What is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal diseases, and the surgical placement and long term maintenance of dental implants.

Periodontists in the USA must complete a four-year undergraduate college degree, then graduate from an accredited dental school (DDS or DMD degree), and then complete an additional three to seven years of formal training in an accredited periodontology residency program.

The focus of periodontal residency training is on learning skills for the surgical and non-surgical management of periodontal diseases, the surgical treatment of correcting gingival abnormalities (gingival recession, gummy smiles, etc.), all phases of dental implant treatment planning and surgery, and management of dental implant complications.

Emphasis is also placed on the relationships of medical conditions and periodontal disease. Recent research has demonstrated a relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease (heart disease), stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy.

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