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An Introduction to the Fundamentals of the Periodontics Specialty (AGD 490)

Presenter: Natalie Kaweckyj, LDA, RF, CDA, CDPMA, COA, COMSA, CPFDA, CRFDA, MADAA, BA


Periodontics is the dental specialty that deals with the cause, prevention, and treatment of diseases of the supporting tissues of the teeth. The supporting tissues include the gingiva, the periodontal ligaments, the cementum, and the alveolar bone. Diseases that affect these tissues are called periodontal diseases. The main cause of periodontal diseases is bacteria in dental plaque, but other factors can contribute to their progression. These factors include malocclusion, overhanging restorations, poorly fitting appliances or prostheses, cigarette and/or e-cigarette smoking, improper nutrition, stress, systemic diseases, heredity, hormonal imbalances, and certain medications.


began her dental assisting career over 28 years ago after graduating from the CODA accredited program ConCorde Career Institute. She spent twelve years working in a private practice where she worked clinically nine years and administratively the remaining three. She then moved onto teaching dental assisting and eventually became director of that program. Over lapping with teaching, Natalie began her tenure with Children’s Dental Services in 2007 in management and currently serves as clinical coordinator responsible for the day to day operations at over 600 locations where services are provided throughout Minnesota. Natalie enjoys the challenges of the public health sector and is gratified in serving those that are underserved, especially in a hospital setting under general anesthesia. With over a decade of restorative functions experience under her belt, she enjoys working with professionals new to dentistry as her love for teaching comes into play with the utilization of clinicians to the full scope of their licenses. The clinic keeps Natalie busy with billing management when not at the hospital. Natalie also graduated with a BA in Biology and Psychology from Metropolitan State University in 2005.

Ms. Kaweckyj served two terms as ADAA President (2017-2018; 2010-2011). She remains active on several councils, and served as a President of the Professional Dental Assistants Educational Foundation (PDAEF). She served as a three-term president for MnDAA and remains as the state business secretary. Natalie has been recognized with several ADAA awards, was one of the first ADAA Fellows in 1999 and became the first ADAA Master in 2004. She has published numerous continuing education courses, over 250 articles and lectures on a variety of dental subjects locally, nationally and internationally. Organized dentistry gave Natalie the insight that you can make a difference as a dental professional, and she was instrumental in seeing licensure for dental assistants come to fruition in MN in 2009 as well as several expanded functions. Her dream would be to see mandatory credentialing become a reality in all states for protection of the public and maintaining integrity of the dental assisting profession.


Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

  • Describe the various types of periodontal diseases.
  • Discuss the various methods used in the diagnosis of periodontal diseases, and chart periodontal conditions.
  • Identify various periodontal instruments.
  • Describe the various surgical and nonsurgical (including occlusal equilibration) treatments used in periodontics.
  • Describe the setup and procedure for surture placement and removal.
  • Describe the setup and procedure for the placement and removal of a surgical dressing.

Provide the patient with appropriate postoperative instructions following periodontal surgery.


‚ÄčThe ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry.  Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.

Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.


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