What is a Periodontist?



Dr. Duckworth is a periodontist.

What is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum diseases, the repair of cosmetic problems related to the gums and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas by completing a residency that takes an additional three years to finish after four years of dental school. Your gums are the connection between your teeth and your body. Even subtle changes in the health of your gums can impact other areas in your body. A periodontist is an expert in the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures and, when necessary, replacing teeth with dental implants.

Why Do I Need One?

Teeth occupy a unique place in your body. While most of the bones in your body are completely covered with skin, the teeth are the only bones that protrude through the skin (your gums). This gives bacteria an entry way into your body. The interface between the tooth and gums is called periodontal (“around the tooth”) tissue. It is a dark, moist environment where approximately 700 different kinds of bacteria live. These bacteria are parasites and want to get in between the tooth and gum. When they do, an infection results. The infection is called periodontal disease. Once the bacteria get in to the space between your tooth and gum, they invade and live in the gum tissue and get in to the bloodstream. This continuous exposure to mouth bacteria in your blood stream creates many problems that can shorten your life. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, oral cancer, respiratory infections, premature birth, still birth and many other health problems are made worse by untreated periodontal disease.

Patient Testimonials

“I have been having dental issues since August 2012 and Worthington Dental Group are the only ones who figured out what the issue truly was and now I will be pain free! Thank you to the entire staff there, I have already recommended you.”

— Eve

“Pleasant new surroundings. Staff is always welcoming and friendly. Love access to the mall for rewarding myself for visiting the dentist!”

— Susan

“Always a positive and painless experience!”

“Just wanted to thank you for (on very short notice) working in my mother-in-law today; we so appreciated Toni and Dr. Cunnningham’s quick repair of her broken bridge. It is this kindness, professionalism and expertise that mean so much to your patients. We will continue to recommend your office to anyone in need of dental care.”

“Everyone is so pleasant and helpful. There is no way my experience could be any better!! Especially the office staff.”

“Dr. Cunningham is a fantastic dentist. Over time he has re-done all of my old crowns and added new ones giving me a beautiful smile. He works with an in- house lab so everything is prompt and perfect. Most of his staff has been there the entire 12 years I have been a patient so they are very accomplished and and it speaks well of him as an employer.”

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