Are you suffering from conditions concerning your gums? The first thing that probably comes to a lot of Singaporean’s mind is to visit a dentist. Yes, dentists can help with treating certain teeth and gum problems, but when it comes to diseases that already concern the gums they might as well refer you to a gum specialist in Singapore.
A gum specialist, given its name, is an expert in treating gum diseases. They are your go-to persons if your teeth are in danger of falling out. With the help of Dr Marlene Teo, we will shed light to what gum specialists do and how your teeth and gums can benefit from their services.
Gum specialists: who are they?
A gum specialist, or a periodontist, is a dentist who specializes in diagnosing, preventing, and treating of periodontal diseases. In simple terms, a gum specialist is proficient in battling diseases that affect the gums.
Currently, there are a few gum specialists in Singapore. Good news is the numbers are starting to grow. Being a licensed gum specialist is hard work. A person undergoes a lot of stages in education before becoming a one. After finishing four years in dental school and passing a national board examination sanctioned by the Singapore Dental Council, dentists continue to receive further education and training learning about diseases that involve the gum and bones. They also undergo a 3-year residency to become experts in placing dental implants safely. All practising gum specialists in Singapore must be registered under the Singapore Dental Council.
What are gum specialists capable to do?
Gum specialists are not able to fully display their skills and capabilities by just diagnosing and preventing gum diseases from happening. That said, successfully treating gum diseases and improving their patients’ quality of life is the end goal of their purpose. These are the treatments that gum specialists can deliver:
- Bone grafting
- Crown lengthening
- Deep pocket cleanings
- Gum grafting
- Hard tissue recontouring
- Implant replacement
- Root planing
- Soft tissue removal
Who should visit a gum specialist?
Patients whose gum problems are severe and complex should visit a gum specialist. They can treat periodontal diseases, such as mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis. If you are not sure whether you have a periodontal disease that needs the attention of a gum specialist, look out for the following signs:
- You have chronic bad breath.
- You have discomfort and pain around and beneath your gums.
- You have gums that easily bleed or are red and swollen.
- You have observed your bite to be different when brushing, chewing, or talking.
- You have receding gums.
- You have weak and shaky teeth.
What should be expected during a visit to a gum specialist?
During your initial consultation with a gum specialist, expect that you will be asked for details about your full medical and dental histories. Any present condition that affects the patient’s overall health should be disclosed, so be sure to inform your gum specialist if you are being treated for any other disease involving other parts of the body or if you are expecting a baby. Also, inform your gum specialist if you have any allergic reactions to specific medications. A patient’s safety is an utmost priority.
Your gum specialist will then proceed to assess and examine your teeth, gums, jaw joints, and mouth. Your gums health will be examined with the use of a probe. This dental instrument measures the periodontal pockets. Periodontal pockets are the spaces in between the teeth and gums. Likewise, your teeth and bite will be checked, gum line observed for any recession and see if there are any loose teeth. To check the bone’s health underneath the gums, an x-ray may also be done.
Your visit can take an hour or more in case your dental problems demand additional time for assessment. There may be instances where, upon checking, you will need immediate treatment. When this happens, expect to stay a little bit longer in your gum specialist’s clinic.
Are there risks and complications involved during the initial consultation?
A visit to a gum specialist only covers basic Q&A between the periodontist and patient, as well as basic tests. However, if you are pregnant or think that you might be, it is best to inform your gum specialist. An X-ray test is not safe during pregnancy and this is usually done during consultations.
So if you are not pregnant, then the answer is no, there should not be any risk and complications involved during your initial consultation.
How much does a consultation with a gum specialist in Singapore?
A consultation with a gum specialist in Singapore can cost anywhere from $80 to $200.
It is understandable that a visit to the dentist can be intimidating, much more a gum specialist. But really, dentists and gum specialists are no monsters! In fact, you can look at them as heroes in saving your teeth and gums.
Dr Marlene Teo
360 Orchard Rd, #03-06/07 next to Lido,
International Building, Singapore 238869