Dentist Vs. Periodontist: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Dr. John Paul Gallardo, DDS, PA
Dentist Vs. Periodontist: What's the Difference?
It’s important to make an appointment with a trusted periodontist

What is a General Dentist?

A general dentist is a family dentist who provides treatment options to address a variety of dental issues. A regular dentist can diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems by performing routine checkups and cleaning. They are responsible for helping patients maintain healthy teeth, gums, and other parts of the mouth.

General dentists are trained to recognize potential oral health problems such as cavities, gum disease, tooth decay, and infections. They also provide preventive care services like cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, and X-rays to help detect problems early on so they can be treated quickly and effectively. General dentists also provide restorative services such as fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, implants, and periodontal therapy for gum tissues.

Overall, general dentists are responsible for diagnosing and treating common dental issues in order to help their patients maintain healthy smiles throughout their lives. Regular visits with a general dentist will ensure that any developing problems are identified quickly and addressed before they become more serious or costly to repair.

What is a Periodontist?

Periodontists are experts at treating gum tissues, bone loss, and other soft tissue associated with periodontal diseases. They provide specialized services related to the gums and supporting structures of the teeth such as root planing, scaling, bone grafts, and tissue regeneration.

Periodontists are trained to recognize and treat more advanced cases of periodontal disease than general dentists. These doctors use comprehensive treatments tailored to each individual patient’s needs. Periodontists may also specialize in certain types of treatments like cosmetic procedures or implant placement to help restore missing teeth due to advanced gum disease or tooth loss.

In summary, a periodontist is an expert in diagnosing and treating periodontal diseases as well as providing restorative treatments to prevent tooth loss. By visiting a periodontist for regular checkups and examinations, patients can get the best care available for their oral health needs.

What Are The Similarities?

When it comes to understanding the differences between a dentist and a periodontist, it’s important to know that both are dedicated to providing quality oral health care. Both dentists and periodontists provide treatments related to teeth, gums, and overall dental health. However, there are some differences in their areas of specialization.

The main difference between a dentist and a periodontist is that dentists are trained primarily in general dental care while periodontists specialize in treating gum diseases such as periodontal disease. Periodontists receive additional specialized training in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal diseases including deep cleanings, nonsurgical treatment, and surgical procedures when necessary.

Dentists generally take care of issues related to natural teeth and cavity fillings while the focus for periodontists is on gum health. They can perform more complex treatments such as periodontal surgeries and other types of specialized services that help patients maintain good oral hygiene.

Both dentists and periodontists work together to ensure optimal dental healthcare for their patients. Dentists focus primarily on preventing cavities through restorative work while periodontists focus on preventing gum disease through treatments such as scaling or root planing procedures which involve removing plaque from beneath the gum line.

Overall, both dentists and periodontists have important roles in providing excellent oral health care to their patients by focusing on different aspects of dental health alongside one another. While they do have individual specialties they also share similarities in how they approach treatment for better oral hygiene with similar techniques such as deep cleanings or nonsurgical treatments if needed.

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General Dentist vs Periodontist

The difference between a dentist and a periodontist is that general dentists see patients with all types of oral health care needs. Periodontists have additional training and may only see patients that need their dental specialty. Some periodontists focus solely on treatments related to the gums and refer all other cases to general dentists or other dental specialists. Others offer general dentistry services as well.

Education & Training Requirements

To become a periodontal specialist, one must complete additional training beyond the traditional dental school curriculum. Post-graduate programs in periodontics typically require two years of advanced clinical training that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease and other conditions affecting the gums. During this time, students learn about surgical procedures related to periodontal health as well as how to select and place dental implants. After completing their post-graduate program, they must pass a rigorous examination in order to become board certified by an accredited periodontal specialty organization.

In addition to specialized education and training, periodontists must also have superior clinical judgment and interpersonal skills in order to effectively diagnose and treat patients with gum diseases. They must be knowledgeable about different gum treatments such as deep cleanings or root planing procedures which involve removing plaque from beneath the gum line. They should also be knowledgeable about other treatments such as laser therapy for treating advanced cases of gum disease or implant placement for replacing missing teeth due to tooth loss from advanced disease.

Treatments Provided

Periodontists provide specialized treatments that focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal diseases. These treatments typically involve deep cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup from below the gum line, nonsurgical treatments such as antibiotics to treat infection, and surgical procedures when necessary. In addition to these treatments, periodontists may also perform cosmetic dentistry services such as placing dental implants or performing laser gum surgery for more advanced cases of periodontal disease. They can also help patients maintain good oral hygiene through regular checkups and providing patient education about proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Be cautious! Visiting frequently a periodontist could be more relevant than you think.

When it becomes necessary to consult a periodontist

1. Excessive Bleeding Gums

While bleeding gums can be normal, excessive bleeding and tenderness are signs of trouble. It’s possible to cause your gums to bleed if you use too much pressure while brushing or you don’t floss regularly. However, a buildup of tartar and plaque can cause irritation and bleeding (gingivitis), ultimately leading to gum disease.

2. Gum Recession

As you age, your gums can recede, exposing the nerves of the teeth. When the nerves are exposed, it can cause you extreme pain while brushing or eating hot or cold foods. A periodontist can perform a gum graft procedure to cover the nerves and alleviate the pain you are experiencing.

3. Loose Teeth

When your gums are excessively irritated and inflamed, it can cause them to pull away from your teeth, allowing them to become loose. Adult teeth only become loose if there are major dental concerns. See your dentist right away if you notice a tooth is moving.

If you lose one or more teeth, you need to replace them with a bridge, dentures, or implants with crowns. Leaving the space open from a missing tooth ultimately leads to major problems like bone loss and gum recession.

4. Bad Breath

Of course, everyone deals with bad breath when they first get up or after eating something potent. Chronic bad breath is much worse. No matter how much you brush, floss, or swish, the odor is pungent. Bacteria can collect on your gums and cause the foul smell to linger no matter what you do.

Healthy gums will not retain foul odors. If you have halitosis (bad breath) you are likely dealing with gum disease that must be treated ASAP.

5. Referred By a Dentist

If your dentist refers you to a periodontist, then you should go as soon as possible. You have reached a point in your dental care that requires the attention of a specialist. Your dentist will work closely with the periodontist to provide you optimal care. Once the treatment is completed, you’ll return to your general dentist for hygiene and regular check-ups as usual.

Need a dentist?

Contact our Miami office today!

Talk to A Periodontist

It’s important to make an appointment with a trusted periodontist Miami, FL if you are dealing with any symptoms of gum disease or have been referred by your dentist. Delaying treatment can cause you to lose teeth and need more expensive treatments later on.

Dr. John Paul Gallardo is a renowned, award-winning periodontist in the Miami area with over 25 years of experience. He offers advanced, cutting-edge treatments and specializes in dental implants. To schedule an appointment, call 305-447-1447 today.