What is Periodontics?

Periodontics is a specialized form of dentistry carried out by a periodontist. It concentrates on diagnosis and prevention of diseases that can affect the surrounding structures of the teeth — including the gums and bone — and treatment of gum disease.

Signs & Symptoms That You Need to See a Periodontist

Here are some reasons you may need to visit a periodontist:

  • Bleeding Gums

If your gums are bleeding, this is a sign that bacteria caused by plaque build-up is irritating them.

  • Loose Teeth

Loose teeth can indicate advanced periodontal disease. Gum disease can cause the bone and supporting structures to be lost around the teeth causing them to become loose.

  • New Spacing Between Teeth

Receding gums and new spacing can be caused by bone loss attributed to periodontal disease.

  • Red or Puffy Gums

As with bleeding gums, this is an indication that plaque and bacteria are irritating the gums and needs removing.

  • Tenderness or Discomfort

Gum disease can cause recession of the gums which can expose the root of the tooth. This can cause discomfort and pain and lead to infection. However, it is treatable.

Post-Treatment: What to Do After a Gum Treatment

After gum treatment, you should prepare to have regular check-ups and carry out an effective oral hygiene routine at home. If you haven’t already, you should also consider giving up smoking.

Getting Your Gum Treatment With Periodontists at West Coast Dental

Here’s why you should get your periodontal treatment at West Coast Dental:

Team of Board-Certified Periodontists

We have highly qualified, expert periodontists certified by The American Board of Periodontology.

Same-Day Appointments Available

Contact us to book a same-day appointment that meets your specific needs.

Accepts Most Insurances

We accept most insurances, and payment plans are also available for those without insurance.

We offer a variety of payment options to make your crown affordable. We also accept most dental insurance plans and have a dental discount program for patients without insurance. Call us at our toll-free number 888-329-8111 or make an appointment online here.      

Comprehensive Periodontal Services

Here’s a list of periodontal services available at West Coast Dental:

  • Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling is used to remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from around and below the gumline. Your periodontist will then smooth out the root of your tooth so the gum can reattach. This is called root planing.

  • Dental Crown Lengthening

This is carried out when there is a need for more tooth to be exposed by removing part of the gum. It can happen if a tooth has broken and more length is needed for a crown or filling.

  • Dental Implants

Periodontists are experienced in placing dental implants because they are experts in treating gums and bone. Implants can be used to permanently replace missing teeth, and the titanium posts are placed directly into the bone.

  • Pocket Reduction

Pocket reduction is used when the periodontists need to remove tartar from a deep pocket that they are unable to reach. Flap surgery is needed for this to occur.

  • Pocket Reduction Surgery/Flap Surgery

Pocket reduction surgery or flap surgery is also known as a gingivectomy. The gum is cut and lifted back. The debris is then cleaned out, and the gum is sutured back so it fits around the tooth perfectly.


Here is a list of frequently asked questions regarding periodontal services.

Is endodontics the same as periodontics?

No. Endodontics is concerned with the root and inner structure of the tooth. Periodontics concentrates on the health of the gums and supporting structures.

What is the difference between a dentist and a periodontist?

Dentists diagnose and treat a wide variety of dental issues. Periodontists specifically concentrate on gum, bone and surrounding soft tissue health.

Why would you see a periodontist?

If you have advanced gum disease you would see a periodontist. You can also see one if you want a second opinion.

Who should treat my periodontal disease, my general dentist or a periodontist?

If you have mild periodontal disease, your general dentist can treat this. If your needs are more moderate to advanced, then a specialized periodontist is advised.

Is periodontal disease contagious?

Periodontal disease is technically not a contagious disease. It’s the inflammatory response to bacteria in the mouth. However, the bacteria could be transferred to others if you share a toothbrush, utensils or kiss each other. So, this should be avoided, when possible, if you know you have periodontal disease.

Do I need a referral for a periodontist?

You do not need a referral to see a periodontist. You can make an appointment directly with one. Sometimes, your dentist may refer you if they feel your treatment needs a specialist.

Is a periodontist covered by dental insurance?

We offer a variety of flexible payment options. We also accept nearly all dental insurance plans, and special programs are available for patients without insurance.

How much does it cost to see a periodontist?

Cost is dependent on the treatment needed. An initial assessment can cost around $125 with up to $1,500 for more complex treatment.