Collins Street Periodontics FAQ

At Collins Street Periodontics in Melbourne’s CBD, we have the specialist expertise in dental implant surgery, gum disease and gum surgery to ensure our patients are in very capable hands. Founding periodontist Dr Andrew Tucker has almost 30 years’ experience, and is happy to answer some of your most common questions about periodontics.

If your question is not answered below, please contact us for more information.

What is a periodontist?

A periodontist is a specialist dentist with expertise in treating conditions of the gums and dental implants. Periodontics is the specialty of dentistry literally meaning ‘around the tooth’.

A periodontist initially trains as a dentist and after working as a general dentist, undertakes the three-year full-time specialty training at a university and the Dental Hospital to qualify as a specialist.

The periodontists at Collins Street Periodontics are leading experts in dental implant and periodontal treatments:

  • Dr Andrew Tucker has taught both implant dentistry and specialist periodontics to postgraduate dentists at University of Melbourne for more than 10 years in both the Graduate Diploma in Implant Dentistry and Periodontics masters program. He has mentored more than 50 dentists through their first few implant surgeries.
  • Dr Nicholas Boardman, Dr Louise Liu, and Dr Suman Bellur are part-time clinical tutors at Melbourne University in Periodontology.
  • Katrina Coote, our Periodontal Hygienist, lectures for the Bachelor of Oral Health at La Trobe University.
  • Our periodontists are involved in teaching periodontics and implant dentistry both at undergraduate and postgraduate level at The University of Melbourne.
  • We regularly attend conferences and seminars that focus on the latest developments in periodontics and dental implant surgery.
  • We are involved in specialist organizations and occasionally lecture to general dental and periodontal colleagues at conferences.

Who can see a periodontist?

Patients may be referred to a periodontist due to the extent or severity of their gum disease or for dental implant services, like replacing a missing or failing tooth. Most of our patients are referred to us by their regular dentist, however you do not need a referral to attend our clinic.

What is dental implant surgery?

Dental implants were developed in the 1960s and ’70s as a way of replacing missing or failing teeth. Whether teeth fail due to bacteria and deterioration of gums through poor gum health, or are displaced by an accident, our specialist periodontists have years of experience working with dental implants and ensuring the ongoing oral health and hygiene of our patients.

Dr Tucker has been involved in implant dentistry for more than 15 years. The implants and surgical techniques we use at Collins Street Periodontics have been established over many years. Our practitioners are highly experienced in delivering predictable long-term solutions for missing teeth.

What do I do if I have gingivitis?

Ginigivitis is inflammation of the gums caused by a build up of plaque where the teeth come through the gums, caused by poor brushing and flossing habits. People with ginigivitis might notice swelling and redness of the gums, and bleeding when cleaning their teeth. However, ginigivitis is curable, and you can achieve healthy gums in just a few weeks with effective cleaning. In some cases, if the bacteria or plaque has hardened, you will need a dentist or oral hygienist to remove the build up.

What’s the difference between gingivitis and periodontal disease?

Periodontitis, or gum disease, is caused by defects in the underlying bone holding your teeth in place. As the bone weakens, pockets open between the tooth and your gums. These pockets catch bacteria and accelerate the deterioration of bones and teeth – potentially even leading to tooth loss.

Signs of periodontal disease include teeth becoming loose or moving out of alignment. However, if you commence gum disease treatment early enough, most cases are successful.

If you have further questions about our Melbourne CBD periodontics clinic, please contact us on (03) 9650 1203 to book a consultation.

You can also take a look at some helpful periodontal links for more information.

Further Information


At Collins Street Periodontics we take care to fully inform you of fees you might incur as part of your treatment. All our practitioners will structure a treatment plan that will meet your dental requirements, keeping time and costs to a minimum.

At the initial periodontal consultation appointment, your periodontal and general dental health will be examined. Occasionally X-rays or 3D scans will be required. From the information gathered, a diagnosis and treatment plan will be formulated in consultation with you. The costs of future treatment will be discussed with you and we will send a report to your referring practitioner.

Infection control

Infection control in our practice is vitally important to us. To protect our patients and ourselves, we strictly maintain sterilisation and cross-contamination processes in accordance to the guidelines recommended by the Dental Practice Board of Victoria, the Australian Dental Association and Standards Australia.