Periodontics is specialized dentistry that requires a dentist to have special training to practice it. Periodontists study the soft tissues and bones that support the teeth. If a patient loses teeth because of periodontal disease, a periodontist can replace them with dental implants. Periodontics is one of eight specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.
Periodontists must first receive their general dentistry degree before they can move into a specialty area. Periodontists complete three additional years of dental school studying periodontics to receive a post-doctoral certificate in periodontics. Once they receive their certificate, their practice becomes limited to their specialty area.
Patients are referred to a periodontist by a dentist who recognizes a gum problem beyond his ability to deal with. The periodontist will then work directly with the patient to treat the problem. The treatment can be simple gum treatments or more extensive cosmetic surgery. Most periodontists work in a private practice, according to State University.
The most popular work situations where periodontolgy is practiced are a periodontal office, health care field, academics, dental prosthetic services and medical services, according to PayScale. All but academics offer a salary range that is over $200,000 at the high end. The average annual salary for a periodontist is $269,770, according to Stony Brook University Medical Center.
About three out of four periodontists are men with an equal percentage being either very experienced or fairly new to the field. According to PayScale, 13 percent have less than a year experience, 26 percent have one to four years experience, 16 percent have five to nine years experience, 19 percent have 10 to 19 years experience and 26 percent have 20 or more years experience.
The most popular locations for periodontists are large metro areas. This is because the demand is greater for periodontists where there are more people. Philadelphia is the city where you’ll find the most periodontists, according to PayScale. The other top cities by popularity for jobs are New York; Boston; San Diego; Tucson, Arizona; Houston; Miami; and Atlanta.