Periodontology is that branch of medical science which studies the teeth, its supporting structures, and the diseases and conditions affecting them. Periodontology also studies about inflammation in the oral cavity. Periodontists receive extensive training for an additional period of three years after completing their bachelor’s degree in dentistry. These surgeons are well trained in diagnosing periodontal diseases and are trained in performing periodontal cosmetic surgeries.
Periodontists usually deal cases which are more complicated in nature and relating to gum diseases or root canal problems. Treatments like scaling which is a non surgical method to treat gum disease and root planning which is the cleaning of the infected surface of the root and root surface debridement which is the removal of the damaged tissue etc are done by Periodontists. They also treat for sever gum problems with special procedures. They are also well versed in the placement and repair of dental implants.
Periodontists usually begins their diagnostic procedures by studying in detail the medical and dental history of the patient. In the first visit they examine only the medical history because knowledge about the medications that the patient is now taking and the details whether the patient had undergone any treatment earlier which can affect the patient’s present treatment plan is a very important factor. Heart diseases, pregnancy, diabetics etc have great bearing on the treatment options of a periodontal patient.
Periodontists examines the gum to see whether it is receding and examines the teeth to see how they fit together when biting. He also checks whether any teeth is loose. He uses a small instrument called probe which is placed between the teeth and the gum to measure the depth of the spaces known as periodontal pockets. This helps him to evaluate whether the gums are healthy or not. He also makes use of X-rays to assess the health of the bone under the gums.
Periodontal needs of most patients usually are met by general dentist. But recent researches have shown that there is good relation between the diseases caused by old age and periodontal diseases. So it is always better that a periodontal patient may visit a periodontal surgeon and get correct diagnosis and proper treatment so that the possibility of developing a small problem into a very big problem can be avoided.