What is a Periodontist, and Which Treatments Can They Provide?

March 28, 2022

If you have advanced gum disease or need dental implants, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist for treatment. If you have never heard that term before, you may be wondering what a periodontist does, and what types of treatment they can provide for you. At American Dental, we provide periodontal services to residents of the Chicago area.

What is a Periodontist?

Four structures make up your periodontal tissues; these include the gingiva (also known as the gums), the cementum, the alveolar bone, and the periodontal ligament. A periodontist specializes in treating issues related to these structures and can also provide cosmetic treatments in these areas. While periodontists are a type of dentist, they received specialized training, including three years of additional education beyond dental school. A general dentist may be able to perform some of the same treatments as a periodontist, but for more complex cases and challenging surgeries, a referral to a periodontist may be needed.

Which Treatments Can a Periodontist Provide?

One of the most important jobs performed by a periodontist is the treatment of gum disease. More than half of adults aged 30 and over are living with some degree of gum disease, and if it is not treated properly, it can lead to receding gums, tooth loss, or even life-threatening infection. For early-stage gum disease, a general dentist can recommend treatments and an oral health routine that will reduce or manage symptoms. When a patient comes in with advanced gum disease, a periodontist may be needed to get their condition under control.

Dental implants are another area where a periodontist may be needed. Because dental implant placement is a surgical procedure, the additional training that periodontists receive makes them much better suited to perform it, especially in cases where multiple implants are needed, when a patient does not have sufficient bone structure for implant attachment, or when an implant is being placed in a difficult location. The skilled hands of a periodontist will ensure that any dental implant procedures are performed correctly and that the patient will have a strong attachment point for their implants.

You may also be referred to a periodontist for any of the following treatments:

  • Scaling
  • Root Planing
  • Root Surface Debridement
  • Oral Inflammation Treatment
  • Cosmetic Periodontal Procedures like Gum Contouring

While many dental offices do not have a periodontist in-house, American Dental can provide periodontal services at any of our 7 dental offices in the Chicago area. If you come to us for a checkup and your dentist notices any issues, you can speak to a periodontist during the same visit, with no additional travel time or insurance paperwork to fill out. Get in touch with us today to find a periodontist in the Chicago area or for any other dental treatments you need. Call (773) 897-3218 or Make an Appointment to find the American Dental location that works best for you and schedule an appointment online today!

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