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Periodontics concentrates on the areas in and around the teeth, including the gums and the bone sockets that support the teeth – the alveolar bone.
Dentists specialising in periodontics, known as periodontists, work from their own practices or as associates in dental clinics, either privately, through the National Health Service or both, to prevent, diagnose and treat periodontal diseases: gingivitis; periodontitis; and abscesses found in the teeth and gums.
Some will work in practices with teams of dentists, hygienists and other oral healthcare specialists. Some will also work in hospitals, as periodontics typically involves more invasive surgical procedures.
Patients will usually be referred to a periodontist by a general dental practitioner or a doctor. The periodontist will try and identify the problems with the teeth, gums or bones supporting the teeth, devise a treatment strategy, advise the patient on the best course of treatment, discuss procedures and organise costs. They will keep an eye on patients during rehabilitation.
To ensure patients are being given the best possible treatment, all dentists and dental care professionals are required by the General Dental Council to undertake a minimum of 250 hours of CPD across a five-year post-registration cycle. CPD could involve any number of activities, including attending seminars or lectures, distance or multimedia learning, private study, peer assessment or research.
Continual Professional Development covers a number of areas relevant to all dental care professionals, the three core subjects of which are dealing with medical emergencies, disinfection and radiography and radiation.
For more information about Continual Professional Development please visit the General Dental Council