Periodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and conditions affecting the supporting structures of the teeth, including the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament. The word “periodontics” is derived from the Greek words “peri” meaning around and “odont” meaning tooth.

Periodontists are dental specialists who undergo additional years of training beyond dental school to become experts in managing periodontal diseases and performing various periodontal procedures. They work in collaboration with general dentists and other dental specialists to provide comprehensive oral healthcare.

The main objective of periodontics is to maintain the health of the gums and supporting structures to prevent tooth loss and promote overall oral health. Periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, are caused by bacteria and plaque buildup along the gumline and can lead to inflammation, infection, and destruction of the surrounding tissues if left untreated. Periodontists are skilled in diagnosing and treating these diseases through non-surgical and surgical approaches.

Common procedures performed by periodontists include:

  1. Scaling and Root Planing: This non-surgical procedure involves removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline, and smoothing the root surfaces to promote gum reattachment and prevent further progression of periodontal disease.

  2. Periodontal Surgery: In more advanced cases of periodontal disease, surgical intervention may be necessary. Periodontists perform procedures such as pocket reduction surgery, gum grafts, bone grafts, and guided tissue regeneration to restore and regenerate the damaged gum and bone tissues.

  3. Dental Implant Placement: Periodontists are highly trained in the surgical placement of dental implants. Implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically inserted into the jawbone to provide support for dental restorations like crowns, bridges, or dentures.

  4. Periodontal Maintenance: Periodontal disease is a chronic condition, and regular maintenance visits with a periodontist are essential to monitor the health of the gums, clean hard-to-reach areas, and prevent disease recurrence.

In addition to treating periodontal diseases, periodontists also play a crucial role in the multidisciplinary treatment of complex dental cases, such as cases requiring orthodontic alignment and periodontal surgery in combination.

By specializing in the health of the gums and supporting structures, periodontists contribute to the overall oral health and well-being of patients, helping them maintain a healthy and functional smile throughout their lives.