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What is Periodontics?
Periodontics is the study of the hard and soft tissues that support your teeth keeping your teeth in your mouth. This is collectively known as the “periodontium” and it has some very important functions. It attaches your teeth to your jawbone. It acts like a shock absorber when eating and so helps prevent teeth breaking. It balances teeth within your mouth making chewing efficient and comfortable.
The word “Periodontics” comes from the word “periodontium” meaning “surrounding (peri) the tooth (odont)”. The periodontium is made up of several individual structures that work together:
- Tooth socket: a bony pouch in the jawbone where the tooth sits.
- Cementum: a layer that covers the roots of the teeth.
- Periodontal ligament: tiny fibres between the cementum and tooth socket, holding the teeth in the mouth.
The different parts of the periodontium are made from living tissues. This allows them to adapt to changes in our mouths over time. They can make tiny changes in shape and thickness keeping our teeth stable.
Periodontists are dentists who specialise in the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with the periodontium. Although all dentists receive training in the diagnosis and treatment of mild to moderate periodontal disease, severe or complex cases are usually referred to a Periodontist. A Periodontist will have undertaken additional training and acquired special expertise in the area.
Periodontists provide a range of different specialist procedures that include: periodontal deep cleaning, periodontal surgery, periodontal regeneration, gum regeneration, gum lift, and bone reconstruction with dental implants.