If you’re in the San Diego and Poway areas and have been told you need an advanced dental procedure performed, and perhaps have even been referred to Dr. Beck by your own dentist, you might be wondering, “Why do I need to see a periodontist instead of my regular dentist?” The answer lies all in the highly specialized advanced training Dr. Beck has received, and the extensive amount of oral surgeries she has performed for Southern California residents from North County to South County and everywhere in between.

What Exactly is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a specialized dentist who has spent several additional years after the basic dental training all dentists are required to complete, studying and training to diagnose, treat, and prevent periodontal disease. As highly trained surgeons, board certified periodontists also perform many different oral surgeries including tooth extractions, bone grafting and regenerative procedures, and placing dental implants. As a board certified periodontist, Dr. Beck has had the same basic dental training as your trusted San Diego and Poway dentist, plus 3 additional years of study focused on periodontal and oral surgery. If your dentist has referred you to Dr. Beck, it’s because they know she will take good care of you.

Why Would I Need to See a Periodontist?

There are a variety of reasons why San Diego and Poway residents might seek out a periodontist on their own, or be referred to Dr. Beck by their regular dentist or hygienist. These include:

Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Periodontal Disease

Some patients develop periodontal disease – a common condition that can lead to gum recession, bone loss, and even tooth loss if not properly treated.  Excellent oral hygiene includes thoroughly brushing your teeth twice daily and cleaning between your teeth at least once a day, most commonly by proper flossing.  However, other patients develop periodontal disease despite practicing good oral hygiene and getting regular cleanings with a general dentist.  She reasons for this include having strong family history of periodontitis (genetics), hormonal changes (like puberty, pregnancy, and menopause), using tobacco products, taking certain medications, diabetes, and immunosuppression (like what happens during chemotherapy). If you fall into one of these risk factor categories, your dentist may recommend you see Dr. Beck for specialized care and management, in order to treat and prevent periodontal disease. Advanced treatments for periodontal disease may include deep cleanings, minor surgery to remove deeply embedded bacterial plaque, bone regenerative therapy, or sometimes gum grafting procedures to repair and strengthen gum tissue that has been damaged.

Suggested Reading about gum disease and bad breath.

You have Missing Teeth and Need Dental Implants

People need dental implants for many reasons.  Sometimes the damage caused by periodontal disease is too great to repair, and a tooth is recommended for removal.  Removing an unrepairable tooth before further bone loss occurs can increase your success with dental implants, preventing the need for extensive grafting, and minimizing the risk of damage to neighboring teeth.  Alternatively, a tooth may be recommended for removal due to deep decay (cavity) in a tooth that is unrepairable, or perhaps the tooth becomes fractured deep below the gum line and is unrepairable, or failure of a root canal to eliminate infection from inside the tooth itself or in the bone surrounding the tooth.  Another phenomenon that occurs in teeth that require their removal is root resorption.  This process is less understood than cavities, root canals, and fractures, where the tooth begins to dissolve, or “resorb”, from the inside out. Once this process is recognized on an x-ray, it is usually unstoppable and can lead to pain, fracture, or infection.

Whatever the cause of the missing tooth or need for extraction, Dr. Beck is highly trained and specialized in minimal traumatic, and minimally painful, tooth extractions, bone grafting, and surgical placement of dental implants.

For this reason, several dentists in San Diego and Poway refer their patients to Dr. Beck for the placement of dental implants – the strongest and most state-of-the-art tooth replacement system available on the market.  If you are in need of a dental implant, the procedure is best performed by a specialist who knows how to avoid serious complications that can occur in lesser-trained hands. As a highly trained surgeon, Dr. Beck also practices the highest standard of safety and sterility when performing surgery to minimize your risk of infection or disease contraction, and only uses the highest quality products to ensure long term success with your dental implant.

Cosmetic Gum Procedures (Gum Grafting & Crown Lengthening)

 Periodontists are highly trained surgeons, specialized in minimally invasive, microsurgical techniques for the correction of gum recession (long teeth), or gum recontouring (crown lengthening) for those who have too much gum resulting in an excessively gummy smile and short teeth.  If you are considering procedures to change the appearance of your gums, or lack thereof, you can trust Dr. Beck will take excellent care of you and produce results you can smile about, literally!

Call us to schedule your appointment with San Diego and Poway periodontist, Dr. Beck!