Career in Periodontology
Careers in periodontology range from clinical practice (diagnosing and treating gum disease), academics, administration and research. There are over 4,000 active periodontists in the United States that carry out their career in solo practices, group practices, hospitals, dental schools and public clinics.
Clinical practitioners of periodontics enjoy treating a steady pool of patients who require continued maintenance of their gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Clinical periodontists also routinely collaborate with other health providers such as general dentists, reconstructive plastic surgeons, board certified endodontists and academic periodontists.
To become board certified, periodontists must take extensive oral and written examinations encompassing all stages of periodontal disease (from gingivitis to chronic periodontitis) and its treatment as well as present thorough reports on a wide range of past treatment provided by the periodontist himself.
Many dentists further specialized as periodontists serve as leaders in dental schools and industrial, state, federal and international agencies. Research opportunities are increasingly abundant and allow periodontists to engage in such activities as identifying pathogenic mechanisms in gum disease, testing nascent therapies, participating in clinical studies and determining the relationship between periodontal and systemic diseases such as diabetes and HIV.