Periodontists Near Me
What if you saw a dentist that didn’t treat teeth, but rather focused on treating the tissues around them? That’s exactly what a periodontist is. If you’ve ever heard the term “perio-” used, it pertains to what’s immediately surrounding the tooth roots. That is, the gums and bone that help hold them in place.
The costs of periodontal treatment vary widely, depending on the procedure and the patient’s oral health. Costs can range from $1200 for a full mouth (all four quadrants) deep cleaning, $75 per tooth for antimicrobial treatment. to $3800 for a full mouth periodontal disease laser procedure. While most of these treatments are covered by dental insurance, the high costs will likely put you above your annual insurance cap. Joining a dental savings plan will give you discounts on dental care, with no annual spending cap.
Education Requirements to Become a Periodontist
Periodontists must first graduate from a 4-year dental program before being allowed into a 2-3-year specialty periodontal program. Once in this post-graduate area of studies, various residencies and case studies must be completed that are restricted to periodontal care.
Some periodontists are board-certified, in that they’ve gone above and beyond the requirements of their periodontal program to achieve extra credentials related to their experience. Special exams and clinical research are required.
Most people encounter a periodontist if their general dentist refers them for gum disease (periodontitis) treatment. When periodontal disease is aggressive, a general dentist will not have the resources or equipment available to treat and save the teeth. A periodontist can offer many expanded services, such as:
- Dental implant placement
- Deep cleanings
- Pocket reduction surgery (crown lengthening)
- Laser soft tissue therapy
- Gum and dental bone grafts
- Gum flap surgery
Where Do Periodontists Work?
Typically, periodontists work in a private practice by themselves or with other periodontists and dental specialists. In some cases, a periodontist may offer visiting services once a month in a general practice setting, providing care to patients of that dentist who need expert attention.
When to See a Periodontist
Generally speaking, periodontists work quite closely with your general dentist. You may be referred to a periodontist if you have aggressive gum disease, and from there you may alternate a “back-and-forth” type of routine between each practice, seeing one or the other every 3-4 months. For one-time treatments like
dental implants, the periodontist will release you back to your general dentist once the surgical phase is completed.
Think you need to see a periodontist? Call one directly or ask your family dentist for a referral. And if cost is keeping you from getting the great smile you deserve, consider dental savings plans. You can save 10%-60% on virtually all your dental care, at thousands of participating dentists and specialists nationwide. Find out more about the advantages of dental savings plans at dentalplans.com.
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