowing the early signs of gum disease is essential, so you can take the needed steps to treat it.
So, what symptoms should you be looking for?
Here are a few to watch for:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus between the gums and the teeth
- Teeth that are loose or separating
If you treat periodontal disease in its early stages, it’s reversible. The longer you wait to seek professional help, the more profound and costly the damage becomes.
Meet our periodontists
Dr. Pasquenelli is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry, Division of Graduate Prosthodontics, and Dr. Olivares is board-certified in both periodontics and implant surgery.
Together, they have over 30 years of experience in all areas of periodontal treatment and implant placement and work together as a well-oiled team to provide you with the best of care!
They are both active and well-respected members of prestigious dental organizations that include:
- American Academy of Periodonticsopens in the AAP website
- American Dental AssociationOpens in the ADA website
- San Francisco Dental SocietyOpens in the SFDS website
In need of a periodontist?
Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the vital work these dental specialists do. Their main concern is helping you establish and maintain excellent oral health.
Would you like to make an appointment with one of our San Franciso and East Bay periodontal experts?
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