Dentists are a misunderstood lot. Dr. Paige Woods and the team here at Brighton Dental in San Diego want to help you – not hurt you. And periodontology is a special subsection of dentistry that’s particularly misunderstood. Keep reading for more on what a periodontist is – and why you may need one.
Understanding A Big Word: Periodontology
You want your gums to be pink – looking and feeling healthy. A periodontist practices periodontology and helps you when your gums aren’t as pink and healthy as they should be. And periodontology often involves more than just the gums. The periodontal work you need could involve the jawbone that supports your teeth and other underlying structures.
That’s why a periodontist is considered a very versatile type of dentist. The job of a periodontist like Dr. Woods is more than just solving current problems; it’s anticipating further problems and working to prevent them. A periodontist works to protect and treat all the structures that hold and support your teeth so that your jawbone, gums and connective tissue can work as well as possible.
A periodontist has at least 3 years of specialized training beyond a regular dental school program. During this additional training, this dental professional learns things like installing implants, performing gum surgery and jaw surgery and even treating certain cancers of the mouth.
Gum Damage Can’t Be Left Untreated
Untreated gum disease and damage can lead to a world of problems, including loss of teeth and, in the most extreme cases, jaw disease that leads to surgical removal of part of the jaw. But periodontists can handle treatment of gum disease from simple to complex – making them in many ways the plastic surgeons of the dentistry profession. Ideally, they work to correct problems with gums and other soft tissue before these problems get worse. Prevention is the key to avoiding surgery in many cases.
Still, the worst cases will require surgery. Advanced gum disease can be an early warning sign for mouth cancer, especially in men. But early diagnosis and treatment can prevent cancer from happening. And no matter how extensive the surgery that’s required, implants and other cosmetic procedures are available to hide the damage in most cases.
Schedule Your Periodontal Appointment Now
It all starts with a regular dental visit to see what’s happening. If you haven’t had a recent teeth cleaning, this will be the first step in your treatment. X-rays will be taken so Dr. Woods and the team can see what’s happening with your teeth below the gum line and with your jawbone. Then we’ll tell you where you stand and offer you every option available to get your dental, oral and overall health back on track. There’s always something we can do.
If you’re lucky, the treatment will be easy and quick. If you’re not quite so lucky, there’s no reason to worry. Dental and periodontal treatment is easier than ever before and is often gentle and painless. Even if you need surgery or other complex treatment, the treatment process is simpler than in the past and involves many ways to manage pain and discomfort so that you can easily withstand the treatment necessary to restore your health.
So, then, what is a periodontist? Most simply put, it’s a dentist who can help solve your complex dental and oral health issues. Learn more on the What Is A Periodontist? page of this website.
At Brighton Dental, we’re a full-service dental clinic with solutions to every dental problem. Contact us now to schedule your appointment – and get on the road to better overall health through good dental care.