When most people think of dental care—like filling a cavity or treating a toothache—their first stop is always the dentist. But when dental concerns are much more complicated and involve the gums, jawbone, and tissues that support the teeth, they require a specialist: a periodontist.
What does a periodontist do?
Periodontists are dentists, too. But unlike dentists who provide basic dental care, periodontists specialize in diagnosing, treating, and preventing periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Most importantly, they also specialize in replacing missing teeth and restoring your full, healthy smile with dental implants.
How to Choose the Right Periodontist for Dental Implants
The first step in enjoying the lifelong benefits of renewed oral health is knowing who will be performing your dental implant procedure and providing periodontal care. Having the most experienced and qualified periodontist in Mississauga makes all the difference in ensuring the success of your dental implants.
Let’s start with choosing a periodontist for your dental implant procedure.
1. Periodontal education and training
When choosing a periodontist in Mississauga, your first consideration should be their qualifications. In Canada, periodontists complete a three-year university post-graduate specialty in periodontics following dental school.
Throughout their training, periodontists also receive extensive clinical education in surgical and non-surgical techniques for periodontal treatment, including implantology, cosmetic procedures, and oral pathology. Following their training, periodontists will be eligible to take the Fellowship Examination (Royal College of Dentists of Canada) or the National Dental Specialty Examination (National Dental Examining Board of Canada) and must pass in order to be licensed to practice.
2. Continuing periodontal education
Periodontal care is ever-evolving, with new techniques and standards for diagnosing, treating, and preventing gum disease and performing dental implant procedures. The Canadian Academy of Periodontology notes that periodontists are continuously upgrading their training to remain current with the latest techniques and best practices. Choosing a periodontist who is dedicated to continuing education and training allows you to achieve optimal oral health outcomes from your dental implants.
3. See how your first consultation goes
Your first consultation tells you everything you need to know about a periodontist and what you can expect from your dental implant procedure. You know that you’re in the right hands when a periodontist doesn’t recommend dental implants outright. Rather, they take this time to assess the overall appearance of your mouth and dental function and review your dental and medical history.
Here’s what you can expect from a reputable periodontist during your consultation for dental implants:
- A full dental exam: Your periodontist should conduct a full dental exam, making note of the cause of your missing teeth, their number and location, and other treatments you may have tried, such as dental bridges and/or dentures. They should also examine your teeth and gums, mouth and throat, and head, neck, and jaw joints.
- X-rays and 3D imaging: A dental exam alone will not provide a periodontist with the full visualization they need in order to assess your suitability for dental implants. They should order x-rays and 3D imaging scans to view the entire tooth root, from crown to jaw, and the entire bone structure of the mouth. Based on these, they can determine the degree of bone loss that may require a bone graft prior to implantation.
- Dental and medical history: Your periodontist should review your full dental and medical history. It’s important that they know of any diseases you have been diagnosed with, along with any medication you are taking, as these can affect your mouth or gums. Additionally, it’s important for your periodontist to know of your lifestyle habits, such as smoking, as it increases your risk for periodontal disease and slows down healing after dental implant surgery.
4. Personalized treatment plan
Your oral health needs are unique—and your periodontist should develop a personalized treatment plan that reflects this. A personalized treatment plan for dental implants addresses the number and location of missing teeth, and your tooth replacement and restoration goals.
Your personalized treatment plan should also include a periodontal maintenance program. In addition to proper oral hygiene, your periodontist should schedule regular follow-up check-ups and cleaning to ensure that your new teeth, gums, and mouth remain healthy.
5. Convenient location
It’s important to choose a periodontist whose clinic is conveniently located in Mississauga and accessible to you. Keep in mind that receiving dental implants consists of a series of procedures—meaning, you’ll be making the commute a number of times throughout several months. Plus, you’ll also want to be able to easily reach them in case of any emergency treatment, so it’s important to factor in a periodontist’s location early on.
Is your periodontist available when you need them? Check their clinic hours to see if they can accommodate you based on your schedule, and ensure that they can respond when you have urgent concerns. Most importantly, flexible clinic hours allow you to select an optimal schedule for your visits, without too many disruptions to your daily routine throughout the entire course of your dental implant procedure.
7. Ask questions
Finally, it’s important that you feel safe and comfortable with your periodontist. The entire dental implant procedure takes several months, meaning you will be visiting them frequently. Before proceeding with treatment, make sure to ask questions—and select a periodontist whose treatment approach, commitment to patient care, and clinic policies meet your needs and goals.
Find out if a periodontist is right for you by considering these questions:
- Were you referred to a periodontist by your dentist?
- How long has the periodontist been practicing and performing dental implant procedures?
- What do other patients say about their experience?
- Do they explain every step of the dental implant procedure clearly, and answer all your questions?
- Do they accept dental insurance plans from your provider, or do they offer financing terms?
- What types of periodontal technology or equipment does their clinic use?
- Does the periodontist work closely with a prosthodontist or other dental care provider for your dental crown restoration?
- What type of emergency care does the periodontist provide?
Talk to Our Periodontists in Mississauga
At Periodontal Associates, we strive to be your #1 choice among many other periodontists in Mississauga. We do this by aiming to offer the best patient experience possible, starting with the periodontists who perform dental implant procedures.
Our team of periodontists are highly trained and board-certified by the Royal College of Dentists of Canada, and are renowned specialists in implantology. They also strive to stay current with the latest in periodontal treatment and techniques through ongoing education and training. Combined with our commitment to maintaining an inviting, state-of-the-art clinic, we are consistently Mississauga’s top choice for dental implants.
Do you have any questions about our periodontists’ training or experience in dental implant procedures? Tell us in the comments, or contact Periodontal Associates in Mississauga today to learn more.