FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Got a question about Perio Care and what we do? See below some frequently asked questions, or if you can't find what you're after, contact us today.
What is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on the treatment of periodontal (gum) disease and other oral conditions affecting the soft and hard tissues of the mouth.
After five years of dental school and a minimum of two years in general dental practice, a periodontist completes an additional 3 years of university based training to complete their specialty.
What are Periodontal diseases?
Periodontal diseases are diseases of the gum:
- Gingivitis which is defined as reversible inflammation of the gums.
- Periodontal disease, which is inflammation of the gums leading to loss of supporting structures of the teeth including bone, periodontal ligament and the gum itself.
The usual signs of gum diseases are redness of the gums, bleeding on brushing, recession, widening spaces between the teeth and bad breath. In severe cases of periodontal diseases you will also notice increased mobility of teeth.
How is Periodontal Disease treated?
If you're diagnosed with periodontal disease, your periodontist may recommend a range of treatments. Commonly non-surgical treatment involving thorough debridement (cleaning) of the tooth root surfaces will be undertaken often over a number of appointments. In some cases periodontal surgery may be required to gain adequate access to the root surfaces.
A range of surgical treatments may be available to achieve a number of aims. Commonly surgery may be undertaken to:
- Gain access to the root surfaces
- Reduce the depth of periodontal pockets
- Regenerate lost periodontal attachment
- Increase the amount of tooth above the gum for restorative procedures
- Graft tissue into areas where disease has resulted in loss of gum tissue.
In addition, dental implants may be an option when teeth have been lost.
Do I still need to see my general dentist?
How can I maintain the health of my gums?
Regular tooth brushing with an electric toothbrush or a soft bristle toothbrush, along with interdental cleaning aids such as flossing and interdental brushes helps reduce the bacterial loading in the mouth. Seeing a periodontist or dental hygienist for regular cleaning helps maintain the stability of your gum condition.
Do I need a referral to see a Periodontist?
In most instances, your dentist will initiate a referral to a Perio Care Periodontist, however if you have gum problems or are interested in dental implants, you are most welcome to make an appointment without a direct referral. This will not affect the cost of your appointment or your health fund rebate.
Am I a candidate for Dental Implants?
The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease. Assessment of the bone usually requires radiographs and often low radiation dose CT scans. In some cases, it may be possible to graft or grow bone into a compromised site prior to implant placement.
Dental implants are intimately connected with the gum tissues and underlying bone in the mouth. Since periodontists are the dental experts who specialise in precisely these areas, they are ideal members of your dental implant team. Not only do periodontists have experience working with other dental professionals, they also have the special knowledge, training and facilities that you need to have teeth that look and feel just like your own.