What does a Periodontist do? Periodontology or periodontics is a specific branch of dentistry that involves the study of supporting tissues of the teeth and the diseases related to them. The supporting tissues of teeth include the gingiva or the gums, alveolar bone, cementum and the periodontal ligament. And the person who studies them is known as a Periodontist.
Therefore one can summarize that a person who specialises in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal diseases and placement of dental implants is a Periodontist They are mainly an expert in the area of oral inflammatory diseases and their treatment and are trained for performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.
Before going in depth into what does a Periodontist do we should know their field of expertise. As they are an expert in the periodontal techniques and diseases, therefore, they treat cases that have complex gum diseases with a vast medical history. They are expert in performing procedures such as scaling and root planning where the surface of the root is cleaned and made free from any trace of infection. They are also specialised in performing several replacements and dental implantation procedures along with dental surgeries and root surface debridement where the infected tissue is removed.
When the person first visits a Periodontist, he or she is first asked to a give a clear and detailed medical history. This is done to ensure that any of the patient’s medication either in the past or the present may not have been the cause of affected periodontal tissues. Drugs that are usually taken in conditions like heart diseases, diabetes and pregnancy may affect periodontal care.
The periodontist has to first examine the gums and look for signs of any gum line recession. This is done by aligning the teeth together. Whether all the teeth are aligned properly while biting or are perfectly fitted in the gums and are not loose. There is an instrument that is generally used in such cases. It is known as probe. It helps to measure the depth of the periodontal pockets. The periodontal pockets are the space between the gums and the teeth. This is an important measure for the assessing the health of the gums.
An X-ray of the jaw bone is necessary in order to assess the health of the bones beneath the gum line. There are many diseases that are associated with periodontology. However, most of these diseases are a result of the accumulation of bacterial plaque bio-film.
Only specific kinds of bacteria like P. gingivalis and T. denticola which are species of the group ‘red complex bacteria’ dwell in the gingiva and the teeth of humans. Due to the presence of bacterial biofilms, there occurs a host immuno – inflammatory reaction that combines with the bacteria and causes inflammation of gums.
This in severe cases may lead to infection of the bone that is present around the teeth and supports it. Thus may lead to alveolar bone loss and tooth loss.
Sometimes an inflammatory bone loss can occur around a dental implant. This is again because of bacterial infection and is known as peri-implantitis. To treat this, the periodontist maintains and replaces the dental implants to avoid their further degradation and infection. A person should see a periodontist if he or she is suffering from a severe case of periodontal diseases or inflammatory disorders. Although a regular dentist may also be able to cure mild
cases of those, severe cases may need the consultation of a periodontal expert, especially where the cause of inflammation or periodontal disease due to any specific drug interactions that a person is taking.
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