Periodontal Medical Experts
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists receive specialized training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. Periodontists are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. In addition, they perform cosmetic periodontal procedures.
Often, dentists refer their patients to a periodontist when periodontal disease is present. Periodontal disease is a serious, chronic bacterial infection that attacks the gums and bones that support the teeth. If periodontal disease is caught at an early stage (when it has not progressed beyond the point of gingivitis), it can be treated with scaling and root-planing. If the disease progresses to a later stage, the patient may need surgical treatment, which involves cutting the gums, eliminating the hardened plaque build-up, and repairing the damaged bone.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums around the roots of the teeth. It marks the early stage of periodontal disease, and it is characterized by red, swollen gums. Receding gums refers to a loss of gum tissue resulting in an exposure in the roots of the teeth. Gum recession is a common problem in adults over the age of 40, but may also occur starting from the teens. A gum graft is a generic name for multiple periodontal procedures that aim to cover an area of severe gum recession with grafted gum tissue. The purpose of covering the exposed root is not only cosmetic, but also to prevent further recession and tooth decay.
Periodontitis is the name of a collection of inflammatory diseases affecting the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Periodontitis involves progressive loss of the bone around teeth which may lead to loosening and eventual loss of teeth if untreated. Periodontitis is caused by bacteria that adhere to and grow on tooth surfaces, particularly in areas under the gum line. Periodontitis is very common in most populations but the severe forms of the disease are less common (less than 10% in the U.S.). Dentists diagnose periodontitis by inspecting the tissues around the teeth with a probe and by radiographs to detect bone loss around the teeth. Although the different forms of periodontitis are bacterial diseases, a variety of factors affect the severity of the disease. Important "risk factors" include smoking, poorly controlled diabetes, and inherited (genetic) susceptibility.
Medical Opinions Associates has empaneled Periodontal experts who can review dental issues involving subspecialty issues. For example, one such Periodontal expert in Long Island, New York, has been in private clinical dental practice since 1961. Medical Opinions also has dental experts in Othodontics, Prosthodontics, and Oral Implantology.