Periodontists receive extensive training, including three additional years of education beyond dental school, in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. In addition, they can perform cosmetic periodontal procedures to help you achieve the smile you desire.

What Does a Periodontist Do?

Treatment of periodontal (gum tissue and bone) disease

The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious bacterial infections that destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth. Left untreated, these diseases can lead to tooth loss.

Tissue grafting for root coverage

Sometimes people have an inadequate amount of gum tissue; they may have been born that way or they may have gradually lost the soft tissue and underlying bone. Without sufficient tissue covering the root, the patient can experience sensitivity in the area. A periodontist can perform procedures to re-create the lost tissues and cover up exposed root surfaces.

Crown lengthening for placement of a crown or for esthetics

A periodontist can re-contour the bone and gums surrounding your teeth to create proper tooth lengths for placement of a veneer or crown or to perfect your smile.

Dental implants

Dental implants, which have been called the next-best thing to natural teeth, can successfully replace teeth lost to periodontal disease, decay, or trauma. Implants are placed into your jaw bone and allowed to heal. They can then be used, like the roots of your teeth, to support a natural-looking replacement. To learn more, see Dental Implants.

Soft tissue biopsy

When there is a suspicious-looking area in your mouth (gums, tongue, or roof of mouth), a periodontist can surgically remove a specimen (biopsy) and send it to a pathologist for examination.


If there is gum tissue between the top two front teeth, a periodontist can perform a frenectomy to remove that tissue.

Tooth uncovering for orthodontic procedures

Sometimes during an orthodontic treatment plan, the orthodontist will request that a periodontist surgically uncover a tooth so treatment can continue.

Extraction of tooth

If all efforts to save a tooth have failed, a periodontist can surgically remove the tooth.

Supportive periodontal therapy

A periodontist coordinates with your general dentist to schedule regular cleanings to maintain your overall periodontal health.