What is Periodontics?
Periodontics is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, focusing on the study and treatment of the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth and jaw.
Who is a periodontist?
A periodontist is a dental specialist who has the training and experience required by the American Dental Association to diagnose, treat, and prevent different forms of periodontal/gum disease.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, often begins as a buildup of plaque on the tooth’s surface near the gumline. If this plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing regularly, it can harden into what your dentist calls tartar. Plaque will continue to build up over the tartar eventually causing the gums to become red, swollen, and irritated. This is known as gingivitis and is the first stage of periodontal disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss or cause other serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and low birth weight.
What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
- Red, swollen, sore gums
- Gums that bleed when brushing and flossing
- Teeth that appear longer, or become loose
- Large spaces that form between the teeth
- The gums begin to pull away from the teeth
- Chronic bad breath
Periodontal disease, if left untreated, can cause other health problems too, including heart disease and diabetes. If you’re pregnant, having periodontal disease can also cause premature birth or low birth weight. Your smile’s health affects the overall health of your body.
Is periodontal disease treatable?
If you have been diagnosed with gingivitis, periodontitis, or gum disease a periodontist can help you determine which treatment best meets your needs.
Periodontal treatments include:
- At-home care
- Nonsurgical treatment (root planing, bite adjustments, night guards, perioscope)
- Periodontal surgery
- Dental implants
How comfortable will I be during treatment?
We offer a variety of anesthesia including novocaine, laughing gas, oral relaxation dentistry/conscious sedation which is a safe and modern technique performed by a dental anesthesiologist using intravenous medications. Patients are placed in a relaxed state allowing dental care to be provided without fear or anxiety.
Am I at risk of having periodontal disease?
You may be at risk of having periodontal disease if you smoke or use tobacco products, you do not brush your teeth and floss regularly, you have health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or osteoporosis, or if several of your family members have had gum disease as it can, in some cases, be genetic. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist, who can help determine if treatment is necessary.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. Implants are natural looking replicas of your teeth that are attached to your jawbone. Dental implants can remain in your mouth for a very long time. Patients who receive dental implants experience very little discomfort. Once placed, dental implants can last for a very long time before needing to be replaced.
Will my insurance cover my periodontal treatment?
Many insurance plans will provide assistance for periodontal treatment. Our practice understands how important your dental health is, and we want you to get the most out of any dental treatment you receive. We will help you work with your insurance provider to make sure that your treatment is easy on your budget, and your peace of mind.