How to Choose a Periodontist

What Does a Periodontist Do?

A periodontist specializes in treating diseases of the gums and soft tissues. If you have severe gum disease, inflammation or bone loss, or persistent bad breath you may need to choose a periodontist. Sometimes this dental specialist may become involved if your case involves a large number of dental implants. A periodontist may treat dental diseases such as gingivitis and may also perform certain cosmetic procedures. A periodontist will:

  • Examine, diagnose and treat infections and inflammations of the bone and soft tissues surrounding your teeth.

  • Perform a deep cleaning of the teeth to eliminate irritating filling margins and correct occlusions.

  • Remove diseased tissue and use cosmetic procedures to restore the appearance of the gum line around the teeth.

  • Install dental implants or mini-implants to serve as an anchor for crowns or false teeth. This may require bone augmentation procedures if the patient has suffered bone loss.

  • Restore lost bone and gum support by performing bone regenerative procedures.

  • Help in the oral care and treatment for patients with certain diseases such as diabetes.

  • Provide education on proper oral care techniques.

How to Choose a Periodontist

  • Ask your family dentist for referrals to a qualified periodontist.

  • Use the information at to help narrow down your choices.

  • Find out if the periodontist is using the latest equipment and procedures to minimize pain and maximize results.

  • Check out their dental qualifications. The basic dental degree is a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD).

  • The dental professional should also have completed an additional three-year program with specialized training in the biology and clinical procedures regarding gum disease and its treatment. Ask about any continuing education classes on the treatment of gum disease.

  • Ask about privacy standards.

  • Ask for patient referrals.

  • Find out if they have any additional patient education information such as a newsletter or website page to help you prevent future gum or bone issues.

  • Ask about pricing, payment plans and determine what may be covered by your insurance plan. Are there more cost-effective options to the proposed procedure? Can complex procedures be broken down into steps and spread out over a period of time? is your go-to source for dental information and dental education. Use our dental profiles to help find a pedodontist for your family because is "where patients and dentists connect."