What Periodontists Do for Patients
Your gums are a vital part of your smile, but compared to your teeth, they often get very little recognition for their role. Nearly half of all adults over 30 have some form of gum disease, and many may not even realize it’s there until the symptoms become significant.
Whether you are facing advanced gum disease or simply want to make sure you nip any gum health problems in the bud, visiting a periodontist can be an invaluable experience. Here’s what you can expect in a visit to one of these gum care experts, and why your gums are probably overdue for a gum health exam.
Periodontist vs. General Dentist
All dentists have some training and familiarity with identifying and sufficiently treating gum disease. However, like any specialist, a periodontist puts extensive focus on learning about the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. They also stay up-to-date on the latest innovations in the technology and techniques used for diagnosis and treatment of gum disease.
Gum disease is subtle in its early stages, presenting few notable symptoms until it has become serious. Left unaddressed, however, it can lead to pain, infection, and potentially even tooth loss. Getting a periodontal exam from an expert in dental care could mean the difference between treating minor gum disease and incurring a costly and invasive surgical procedure.
Treatments a Periodontist Offers
As experts in the field of gum care, periodontists offer services that a general dentist might not. These can include:
- Crown Lengthening/Gum Contouring: This involves reshaping the gum line to lengthen the exposed area of the tooth. This procedure might be done for cosmetic reasons, addressing a “gummy smile,” or it may be done for restorative purposes if there is excess gum tissue or the teeth are unusually short.
- Pocket Reduction: Advanced gum disease can result in bacteria forming pockets beneath the gum line, causing the gum tissue to pull away from the tooth root. In this procedure, the periodontist eliminates all bacteria and helps the gum tissue reattach to the tooth, making it secure.
- Gum Grafts: With periodontitis, the gums may begin to recede, giving teeth less support. Gum grafts place new tissue in depleted areas to bolster the teeth and create healthier gums overall.
- Deep Cleaning: When plaque and tartar build up below the gum line, it causes inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). The periodontist can eliminate plaque and tartar buildup with an intensive deep cleaning, allowing gums to heal before the gum disease can advance.
At the Rochester office of Dr. Susan Bracker, your smile can benefit from skilled periodontal dentistry. For more information on our periodontal services, contact our office today.