choosing a periodontist

Over 47% of adults in the US over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease. Occurrence increases with age, too. In fact, over 70% of adults ages 65 and up have periodontal disease.

Infection and inflammation of the gums can cause tooth loss without treatment. Before that can happen, consider choosing a periodontist in your area. Beginning treatment right away can help you avoid future complications.

Not sure how to vet your options for periodontists? Use these tips to streamline your search today.

Check Credentials

You can start building your list of options for periodontists by turning to friends and family members who live in the area. Ask if they’ve visited a periodontist in the past year. If they have, ask about their periodontal treatment experience.

Consider preparing a list of questions you want to ask ahead of time. For example:

  • Was the periodontist experienced
  • Did they specialize in periodontal treatment
  • Did you encounter any issues with the periodontist
  • Would you visit them again
  • Did they help resolve your symptoms

Gathering referrals from friends and family members can help you determine which periodontists in the area to prioritize. It could help you determine which professionals to avoid, too.

Once you have a list of options to choose from, look into each periodontist’s professional credentials.

First, make sure they’re board-certified. Determine if they’re a member of any legitimate professional organizations as well.

For example, they might have a membership with the American Dental Association. Determine if they have a membership with the American Academy of Periodontology as well. Finding a professional with the proper credentials will give you peace of mind.

If they’re not licensed to practice in the area, remove them from your list. Confirm that their license is up-to-date as well.

Choosing a periodontist with memberships with these organizations ensures they follow best practices. These professionals are also committed to offering the highest standard of care for patients. As an added bonus, these professionals remain up-to-date with new technologies, procedures, and techniques.

Look for Experience

As you begin narrowing down your options for periodontists, look into each professional’s history in the industry.

First, consider where they completed their education and training. Confirm that it’s from an accredited institution. Then, determine when they received their degree.

Choose someone with years of hands-on periodontal treatment experience. If they don’t specialize in periodontal treatment, remove them from your list. A professional who specializes will have the experience and expertise you need.

Meanwhile, someone with years of experience is likely to have encountered numerous concerns related to periodontology over the years. These professionals will have an easier time providing you with a customized treatment. They’ll ensure you receive the best services and highest standard of care.

Someone who is new to the industry, however, might make costly mistakes while offering your treatment.

Once you find a professional with relevant experience, look into their treatment options and periodontal services. For example, you might require:

  • Oral hygiene instruction
  • Periodontal maintenance
  • Perioscopic treatment
  • Scaling and root planing
  • Crown lengthening
  • Laser surgery
  • Pocket reduction surgery
  • Recession treatment
  • Gum grafting
  • Cosmetic periodontal surgery
  • Platelet-rich plasma/fibrin
  • Mild and moderate sedation

You might find sedation dentistry ideal if you suffer from dental anxiety. Between 50 and 80% of adults in the United States have some degree of dental anxiety.

Finding a practice that offers a range of services can help you develop a customized treatment plan. Your periodontist will ensure your plan suits your needs and goals.

Evaluate Their Tech

Many outdated gum disease treatment options are painful and less effective than current alternatives. Before choosing a periodontist, consider the tools and technology they use. Don’t settle for archaic, ineffective treatment options.

Instead, choose a periodontist who prioritizes continuing their education after graduating. These periodontists keep apprised of new technology and treatment options. Then, they’re able to offer the best course of treatment to each patient.

Make sure they’re trained and experienced enough to effectively use the technology they have available as well.

For example, you might consider laser surgery. Laser therapy is less invasive than other treatment modalities. Using the laser, your periodontist is able to disinfect diseased tissue, allowing the gum pocket to heal.

The team at Sarasota Periodontal Associates were pioneers of laser surgery on the west coast of Florida. We’ve offered this form of treatment since the 1980s.

Check for Availability

Narrow down your options by calling three or four practices on your list. Ask if they’re available. If they’re juggling too many patients at once, they might struggle to help you immediately.

Gum disease can become painful when you delay treatment. You’re more likely to experience complications, too. For example, the gaps between your teeth could become more pronounced.

If your teeth become loose, you could lose a tooth as well.

Look for a practice that is available to take you in right away. These practices will understand the importance of immediate treatment.

Schedule a Consultation Appointment

Schedule a consultation appointment with two or three periodontists on your list.

While at the office, look around. Is the waiting room neat and organized? Is the staff friendly, polite, and professional?

Consider how many people are waiting to speak with the periodontist, too. Remember, you don’t want to experience delays.

During your consultation appointment, discuss your needs and concerns. Pay attention to how the periodontist speaks.

They should take the time to listen before recommending treatment options.

Ask the periodontist if they offer pain management options, too. For example, they might recommend medications to ease your pain and discomfort.

Before leaving, ask about their payment options as well. Determine if they’ll accept your dental insurance. Otherwise, begin comparing treatment costs as you review your notes.

Choosing a Periodontist: Begin Your Treatment Plan Today

Choosing a periodontist doesn’t have to feel time-consuming or stressful. Instead, use these tips when vetting your options for periodontists. Choose a licensed, qualified professional before developing your treatment plan.

With their help, you can ease the pain and start improving your oral health.

Ready to schedule your appointment? We can’t wait to see you.

Contact our offices today to get started.