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All the below content has been written by Dr. Sandip Sachar.
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What is a periodontist?
A periodontist is a dentist that is a specialist in periodontics. In order to achieve this certification, a dentist must first finish dental school, and then complete an additional three years in an approved periodontist training program. Periodontists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of the soft tissues of the mouth and jaw bones where the teeth attach. They also specialize in gum surgery and dental implants. Their area of focus is in the prevention of gum disease as well as the diagnosis, treatment and management of gum disease.
Periodontists use their advanced training to treat gum disease with both surgical and nonsurgical management of periodontal disease. They are also specialists in performing dental implants.
At Sachar Dental NYC, we have a board-certified periodontist specialist on staff, and in our office.
Our board certified periodontist is an expert in, and specializes in: prevention of gum disease, diagnosis of gum disease, treatment of gum disease, management of gum disease, dental deep cleaning, periodontal root planing and scaling, gum therapy, crown lengthening, gum surgery, bone grafting, bone preservation, cosmetic gum lifts, gingivectomy, and dental implants.
Our periodontist received a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine. He then completed a three-year residency in periodontics and dental implants, earning a certificate in periodontics from Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine.
He excels in his field due to his exceptional attention to detail, thoroughness, and compassionate bedside manner, along with impeccable clinical skills and manual dexterity. He also educates patients to maintain healthy gums, avoid tooth loss and treat the various stages of periodontal disease.
Who should see a periodontist?
At Sachar Dental NYC, our periodontist sees patients that are self referrals, as well as referrals from our general dentists and a dental hygienists. Self-referral patients to a periodontist are ones that usually experience the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease including: bleeding of the gums when flossing and brushing, continued bad breath, notable gum recession, and loose teeth. However, a majority of the patients are referred by our dentists and dental hygienists.
Bleeding of the gums when brushing and flossing is not normal. It is an early sign of periodontal disease that should be addressed. Continued bad breath which persists despite proper oral hygiene can also be indicative of periodontal disease. These patients should be seen as soon as possible by a periodontist. Gum recession is the appearance of exposed roots under the gums. Gum recession may be able to be treated with gum grafts.
The goal of treating gum disease is also to prevent bone loss and tooth loss. Left untreated, periodontal disease can not only lead to loss of bone and teeth, but also to systemic problems such as heart disease, and bacterial infection spread to other parts of the body.
When periodontal disease does not respond to a professional dental cleaning or a deep cleaning, our dentists will then refer patients to a periodontist. Our dental hygienists or dentists will identify when patients have deep gum pockets that are greater than 3 mm. A gum pocket is the space between the root of the tooth and the gums. When bacteria exist greater than 3 mm deep, is indicative of periodontal disease that needs to be treated. Initial treatments involve professional dental cleaning and dental deep cleaning. When these fail to reverse the disease, a periodontal specialist consultation is necessary. A periodontist they will perform both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for periodontal disease.
Diagnoses made by a periodontist
A visit with a periodontist starts with a clinical examination and x-rays. The periodontist will determine the severity of the periodontal disease which will then dictate how aggressive the treatment needs to be. Periodontist specialize in both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for periodontal disease.
What conditions are treated by a periodontist?
A majority of the conditions that are treated by periodontist are related to the severity of periodontal disease that is present. Treatment depends on what is affected including the soft tissues of the gums and the root of the teeth as well as their attachment to the jaw bone. Additionally, periodontists treat missing teeth with dental implants and bone grafts.
What are the stages of periodontal disease?
Gingivitis - gingivitis is one of the first signs of periodontal disease. It exhibits mild inflammation of the gums and often includes bleeding of the gums with flossing and brushing.
Mild to moderate periodontitis – periodontitis that is more advanced inflammation of the gums. In this case, the gum pockets often measure greater than 3 mm in depth.
Advanced periodontitis - when the gum pockets are deep and bone is lost, this periodontal disease is considered more advanced. At this stage, the loss of bone that can cause teeth to feel loose or shift.
Loose or missing teeth – loose or missing teeth associated with periodontal disease is usually caused by loss of bone in the jaw bone where the teeth attach. A periodontist is able to treat the lost bone surgically with a sinus lift or a bone graft. They are also able to replace missing teeth with dental implants.
What treatment does a periodontist perform?
A periodontist is able to treat periodontal disease many ways that are dependent on its severity. They perform both surgical and nonsurgical treatments to treat periodontal disease. In the early stages, treatment may start with a deep cleaning, also called root planing and scaling. In the early stages, periodontal disease may be reversible through this treatment.
When a deep cleaning is not enough to treat the gum disease, the periodontist may perform periodontal surgery. This allows a periodontist to gain access to the deeper tissues to remove bacteria in the gum pockets, and around the teeth. The periodontist may also perform a bone graft if necessary, to treat bone loss.
Another procedure performed by periodontist is called cosmetic gum sculpting / gum lift. This is a cosmetic procedure that is used to treat “gummy smiles”.
Periodontists also specialize in gingivectomy, crown lengthening, placing dental implants, and procedures such as bone grafting and sinus lift.