A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing periodontal disease as well as conducting certain oral surgery procedures, such as placing dental implants. Through years of additional training, periodontists become experts in the structures that support the teeth and the concerns that can affect dental aesthetics, function, and comfort.
Typically, patients in Greater Charlotte decide to see a periodontist for one of two reasons:
- They experience an oral health problem or require a specialized oral surgery procedure.
- Their dentist refers them for advanced care to address problematic conditions.
Union Oral Surgery offers an in-house, full-time periodontist, Dr. Jeffrey Barzyk, for the treatment of our Greater Charlotte patients. His expertise and services allow our practice to support a broad spectrum of dental and oral health needs.
Many of the patients who schedule appointments with a periodontist are seeing a specialist for the first time. Here are some common questions and answers to help you know what to expect.
Should You Go to the Dentist or the Periodontist?
A general dentist has the training and experience to provide routine care for your teeth and gums. You should attend visits with your dentist as frequently as he or she recommends.
If your general dentist believes that you have a condition that he or she can’t effectively treat, you may be referred to a periodontist in Greater Charlotte. General dentists work in partnership with professionals like Dr. Barzyk because of the knowledge, techniques, and technology they can offer patients.
Some of the reasons patients need to see a periodontist rather than a dentist include:
- Advanced or chronic gum disease.
- Gum recession that does not seem to improve with changes in oral hygiene.
- A complex medical history.
Periodontists also take part in extensive training to restore teeth with dental implants. Their experience makes the viability and quality of outcomes more predictable.
How Will Care Be Different with a Periodontist?
Dental treatment tends to progress from straightforward measures, like better oral hygiene, to more intensive efforts. Responsible dental professionals follow a conservative approach to preserve bone, gum, and teeth and to promote the comfort and safety of patients.
Your general dentist may eventually recommend care from a periodontist. However, Greater Charlotte patients are often surprised when the early stages of treatment are similar to what their dentist has advised. For example, Dr. Barzyk will usually recommend that gum disease patients receive a “deep cleaning” (scaling and root planing) even if a general dentist has already performed the procedure because:
- Periodontists have extensive training in these treatments. As a result, Dr. Barzyk may have more success in cleaning the deep pockets between your teeth and gums, especially if the gums have received a deep cleaning within the past 3-6 months from a referring general dentist.
- The tools and techniques available through Union Oral Surgery may be more advanced than those that a general dentist can offer.
If conservative measures do not improve oral health concerns, Dr. Barzyk will recommend progressively more intensive care. At all times, he will balance these decisions with patient needs and preferences.
Will Treatment from a Periodontist Hurt?
Union Oral Surgery takes steps to keep you comfortable throughout your experience. Greater Charlotte patients who see our periodontist may receive a variety of anesthesia option, including traditional numbing, oral sedation, nitrous oxide, and general anesthesia.
Typically, procedures are much less impactful and result in less sensitivity than patients expect, and most can manage their recovery easily. The bigger factor in your experience will likely be the relationship you have with your periodontist and your comfort entering treatment in the first place.
Dr. Barzyk brings an open and personal approach to his patient care. In advance of any procedure, he will take the time to discuss what you can expect and answer your questions about the process. This consultative manner should help you receive treatment more comfortably and confidently.
Get care from a knowledgeable and attentive periodontist. Contact Union Oral Surgery’s offices in Greater Charlotte online or by phone. Call (704) 291-7333.