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What is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the soft tissues of the mouth and the underlying jawbone which supports the teeth.  A dentist must first graduate from an accredited dental school before undertaking an additional three years of study within a periodontology residency training program, in order to qualify as a periodontist.

The primary focus of this residency training is on both surgical and non surgical management of periodontal disease and the placement of dental implants.

Conditions Treated by a Periodontist

The periodontist is mainly concerned with preventing the onset of gum disease (periodontal disease), diagnosing conditions affecting the gums and jawbone, and treating gingivitis, periodontitis and bone loss.  Periodontal disease is a progressive condition and the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the developed world.

The periodontist is able to treat mild, moderate and advanced gum disease by first addressing the bacterial infection at the root of the problem, providing periodontal treatment, then providing information and education on good oral hygiene and the effective cleaning of the teeth.

The most common conditions treated by the periodontist are:

  • Gingivitis – This is the mild inflammation of the gums which may or may not be signified by pain and bleeding.

  • Mild/moderate periodontitis – When the pockets between the teeth and the soft tissues are measured to be between 4-6mm it is classified as moderate periodontitis (gum disease).

  • Advanced periodontitis – When the pockets between the teeth and the soft tissues in general exceed 6mm in depth, significant bone loss may occur; causing shifting or loss of teeth.

  • Missing teeth – When teeth are missing as a result of bone loss, the periodontist can implant prosthetic teeth.  These teeth are anchored to the jawbone and restore functionality to the mouth.

Treatments Performed by a Periodontist

The periodontist is able to perform a wide range of treatments to halt the progression of gum disease, replace missing teeth and make the appearance of the smile more aesthetically pleasing.

Here are some of the treatments commonly performed by the periodontist:

  • Implant placement – When a tooth or several teeth are missing, the periodontist is able to create a natural-looking replacement by anchoring a prosthetic tooth to the jawbone.

  • Osteoplasty (hard tissue recontouring) – Once periodontitis has been treated, the periodontist can recontour the hard tissue to make the smile both natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing.

  • Gingivoplasty (soft tissue recontouring) – As gums recede due to periodontitis, the teeth may appear longer; causing a “toothy" smile.  The periodontist can remove tissues or straighten the gum line to make the teeth look more even.

  • Bone grafting – Dental implants can only be positioned if there is sufficient bone to attach the prosthetic tooth to.  If bone loss has occurred, bone grafting is an excellent way to add or “grow” bone so that an implant may be properly secured.

  • Deep pocket cleanings – As gingivitis and periodontitis progress, it becomes more difficult to cleanse the pockets between the soft tissues and the teeth.  The periodontist can scale and root plane the teeth (sometimes under local anesthetic) to remove debris and infection-causing bacteria.

  • Crown lengthening – In order to expose more of the natural tooth, the periodontist can remove some of the surrounding gingival tissue.

The periodontist is a highly skilled dental health professional who is able to diagnose and treat many commonly occurring soft tissue and bone problems in the oral cavity.

Be sure to ask your periodontist if you have any questions or concerns.

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Testimonials

Dr. White has been my dentist going on 15 years now. I feel I am much more particular about my dentist than my medical doctor. Dr. White has the utmost concern for my welfare and for insuring a pain-free dental procedure. Every six months I have my teeth cleaned at his office and he personally examines my teeth for changes. He only recommends procedures that I really need. My teeth aren't the greatest, but Dr. White had repaired many of my teeth and he has even replaced a number of my teeth with crowns. Each time, he time he was very careful to conduct a pain-free procedure and make sure it was done right. He has never had to redo any of the work he's done for me. I would consider Dr. White to be very reasonably priced and I would sincerely recommend his work to anyone who cares about their dental health.

Michael Loehrer

We at Prosites sincerely appreciate the opportunity to design and host your new website. Your dedication to educating and serving your patients is evident by the excellent information and background your website provides to visitors. We salute your efforts in providing that extra level of communication and service that is so important to patients.

Lance V. McCollough President & CEO Prosites, Inc.

I have to say, I have lived in many places and seen many dentists over the
years but Dr. White is one of the best I've come across. From cleanings and
check-ups to emergency appointments and routine rebuilding and replacing of
fillings and crowns I always get great dental care from Dr. White and his
staff. His ability to perform the Cerec procedure for crowns, leaves you
with great fitting, good looking crowns and all in one sitting - it just
can't be beat! Thanks White Family Dentistry for continuing to make my
smile better and better.

Sue Niehoff

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Contact Us

We encourage you to contact St. Louis Park, MN dentist, Dr. Gergory R. White, with any questions or comments you may have. Please call White Family Dentistry, our St.Louis Park General & Cosmetic Dentistry, or use the quick contact form below.
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