Seeing a general dentist on a regular basis is a basic requirement for good oral health. Your general dentist can handle cleaning and caring for your teeth and most other dental procedures you may need, such as cavity fillings.
But when you have severe gum disease or the need for dental implants or bone grafting procedures, you may be referred to a periodontist.
What is a Periodontist?
Periodontology is a specialization within the field of dentistry. Periodontists specialize in the support structures of the teeth, which includes the hard and soft tissues in the mouth. The soft tissues refers to your gums and the hard tissues refers to your jaw bone. A periodontist can help preserve your teeth by treating their support system.
When Should I See a Periodontist?
There are a variety of situations, signs, and symptoms that would lead the need for a periodontist, such as:
- Your dentist recommends it.
- You have severe gum disease.
- You have weakening of the jaw bone or bone loss.
- You need a dental implant.
- You need a bone graft procedure to precede an implant.
- You have gum disease that keeps recurring after treatment.
- You have any issues with your gums or jaw bone that your dentist is not equipped to handle.
- You have a recession around your teeth that is worsening.
- You need routine periodontal maintenance.
What Procedures Does a Periodontist Perform?
Some of the procedures a periodontist specializes in can also be done by your dentist. However, if your dentist is not equipped to handle a particular situation, it may be in your best interest to see a periodontist. Here are some typical periodontal services:
- Dental implants
- Crown lengthening
- Gum grafting
- Bone grafting
- Bone regeneration
- Ridge preservation
- Sinus Lifts
- Scaling and Root Planing
- Periodontal Flap Surgery
- Periodontal Maintenance Program
Why Is It Necessary for Me to See Both a Dentist and Periodontist?
Your dentist’s job is to provide preventive care for your teeth first and foremost. It is very important to remain on a schedule of visiting the dentist every 6 months for cleanings and yearly X-Rays. If you have any cavities that need to be filled or other basic restorative procedures, your general dentist can likely handle these.
Even if you start seeing a periodontist for gum disease or other procedures, you need to maintain your regular schedule with your dentist for preventive dentistry for your teeth.
Your teeth, gums, and jaw are all designed to work together. You can’t have healthy teeth without healthy gums and a strong jaw to support them. You can’t have healthy gums and a strong jaw if your teeth are not in good condition. If a tooth or multiple teeth become severely decayed to the point where they fall out, your jaw bone immediately begins to resorb (weaken and dissolve). Severe gum disease can cause teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Each part is dependent upon the other to function properly and maintain good oral health.
Make Holzinger Periodontics Part of Your Dental Team
Dentists and periodontists work closely together to help patients achieve the best possible oral health. If you are in need of a periodontist in addition to your general dentist, Holzinger Periodontics and Dental Implants is ready to join your team.