The reality is that most people are only aware of dentists – and when to visit them. But did you know that other specialists specifically treat parts of the mouth other than the teeth?
Periodontists specialize in treating the gums, tissues, and bones that support the teeth. They treat gum disease, gum recession, and missing teeth with dental implants, among other conditions. Through their training in periodontics and oral surgery, periodontists provide advanced dental care that general dentists may be unable to.
Do you need to see a periodontist or want to learn more about their work? Find out what procedures they perform and how they can help you in Oakville and the GTA.
Who is a periodontist?
A periodontist is a specialist in the field of periodontics. They begin their training as general dentists, then complete a postgraduate program in periodontics, where they train in treating the gums and structures that support the teeth. Periodontists in Oakville focus on diagnosing, preventing, and treating diseases that affect the gums, and replacing missing teeth with dental implants.
What can you expect during your first visit to a periodontist in Oakville?
Most periodontists in Oakville work by referral. However, you do not need a referral to see a periodontist. During a routine dental check-up or cleaning, your dentist may observe signs of gum disease or gum recession, or discuss options for tooth replacement, such as dental implants. They may recommend you to a periodontist in Oakville for these advanced treatments.
During your first visit to a periodontist, they will discuss your treatment needs. They will also review your dental and medical history, and assess your fitness for periodontal treatment. A periodontist may use x-rays to examine the jawbone below the gumline. They may also check for gum recession and signs of a misaligned bite.
Signs You Need to Visit a Periodontist
The most pressing sign that you need periodontal treatment is gum disease. This ongoing infection in the gums can lead to tooth loss and bone loss. Your dentist can help you identify the signs of gum disease and recommend you to a periodontist if:
- You have pain or sores in the mouth
- You experience bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Your gums are swollen, red, or tender
- Your teeth are loose or separating
- You experience gum recession and tooth sensitivity
- You have bad breath, changes to your bite, and pus between the gums and teeth.
Aside from gum disease, a periodontist also offers other treatments for restoring the appearance and health of your smile. These include replacing missing teeth with dental implants to eliminate the need for dentures and bridges, reshaping your smile through crown lengthening, placing a gum graft to treat gum recession, and correcting a misaligned bite, among other treatments.
Periodontists in Oakville offer a number of treatments to address gum disease, replace missing teeth, and fix cosmetic issues with your smile. Here is a list of the procedures performed by periodontists:
1. Dental cleanings
Periodontists perform routine cleanings to remove plaque and tartar from along and below the gum line. During your visit, they may also be able to detect early signs of gum disease and recommend further treatment.
2. Scaling and root planing
These are basic treatments for mild to moderate gum disease. Scaling and root planing are deep cleaning techniques for scraping away plaque and tartar from the gumline, and removing bacteria from the roots of the teeth. Root planing also smoothens the roots, resulting in clean surfaces for the gum tissue to attach to the teeth.
3. Pocket reduction surgery
Periodontists recommend pocket reduction for advanced gum disease. This oral surgery involves lifting the gums to remove tartar build-up, then smoothing the surfaces of damaged bone caused by bacteria. After pocket reduction, your periodontist will reattach the gums snugly around the teeth, reducing gaps where bacteria can build up.
4. Bite adjustment
Periodontists offer a nonsurgical treatment for correcting a misaligned bite. They can reshape the biting surfaces of the teeth to eliminate pressure points and perform bite splint therapy through custom-fitted bite guards to reinforce correct alignment. They may also recommend braces, replace worn-out fillings, and reconstruct damaged teeth.
5. Gum graft
Gum recession can lead to severe periodontal issues, ranging anywhere from tooth sensitivity and longer-looking teeth as the gums peel away, to exposed roots of the teeth and rapid decay. Gum grafting is one of the most common treatments.
Your periodontist may harvest tissue from the roof of your mouth, use existing gum tissue, or use donor tissue. They will graft and suture it where your gums have receded, and the roots of the teeth are exposed. As the graft heals, the tissue blends with your gum line, allowing it to regenerate.
6. Crown lengthening
If your smile looks “gummy” or has too much gum tissue that makes your teeth look small, crown lengthening is an effective treatment. Periodontists in Oakville perform this cosmetic procedure to remove excess gum tissue and reshape your smile. As a result, there is healthy spacing between the teeth, gums, and bone.
7. Dental implants
Periodontists are trained in oral surgery and implantology. This advanced training enables them to permanently replace missing teeth. Unlike other tooth restorations, periodontists place dental implants in the jawbone, allowing them to fuse with the bone and replace the roots of missing teeth.
Before dental implants are placed, your periodontist may recommend a bone graft. It’s necessary if you have lost bone density in the jawbone and it has become weakened, unable to fuse with the implant. Your periodontist may use your own bone tissue or donor tissue.
Once your jawbone heals, your periodontist can place the dental implant and allow it to fuse with the bone. When it does, they will attach a new dental crown or replacement tooth to the implant, providing you with a complete tooth restoration system.
Visit Our Periodontists at Periodontal Associates
Did your dentist recently recommend that you visit a periodontist? Whether it’s to stop the earliest signs of gum disease from progressing or you’re ready to replace missing teeth and restore a complete, healthy smile, Periodontal Associates can help you in Oakville.
At Periodontal Associates, our team of periodontists in Oakville provides a wide range of periodontal treatments. Our periodontists are trained in all aspects of periodontal care, including oral pathology and implantology.
From deep cleanings to oral surgeries like pocket reduction and gum grafting, you can trust that our periodontists will provide the specialized care you need. More importantly, we take a long-term view of your oral health by restoring your complete, healthy smile with dental implants.
Do you need to visit a periodontist in Oakville? Find out how they can help, from treating gum disease to tooth replacement with dental implants. Visit Periodontal Associates today.