What is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specialises in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants.

Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.

Periodontists often treat more problematic periodontal cases, such as those with severe gum disease or a complex medical history. Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments, such as scaling and root planing (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned) or root surface debridement (in which damaged tissue is removed). They can also treat patients with severe gum problems using a range of surgical procedures. In addition, periodontists are specially trained in the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants.

Specialist Periodontist

John Whelan


John is a registered specialist in periodontics (treatment of gum disease) and implants.

After graduating with a BDS in 1989 he worked for one year at Waikato Hospital as a Dental house surgeon.  He then worked for three years in Auckland as a general dentist.  John returned to the dental school in Dunedin in 1993 and completed a three year postgraduate degree in Periodontics.

This included research into guided tissue regeneration.


John R K Whelan

Cliff Road Clinic, 38 Cliff Road , Tauranga 07 571 2863

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