Have you ever heard of a periodontist dentist? You may have encountered this term while researching dental care or talking to your dentist. While many people are familiar with general dentists, periodontists are a lesser-known but equally important type of dental specialist. But, if you’ve been contemplating a career in dentistry, you might want to check out this article to understand the job outlook for a dentist.
Periodontists are dental professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease and other conditions that affect the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. They undergo extensive training beyond dental school and have advanced knowledge and techniques to address many periodontal issues.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as swollen or bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, or loose teeth, it may be time to seek the expertise of a periodontist. But, what if you have a dental emergency when the dentist’s office is closed? Here’s what to do about tooth pain when the dentist is closed.
What is a Periodontist Dentist?
Periodontists are dental specialists who focus on diagnosing, treating, and preventing periodontal disease, a chronic bacterial infection affecting the gums and other structures that support the teeth. According to the American Dental Association, they also specialize in the placement of dental implants and the treatment of oral inflammation.
One of the main differences between a periodontist and a general dentist is the level of training and expertise. After completing four years of dental school, periodontists undergo an additional three years of specialized training in periodontics. This includes extensive coursework and hands-on clinical experience in treating gum disease and other periodontal conditions.
Periodontists use a variety of advanced techniques to diagnose and treat periodontal disease. They may use digital imaging to assess the health of the gums and bone surrounding the teeth and specialized tools to clean and remove bacterial buildup. They may also perform surgical procedures, such as gum grafting or bone regeneration, to restore the health and function of the gums and supporting structures.
In addition to treating periodontal disease, periodontists specialize in placing and maintaining dental implants. They work closely with general dentists and other dental specialists to provide comprehensive care for patients who have lost or are at risk of tooth loss. For more insights on dental implants, visit the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
How Much Does a Treatment to Periodontist Cost?
The cost of periodontal treatment can vary widely depending on various factors, including the severity of the condition, the type of treatment needed, the geographic location, and the specific provider. In general, periodontal treatment can be more expensive than routine dental care.
Here are some estimated costs for common periodontal procedures:
- Scaling and root planing: $200-$300 per quadrant
- Periodontal maintenance: $100-$200 per visit
- Gum grafting: $600-$1,200 per tooth
- Crown lengthening: $1,000-$2,000 per tooth
- Dental implants: $1,500-$6,000 per tooth
- Laser gum surgery: $400-$4,000 per visit
It is important to note that these are estimated costs and can vary depending on the individual case and provider. Many dental insurance plans cover periodontal treatment, so it is important to check with your provider to see what is covered.
Some periodontists also offer financing options to help patients manage the cost of treatment. These options may include payment plans, credit cards, or third-party financing programs. It is important to discuss these options with your periodontist to determine what is best for your situation.
What Procedures Does a Periodontist Perform?
Periodontists are dental specialists who specialize in diagnosing, treating, and preventing periodontal disease, a chronic bacterial infection affecting the gums and other structures that support the teeth. They also specialize in the placement of dental implants and treating oral inflammation.
Here are some of the procedures that a periodontist may perform:
- Scaling and root planing: This is a non-surgical procedure in which the periodontist uses specialized tools to remove plaque and calculus buildup from the teeth and below the gum line. Scaling and root planing aim to remove the bacteria that cause gum disease and create a smooth, clean surface on the tooth roots to promote healing.
- Gum grafting: If the gums have receded due to periodontal disease or other factors, a periodontist may perform a gum grafting procedure to restore the gum tissue and prevent further recession. This may involve taking tissue from another part of the mouth or using a synthetic material to create a new gum line.
- Crown lengthening: If a tooth is broken or decayed below the gum line, a periodontist may perform a crown lengthening procedure to expose more of the tooth structure and allow a dental crown or filling to be placed.
- Dental implant placement: Periodontists are experts in the placement of dental implants, which are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed in the jawbone to support a dental restoration, such as a crown, bridge, or denture.
- Bone grafting: If the jawbone has deteriorated due to periodontal disease or tooth loss, a periodontist may perform a bone grafting procedure to restore the bone density and volume needed to support dental implants or other dental restorations.
Overall, periodontists offer specialized procedures and treatments to help patients maintain healthy gums, teeth, and supporting structures. If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease or have concerns about your oral health, consulting with a periodontist can help ensure that you receive the specialized care and treatment you need to maintain a healthy smile.
How to Become a Periodontist?
To become a periodontist, one must complete several years of education and training beyond a general dentistry degree. Here are the educational and training requirements for becoming a periodontist:
Education and Training:
- Bachelor’s degree: The first step towards becoming a periodontist is to obtain a bachelor’s degree, usually in a science-related field such as biology, chemistry, or biochemistry. This degree typically takes four years to complete.
- Dental school: After completing a bachelor’s degree, individuals must attend dental school, which usually takes four years. During dental school, students learn about the anatomy of the mouth, oral disease prevention and treatment, and other aspects of general dentistry.
- Periodontics residency program: After completing dental school, individuals must complete a residency program in periodontics. These programs typically last three years and provide specialized training in diagnosing, treating, and preventing periodontal disease and the placement and maintenance of dental implants. Residents work under the guidance of experienced periodontists and gain hands-on experience treating patients with various periodontal conditions.
- Board certification: After completing a periodontics residency program, individuals may choose to become board-certified by the American Board of Periodontology. Board certification involves passing a comprehensive written exam and a rigorous oral exam that tests knowledge and clinical skills in periodontics.
- Continuing education: Periodontists must participate in continuing education to stay up-to-date on the latest advances in periodontics and maintain their board certification. This may involve attending conferences, taking courses, and participating in research.
Periodontist Salary: How Much Does a Periodontist Make?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for periodontists was $208,000 as of May 2020. However, salaries can vary widely depending on factors such as years of experience, location, and the type of employer.
Periodontists who work in private practice may have the potential to earn higher salaries than those who work in other settings, such as clinics or academic institutions. Additionally, periodontists who have their practice may have the potential to earn even more, but they would also have to consider the costs of running their own business.
It is important to note that salary is just one factor to consider when choosing a career as a periodontist. Other factors, such as job satisfaction, work-life balance, and the opportunity to positively impact patients’ lives, may also be important considerations.
Overall, becoming a periodontist requires a significant investment of time and effort. However, a periodontic career can be highly rewarding for those passionate about promoting good oral health and preventing or treating periodontal disease.
What is the Difference Between a Periodontist vs. Dentist?
What is a periodontist vs. dentist? What is also the difference between a periodontist vs endodontist? Dentists and periodontists are oral health professionals with different areas of expertise and focus on different aspects of oral health. Dentists focus on the overall health of the teeth, gums, and mouth. In contrast, periodontists focus specifically on the structures that support the teeth and work to prevent and treat periodontal disease. Dentists may refer patients to a periodontist if they require specialized care for gum disease or are interested in receiving dental implants. Periodontists may also refer patients to their dentist for ongoing care and maintenance.
Why Would You Need to See a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a dental specialist who can provide specialized care to prevent, diagnose, and treat periodontal disease and other gum-related conditions. They may need to see a periodontist if they have gum disease, a common condition that can cause inflammation and infection in the gums and lead to tooth loss and other complications. They can provide basic periodontal care, such as routine cleanings and simple treatments for early-stage gum disease, or more advanced or complex treatment for advanced or complex diseases such as periodontitis. They may also be able to provide specialized treatment for gum recession, gum grafting, dental implants, cosmetic gum procedures, and gum contouring. If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease or have concerns about the health or appearance of your gums, it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment with them. You can also search the web using the keywords “periodontist near me”.
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