Karl A. Smith, DDS, LLC
601 Post Office Road
Waldorf, MD 20602
Karl A. Smith, DDS, LLC
2500 N. Van Dorn Street
Alexandria, VA 22302
What Is a Periodontist? Do I Need To See One? Part 2
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease, and in the placement of dental implants. They are experts in the treatment of oral inflammation, as they receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.
My family dentist says he/she can provide periodontal treatment for me, is this true? All general dentists are trained and should be capable of performing basic periodontal therapy for patients with mild/early forms of periodontal disease. A periodontist, however, specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of periodontal disease, as well as dental implant placement. All periodontists are general dentists, but they have also received three years of additional training after dental school to obtain the necessary education to perform procedures in periodontics.
For patients who are diagnosed with moderate and advanced forms of periodontal disease, treatment by a periodontal specialist is indicated. The value of seeing a periodontal specialist is that he/she can co-ordinate with the general dentist and provide the best approach for the patient under a team approach to oral health care.
What is maintenance therapy? Maintenance therapy is used to help prevent further infection from occurring in patients who have already received periodontal treatment. Your periodontist will tailor a program to fit your needs, which will include periodontal checkups, plaque and tartar removal and sometimes polishing your teeth or checking your bite. The frequency of visits varies from case to case from every few weeks to four times per year.
Are dental implants the best choice for me if I have missing teeth? An experienced periodontist can determine if dental implants are the best restoration option for your individual case. Dental implants have a natural look and feel and can help prevent shifting of surrounding teeth. Implants are often preferred to bridges and dentures because they are more secure and do not require the alteration of adjacent teeth.
Is it true that any dentist can place dental implants and that most cases are very simple? There is no such thing as simple surgery. Periodontal and dental implant surgery of any form is a complex, advanced dental procedures that should never be taken lightly. Periodontists are surgical dental specialists who have completed extensive surgical training in dental surgery from an American Dental Association accredited three year post graduate residency program.
Is the dental implant procedure very painful? When performed by a highly trained and skilled implant surgeon, dental implant placement can be one of the least painful dental experiences. Periodontists are specialists in one of two American Dental Associated accredited surgical specialties of dentistry and have the necessary advanced surgical training to provide state-of-the-art care.
Take control of your preventative dental health. Make an appointment for a periodontal evaluation with an experienced periodontist today. Taking care of your teeth and gums will not only help enhance your smile, but will help you maintain your overall health.