Periodontist visits: What to expect

Periodontist visits can be a source of anxiety for some people who don't know what to expect. These...

Periodontist visits can be a source of anxiety for some people who don't know what to expect. These doctors specialize in periodontal (gum) disease, oral inflammation and dental implants. While each visit varies from doctor to doctor, there are general guidelines that are followed. If you are headed to a periodontist for the very first time, here is an overview of what you may deal with at the first visit.

Evaluation and medication history: One of the very first things that the doctor will do is go over your health history and your dental health history. Any conditions, diseases and gum/mouth problems will be discussed in this section of the exam. He or she will also ask about the medications you are taking, as they may be contributing factors to any of your current gum, toothor mouth problems.

Examination: During the dental examination, the doctor assesses your teeth and gums, as well as your mouth and throat. He or she may also look at your jaw's joints, plus your head and neck. Many TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems are diagnosed while in the dentist chair. There will be a visual as well as a physical exam of your entire head and neck area to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy.

X-rays: These are done so they can see any bone loss in the tooth area, as well as see any pockets of abscess under the teeth. X-rays can also show jaw joints, and the dentist can check for abnormalities there. X-rays are often kept so that year-to-year the doctor can see the rate of decline of bone loss.

General Overview: You will be asked about your general lifestyle, such as if you smoke or drink heavily. The harder you are on your teeth and gums the more prone they are to disease and infection.

Finding a qualified periodontist in the Atlanta area is simple, and before you go, you can ask him other questions regarding your upcoming visit.

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