What is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who has undergone additional specialty training beyond dental school pertaining to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gum diseases. While your general dentist often treat the mildest cases of periodontal disease, most patients with moderate to advanced gum disease are referred to periodontists. A periodontist can carry out advanced surgical and non-surgical therapies to prevent the progression of periodontal (gum) disease and thus, ultimately save your teeth. In the unfortunate event that teeth are lost, a periodontist also specializes in the placement of dental implants to restore oral health, function, and esthetics.  Periodontists also perform advanced soft tissue (gums) and hard tissue (bone) grafting to achieve cosmetic as well as reconstructive results for your gums and teeth.

 

Did you know…?

  • American periodontists study for an additional three years after graduating from dental school.
  • All periodontists must pass the Dental National Board exam, as well as their dental State Board exams in order to obtain their lawful license to practice.
  • Additionally, periodontists have the option to achieve the highest level of recognition within their field of study by taking and passing a difficult two-part written and oral exam administered by the American Board of Periodontology.  Dr. Michael Nguyen has reached this level of recognition and is an American Board Certified Periodontist.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to visit a periodontist?

You may need to visit a periodontist if you have gum disease or other periodontal complications that are untreatable by your general dentist. Visit your dentist immediately if you are experiencing red or swollen gums, or if you have pockets that have formed between your gums and teeth. This could be a sign of periodontal disease or periodontitis, for which your dentist may refer you to a periodontist for treatment.

 

What should I expect during a periodontal visit?

Your first visit will require a complete dental and medical background review, as well as information about your current symptoms and medications. You’ll undergo an examination, during which Dr. Nguyen will inspect your gums and teeth for signs of disease. He will then discuss your diagnosis and your options for treatment if necessary.

 

What types of treatment are available to treat my gum disease?

Most gum disease can be treated very effectively, and depends on the efforts of both the patient and the doctor to maintain a healthy smile. Both surgical and non-surgical treatments are available, but only your periodontist can tell you which type is right for you.  Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP) may be an option for treatment of gum disease as well. Check out the patient education section of this website for more information.