Your dentist has referred you to a periodontist and you have some questions. What is a periodontist? And, what services do they provide that your dentist doesn’t provide?
A periodontist is a dental specialist with three years of extensive post-graduate training after completing dental school. The specialized training they receive focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases that affect the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. They are also trained in oral plastic surgery and can treat conditions such as loose teeth and receding gums. In addition, they are trained in the placement of dental implants. A periodontist provides other specific services, including scaling and root planing, the debridement of the root surface, treatment of oral inflammation, sinus augmentation procedures, and cosmetic periodontal procedures. Periodontists are trained to recognize illnesses that affect the oral cavity and they can help in the diagnosis of conditions that include cancer, diabetes, and viral infections.
Your dentist is the person you visit for general dental care. They will conduct your regular oral and dental health checkups. Because you see your dentist on a regular basis, they will have a better understanding of your dental health and history and are better able to provide you with a wider array of treatments. Your dental procedures, such as an X-ray, filling cavities, veneers, bonding, teeth whitening, crowns, and bridges are all procedures that your dentist will be able to resolve. If you need periodontal care that doesn’t require surgery, your dentist should be able to perform the procedure.
Most dentists are able to treat less serious cases of periodontal disease but many dentists will refer their patients to a periodontist if the situation is more challenging. While some dentists are able to perform dental implant procedures, if the implant is more serious and challenging, they will refer those to a periodontist too.
While there are differences between dentists and periodontists, they are both dental specialists whose primary goal is to make sure your smile is healthy and beautiful. With regular visits to your Island Dental dentist, your dentist will be able to see evidence of periodontal disease and refer you to a periodontist for treatment if the need arises.
Contact our dentists at Island Dental Associates in Franklin Square to schedule an appointment or discuss any of your oral concerns. Give us a call at 516-271-0765 or use our online form to schedule a visit.