Since so much can ride on the quality of your periodontal care, it is vital to choose the right practitioner. You may have seen the same dentist for years, but certain tasks may be outside of their purview. They may refer you to a periodontist who will take care of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of your periodontal diseases, as well as the placement of your dental implants if necessary.
If there are multiple periodontists to choose from, here are some steps to help you narrow down the options.
The first step in choosing a periodontist is to ask people you trust, such as your dentist, for recommendations. Because your dentist is familiar with your specific oral care needs, he or she is well-equipped to recommend a practitioner who can best address those needs. In addition, you could ask trusted family members and friends who have been treated by a periodontist. They can tell you what kind of service they received.
A periodontist must have earned a four-year undergraduate degree and a dental degree from a reputable institution and completed three to seven years of training in a periodontal residency program that is accredited by the American Dental Association. They must pass a comprehensive written and oral examination offered by the American Board of Periodontology that will cover all phases of periodontal disease and treatment. After passing the examinations and submitting detailed reports about the range of treatments they have provided, they can be certified by the American Board of Periodontology. Make sure that the periodontist that you are considering measures up to these standards.
Consider patient rapport
Knowing the periodontist’s background, including their personality type, will be an important consideration in selecting a periodontist. If they are highly competent but have a poor bedside manner, you may be unhappy with your experience. You can learn more about the periodontists you are considering by scheduling an initial consultation with them.
Do not rush in your selection of a periodontist. Take your time and consider several options before you decide on one.