Back to Blog Home

Becoming a Periodontist: Here’s What You Need to Know

Posted March 19, 2019

Brooke Faulkner

Seeing a periodontist regularly is essential to maintaining a good bill of health. Doing so may help to avoid a dental emergency, an unfavorable outcome since it’s often unclear whether your insurance company will help in paying for it.

Have you considered a career as a dentist? If you have but are searching for an interesting specialization, periodontal work may be just what you were looking for.

What Is a Periodontist?

You may ask yourself what a periodontist does exactly and why they’re so vital in improving dental health. Put simply, a periodontist is a dentist who specializes in periodontal disease. They work with their patients to prevent, diagnose and treat periodontitis. To understand what periodontal issues are, we can look at the root words: “perio” means “around,” and “dontal” means “teeth”. Periodontitis is an infection around the tooth. Symptoms are typically in the form of swollen and bleeding gums which then can develop into more serious issues. Periodontists treat these issues, as well as place dental implants.

Why a Periodontist?

A periodontist is enabled to work in many different fields of science: microbiology, pathology, and immunology. The role of a periodontist is not only in the medical practice but also as a counselor for their patients. Periodontitis is likely to go undetected. This is due to it being painless until further along into the formation of bacteria and disease.

It is prone to affect those that smoke or chew tobacco, or with poor oral hygiene or personal health. Oftentimes, patients that are referred to a periodontist require counseling in lifestyle changes that need to be made to make the treatments provided effective and successful. For the individual that enjoys interdisciplinary studies and practices, going into the periodontal field may suit them well.

Training and Skills

Not many people start their higher education knowing that they want to be a periodontist. Luckily, pursuing a science-focused bachelor’s degree will set you on track to your future career. If you have any inclination that you would like to work in periodontics, consider shadowing a dentist or periodontist while completing your bachelor’s program. They can serve as a mentor as you apply for dental school.

To become a skilled periodontist, candidates are expected to attend four years of dental school. Candidates are then required to attend three years of specialty training as a resident periodontist. Once you decide to pursue the path to becoming a periodontist, understand that dental school and obtaining a residency are highly competitive. Do what you can to acquire more experience and educational opportunities as they become available to you. Then, when it is time to apply, these additional skill sets will give you a more competitive application.

Periodontist for Hire

Once you finish your residency, you have many avenues that you can pursue as a recently licensed periodontist. It is often assumed that most periodontists will go into practice. That doesn’t have to be the case — a large number commit their careers to research or administration.

You can explore your options at large medical facilities or private practices. To do so, request informational interviews to learn more about their company culture and expectations. To better your odds when applying for positions, write numerous revisions of your resume with the help and critique from your advisor. If you are looking forward to creating your own schedule and being your own boss, consider taking the leap toward starting your own practice.

Developing your own practice will take time and energy commitment, financial backing, and a lot of pre-planning. During the final months of your residency, it may be wise to work on a business plan. Make sure it incorporates your envisioned capacity, revenue, expense management, patient service, and team. Identifying each of these elements will empower you to attract investors and potential partners.

The pay as a periodontist can be lucrative depending on where you live and work. Choose a community to invest yourself in and a community you are passionate about serving. You can be of service to your neighbors by pursuing your path to becoming a periodontist.


Share:
DentalPost is the dental industry’s premier and largest online and mobile job board.
We connect and educate more than 850,000 job seekers in the U.S. and Canada to build better places to work through teams that excel.

Featured Posts

reduce hiring bias

Reduce Screening Bias to Find the Best Candidates

Tonya Lanthier, RDH
Tonya Lanthier, RDH

Posted August 19, 2021

Have you ever made the wrong assumption about someone after meeting them the first time? Maybe they reminded you of someone who bullied you as a child or had the […]

Read more
ghosting dentist

Ghosting Hurts Everyone & Our Industry

The DentalPost Team
The DentalPost Team

Posted April 15, 2021

It’s a challenging time for dental practices looking to fill clinical team member positions on their teams. An already tight labor pool, coupled with fewer graduate candidates, makes 2021 an […]

Read more
Calendar with dental instrument and denture

National Dental Holidays to Celebrate at Your Practice

The DentalPost Team
The DentalPost Team

Posted March 3, 2021

Recognizing your dental team for their hard work over the year is quintessential to having a successful practice. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are great examples of appreciation days for […]

Read more