Complete Guide To Choosing A Periodontist In Sarasota

GREAT periodontics is a combination of skill, training and experience. Dr. Pawlus is a combination of all three. Thinking about periodontal surgery or implants? Learn what defines a great periodontist and what too look out for when you are searching for solutions.

A Guide to Choosing a Board Certified, Affordable Periodontist in Sarasota

We all want a beautiful smile and healthy gums, but almost half of American adults have some form of gum disease, but there is good news! Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can be treated successfully, and having a knowledgeable, highly trained periodontist is key to achieving the results you seek, but finding an affordable periodontist can be a financial challenge. With financing available through his office, Dr. Michael Pawlus is eager to help you win your oral health goals and achieve your dream of having a fabulous smile.

Dr. Pawlus has been successfully treating gum disease in Sarasota for over twenty years, and his dental staff is composed of highly trained, kind and caring people who have years of experience providing diagnostic procedures and treatment for oral pathology, as well as dental implant surgery for replacement of missing teeth.

Dr. Pawlus, and his staff, will take the time to explain your treatment options and inform you of additional preventative care methods. Dr. Pawlus listens to your questions and concerns and provides real, achievable solutions that lead to better oral health. Dr. Pawlus’ main concern is for his patients and their comfort while providing the best possible periodontal care in the Sarasota area.


Section 1

What is the Difference Between a General Dentist and a Periodontist?

Section 2

What Treatments Can Be Provided by a Periodontist?

Section 3

Awards and Publications

What is the Difference Between a General
Dentist and a Periodontist?

Everyone who wants to become a dentist must complete a four-year undergraduate college degree, then graduate from an accredited dental school with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree. However, those who wish to become a periodontist must complete an additional three to seven years of formal training in an American Dental Association (ADA)-accredited periodontology residency program.

In other words, a general dentist is your primary care dental provider. A dentist performs general teeth cleaning, x-rays of the teeth and gums, tooth extractions, and non-surgical periodontal care. Additionally, a general dentist diagnoses, treats, and manages your overall oral health care needs, including gum care, fillings, root canals, crowns, veneers, bridges, and preventive education. However, if you are diagnosed with gum disease, ask your dentist for a periodontist recommendation.

A periodontist should be considered your dental specialist. Liked all dentists, a periodontist must complete a four-year undergraduate college degree, then graduate from an accredited dental school with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree. However, a person wishing to become a periodontist must complete an additional three to seven years of formal training in an American Dental Association (ADA)-accredited periodontology residency program.

Additionally, after successful completion of an ADA-accredited residency training program in periodontics, a periodontist may earn national board certification by the American Board of Periodontology (ABP) by passing comprehensive written and oral examinations covering all phases of periodontal disease and its treatment, as well as presenting detailed reports on a range of treatments personally provided by the periodontist.

Additionally, periodontists must go through a recertification process that requires fulfillment of continuing education requirements and other professional activities that demonstrate current knowledge and competence in periodontics. Board-certified periodontists are diplomates of the ABP. Periodontists can work in dental schools, hospitals, the business sector, and state, national and international agencies. They also can focus on research opportunities, such as testing emerging therapies and studying the interrelationships between periodontal and systemic diseases.

Board Certified in Dentistry and Periodontics, Dr. Michael Pawlus graduated with honors from The University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and he received his D.D.S. from The University of Iowa College of Dentistry. While he was a Dentistry student, Dr. Pawlus received a Dental Research Award and an award for Outstanding Achievement in Dental Research. After completing the college of Dentistry, Dr. Pawlus attended the University of Florida where he received his Certificate in Periodontics.

Dr. Pawlus also received his master’s degree in Biology while at the University of Florida with his master’s research focusing on root biomodification to enhance healing after periodontal surgery. As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Michael Pawlus> focuses exclusively on inflammatory diseases that destroys the gums and other supporting structures around the teeth; therefore, Dr. Pawlus is a specialist in preventing, diagnosing, and treating gum disease(s) and in the placement of dental implants. As a specialist in periodontal disease, Dr. Pawlus is an expert in the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. He is also trained in cosmetic periodontal procedures.

What Treatments Can Be Provided by a Periodontist?

Even though almost 50% of American adults have some form of gum disease, most people don’t show signs of it until they’re in their 30s or 40s. Gum disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums, bone, and ligaments that hold your teeth in place. The disease is usually painless and silent, until it reaches advanced stages.

In the early stages of gum disease, most treatments include a professional cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus/tartar from periodontal pockets, and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins followed by adjunctive therapy, such as antibiotics and antimicrobials. However, if gum disease is left untreated the bones, gums and connective tissue that support the teeth are destroyed and dental implants may be needed.

Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments, such as the cleaning of infected root surfaces, the removal of damaged tissue, and the reversal of lost bone and tissue. When necessary, periodontists can also perform surgical procedures for patients with severe gum disease. Additionally, periodontists are trained in the placement, maintenance and repair of dental implants.

Services Offered by Dr. Michael Pawlus

Periodontists usually spend most of their time diagnosing and treating gum disease, but there are a variety other procedures Dr. Pawlus can perform. Dr. Pawlus has placed dental implants when natural teeth cannot be saved. He also monitors the implants to make sure that they’re properly doing their job. Dr. Pawlus may also correct gum recession and cover up exposed root surfaces which can be unsightly, as well as sensitive to hot and cold. These procedures are often used to lay the foundation for additional cosmetic procedures to help create a beautiful smile. Dr. Pawlus offers full service periodontal care including:

Flap Surgery

The most common form of periodontal surgery is Flap Surgery, and it is especially helpful for people who have tartar deposits in deep pockets. This procedure allows access to the bottom of the deep pockets and defects in the bone. This procedure helps to clean out the infected deep pockets and repair some of the damage that was done due to the periodontal disease.

Gum Graft

When gums recede, a type of periodontal surgery, known as a soft tissue graft, can help restore some of the tissue you lost. This is done to enhance the amount of healthy tissue around the tooth roots or in certain cases cover the exposed root surfaces caused by recession.

Crown Lengthening

Periodontal surgery can also be used to enhance the aesthetic outcome with veneers and is often referred to as cosmetic Crown Lengthening. Crown Lengthening is a common surgical procedure that can be performed when a tooth needs to be fixed, such as when not enough of the tooth sticks out above the gum to support a filling or crown.

LANAP Laser Surgery

LANAP stands for Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure. It is an FDA-cleared laser treatment that offers a less painful, more successful treatment to treat moderate to advanced periodontal disease. In traditional surgery, the periodontist uses a scalpel to peel back gum tissue for better visibility and access to the periodontal pocket. Traditional periodontal surgery is considered invasive and requires a healing period. While some severe cases of periodontal disease require traditional surgery, LANAP is generally a viable alternative for most patients. LANAP (Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure) treatments have proven extremely successful in dentistry, and this less invasive laser technique is bringing revolutionary outcomes in periodontal treatment procedures.

The LANAP is the only scientifically proven method that removes diseased tissue and allows true periodontal regeneration, new bone growth, and gum tissue reattachment.

Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation

Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation is a scalpel free, suture free, graft free, minimally invasive procedure that corrects gingival recession (receding gums). Dr. Pawlus is certified in this dramatic surgical breakthrough that allows for a less painful, faster and cost-effective alternative to conventional gum grafting. Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation is a minimally invasive alternative to more complicated gum recession procedures that feature grafting or sutures. With Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation, a major advantage is the ability to treat as many teeth in one sitting as you desire. Also, Dr. Pawlus can correct your receding gums in as little as one treatment, depending on how badly the gum has receded and how many teeth are being treated.

Dental Implant

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed in your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost one tooth, or more, due to periodontal disease, injury, or other reason. If you have suffered tooth loss due to periodontal disease, accident, or other cause, Dr. Michael Pawlus is here to help you regain your confidence and beautiful smile.

A dental implant is the closest thing you can get to a healthy, natural tooth. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root surgically implanted into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. The artificial tooth root is usually made of titanium, and once it is placed in your jaw, it will bond to your natural bone and becomes a sturdy base for supporting one or more artificial teeth called crowns, which are custom made to match your natural teeth and fit your mouth.

Cost and Financings

The cost of dental care varies on the individual needs, but since your teeth affect everything from your smile and confidence, to your ability to eat, speak and participate in the activities you enjoy, and because there is no better option to restore missing teeth, dental implants should be considered a long-term investment.

Recognizing the long-term patient benefits over other treatment options and depending on the cause of tooth loss, an increasing number of insurance companies have started providing some coverage. Detailed questions about your individual needs and financing should be discussed your insurance provider. However, if you are considering a cosmetic dentistry procedure for the sole purpose of improving your appearance, health insurance will not usually cover it.

Also, Medicare does not cover any dental treatments at this time; only medical treatments are covered. Medicaid programs are run by each individual state, so coverage is going to vary depending on which state you live in. Check with your provider to determine if the periodontal treatment you need is covered by your plan.

While cost can seem prohibitive, there are financing options available to help pay for periodontal procedures. Dr. Pawlus offers in-house financing to qualified patients. Check with Dr. Pawlus and/or his staff for more information about financing your procedure(s) to see if you qualify.

Social Involvement

In addition to being an excellent Periodontist, Dr. Pawlus is also a part-time blues/jazz musician and is a member of the Alternator Blues Band in Sarasota. Dr. Pawlus is also an avid runner who plays golf and is involved with several local social and charitable organizations.

Awards and Publications

Dr. Pawlus is also the author of several scientific articles, including:

  • “Depth of Cure of Resin Modified Glass Ionomers,” Swift EJ, Pawlus MA, Vargas MA. Dental Materials 1995; May 11 (3):196-200.
  • “Shear Bond Strengths of Resin Modified Ionomer Restorative Materials,” Swift EJ, Pawlus MA, Vargas MA. Operative Dentistry 1995; July-Aug 20 (4): 138-143.
  • “The Effect of Chemical Root Biomodification On In Vitro Fibroblast Attachment,” Pawlus MA, Oxford GE, Humphreys-Beher MG. Abstract #3464, Journal of Dental Research 2000.

Dr. Michael Pawlus wants you to know that if you have gum disease, you are not alone. Many adults in the United States have some form of gum disease, but the good news is that gum disease can be prevented and/or controlled. Your smile is important to you and every person you meet every day. Let Dr. Michael Pawlus, and his highly trained staff of Dental Hygienists, help you keep it. Call us Today at (941) 923-2288.

About Dr. Michael Pawlus


As a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology Dr. Pawlus and his staff will provide you with comprehensive periodontal treatment and education.

We also provide diagnostic procedures and treatment for oral pathology as well as dental implant surgery for replacement of missing teeth.

We take the time to explain your treatment options and to inform you of additional preventative care methods.

We are here to listen to your questions and concerns and to help provide solutions leading to your better health…Read More

Real People, Real Patients, Real Results.