A periodontist is a specialist dentist who has achieved advanced further qualifications and experience in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. Other treatments that a periodontist can offer are gum grafts, gingival contouring (gum shaping) and dental implants.
Gum disease can normally be treated routinely by the hygienist. In cases of advanced gum disease, where there has been bone loss or the teeth have become mobile, a deeper cleaning of the affected area called (root surface debridement) may be needed. Sometimes a surgical approach is required.
This is an attempt to rid the area of bacteria that are causing the disease and exfoliate all tissue that has been affected by inflammation or infection. This will allow new gum growth and hopefully promote the stability of the surrounding teeth.
This is usually completed under local anaesthetic and results can be seen within 1-2 months of surgery. It is critical that patients maintain optimal oral hygiene following the periodontist’s advice and to refrain from smoking where possible.