What is a Specialist Periodontist?

What is a Specialist Periodontist?

It’s a dentist who focuses on the health of patients’ gums.  A periodontist has usually undertaken a further three years of dental training to be listed on the specialist register of the General Dental Council. This experience means they have a wider skill set, dealing with gums and loose teeth providing advanced procedures such as gum regeneration surgery. Here at The Exeter Dental Centre our Specialist Periodontist works closely with the dental hygienists to provide a team approach to a the patient’s dental care.  Having been trained in hospitals treating patients when referred from primary care dental practices, the consultation and examination process is thorough and can involve multiple radiographs.

Being rather rare in the UK, the services of a Specialist Periodontist are in demand.  We are lucky to be work exclusively with Dr Hilary Cooke, the only periodontal specialist working in Exeter and servicing most of Devon. Hilary is now accepting referrals from surrounding dental practices and will see patients who refer themselves to The Exeter Dental Centre.



What the warning signs that I may have gum disease?

Bleeding after brushing is the typical sign.  This can be due to inflammation of the gums as a result of a chronic infection called gingivitis.


Why are bleeding gums important?

Due to the infection and the bodies response to this infection, bone support around teeth can shrink.  This can eventually lead to loose teeth and possible loss of these teeth which is a condition called Periodontitis.


What should I do if I notice bleeding gums?

If you already clean in between your teeth with floss or interdental brushes and use an electric toothbrush twice a day.  It might be time to check with your general dentist to make sure all your dental restorations are smooth around the edges and not causing bacteria to become stuck in the gums.


What will my dentist do about bleeding gums? 

A referral to a hygienist can be the first course of treatment involving a deep clean of the patient’s teeth together with coaching on how to maintain a healthy mouth.  If this doesn’t solve the problem then a referral to a periodontal specialist maybe the next option.