What is a periodontist?


A periodontist is a dentist whose focus involves the foundation of the teeth: gums and bone. The origin is Greek and translates to "peri" meaning around and "odontos" meaning teeth. Training to be a specialist in periodontics requires three years of additional education beyond dental school. Periodontists are skilled in preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases involving these key components. They’re also trained in cosmetic periodontal procedures addressing removal of excess gum tissue and conversely repair of gum recession. One of the most frequently requested services pertain to helping patients replace teeth through dental implants and the surgeries to make the outcome ideal.

What Services to Periodontists Perform?

Periodontists provide a variety of services for their patients. One of the most requested is the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants. Gum recession is another common reason a patient may see a periodontist for evaluation and treatment. In some situations, excess gum tissue is present, which can interfere with effective hygiene. Your hygienist, dentist or other specialist are often the ones to recognize the need for a referral to clarify what treatment approach best suits the condition.

Historically, periodontists are most known for the treatment of gum disease. Various modes of treatment are available, and over the years innovations continue to be introduced allowing for exceptional healing in situations once deemed as hopeless. Regardless of advances in dentistry, one quote holds true.  As Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure”.  Schedule your periodontal evaluation today!

Who Should See a Periodontist?

In relation to your dental health,  your general dentist is the one you rely on most for guidance in making  either preventative or restorative decisions concerning your teeth.  In fact, any age person could be referred needing an evaluation.  Over recent years, research has confirmed the correlation between many disease or degenerative processes and periodontal inflammation.  This is not a claim that the absence of periodontal disease will prevent or cure systemic disease.  However, evidence-based medicine demonstrates  a two-way relationship between periodontal disease and other chronic diseases. For this reason, people with  heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune disorders,  and anyone with a significant history of tobacco use will want to see a periodontist at some point in their lives.

Why Periodontics?

Focus on Foundational Health

Would you build your home on sand? Absolutely not! We all understand the value of a solid foundation and your periodontal support must be maintained for healthy teeth or implants to stand the test of time. As there is no point having a home (teeth) on poor soil (periodontal disease), the reverse is also true. Your dentist's work must also be maintained regularly to assure its longevity. This example of a home and the foundation is a point Dr. Ravenel feels strongly about. We want to help you, the patient, get any potential problems corrected or stable so your dentist can continue to focus on providing you a strong, beautiful smile. The age which someone may seek the advice of a periodontist can span from the young adolescent to our dear seniors.

Why Do I Need to See a Specialist?

We know... you love your dentist and wonder why they are sending you to meet someone new. Think of a specialist in dentistry the same way you would in medicine. For the periodontist, our area of expertise is based on in-depth knowledge of and treatment for a complex network of hard and soft tissue: the bone and gums surrounding your teeth. We will communicate with both you and your dentist to provide options. As a team, we can create a solution that’s ideal for you.