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 diseases. In addition, they are adept at using the latest techniques to diagnose and treat periodontal disease and perform cosmetic periodontal procedures.
After completing four years of dental school, periodontists must complete an extra two or more years of specialty postgraduate training through a hospital or university-based program accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Common treatments in which periodontists specialize include:
- Scaling and root planing (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned)
- Root surface debridement (in which damaged tissue is removed)
- Surgical gum and tissue grafting
- Placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants
As research suggests a relationship between periodontal disease and other chronic diseases of aging, some periodontal treatment may require a greater understanding and increased level of expertise by a trained specialist. Patients who have moderate to severe levels of periodontal disease, or patients with complex medical cases, may be best served by treatment from a periodontist.