How Do I Choose the Best Gum Specialist?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2018
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When choosing a gum specialist, you should verify his credentials to practice dentistry and, if appropriate, determine if he is also a qualified periodontist. You may also want to find out if the specialist has experience working on people with your condition. If you are seeking treatment for what may be a cosmetic problem, you'll particularly want to see photographs of the specialist's work on other clients. Other things to ask about are the types of anesthesia and pain control used by the specialist as well as his or her costs, financial policies, and whether he accepts insurance. It is always a good idea to seek out recommendations from your own family dentist; otherwise, you may want to ask family and friends for recommendations or even visit reliable online consumer reporting services to learn about other people's experience with a particular gum specialist.

There are various reasons why you may need to see a gum specialist, including gum disease or the need for cosmetic gum surgery. In many cases, your dentist may identify gingivitis or periodontal disease and refer you to a periodontist. This type of gum specialist typically holds additional educational credentials in advanced treatment of the gums and teeth. Some cosmetic dentists work with people who have aesthetic issues with their gums, but these dentists may refer you to a periodontist if you need specialized gum treatment, such as laser surgery to remove excess gum tissue.


In many cases, you will receive a diagnosis of periodontal disease from your personal dentist. If she feels the problem is beyond her expertise, she may refer you to a periodontist for treatment. While a referral from your dentist is often a positive indication that the gum specialist is qualified to provide you with quality care, you should do your own research as well. For example, you may wish to contact the dental licensing board in your area to find out whether the periodontist is licensed and to ascertain whether he or she has been the target of professional or patient complaints in the past. You should also ensure that the periodontist is board certified as a periodontist in the country where you live.

If you are visiting a gum specialist to improve the appearance of your gums, ask to see before and after pictures of previous patients. These can be very helpful in determining whether the specialist has the skill to create a cosmetically appealing smile. If you are not pleased with the photos that you see, find another specialist or ask your dentist for additional names.



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