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What is a Periodontist?

Periodontology or Periodontics is the specialty of dentistry that studies supporting structures of teeth, diseases, and conditions that affect them. The supporting tissues are known as the periodontium, which includes the gingiva (gums), alveolar bone, cementum, and the periodontal ligament. A professional who practices this specialty field of dentistry is known as a periodontist.


Before applying to any postgraduate training program in periodontology one must first complete a dental degree.

The American Dental Association (ADA) accredited programs are a minimum of three years in length. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, U.S.-trained periodontists are specialists in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal diseases and oral inflammation, and in the placement and maintenance of dental implants. Many periodontists also diagnose and treat oral pathology and periodontics was the historical basis for the specialty of oral medicine. Following successful completion of post-graduate training a periodontist becomes Board eligible for the American Board of Periodontology examination. Successful completion of board certification results in Diplomate status in the American Board of Periodontology.
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