Periodontist vs Dentist: What's the Difference?
Almost 50% of adults in the United States have gum disease. So, you have roughly a 1-in-2 chance of suffering from symptoms of gum disease. You should probably talk about this with your dentist...right?
In fact, there are multiple oral health specialists that are experts in niche fields that you should know about.
Keep reading to find out the difference between a periodontist vs dentist and who you need to see.
What is a Periodontist?
Periodontists work within a specialized area of dentistry. That is that they are experts in a niche when it comes to teeth. This niche is the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease as well as the placement of dental implants.
They offer periodontal services, which is a focus on the structures surrounding and supporting the teeth.
To become a periodontist, one of the 10 specialized areas of dentistry, a dentist needs to undergo further training.
So, what is periodontal disease? Otherwise known as gum disease, periodontitis is an infection that affects the soft tissue and can lead to severe damage of the bone that supports the teeth. If left untreated the teeth will become loose and may fall out.
A periodontist specializes in diagnosing and treating gum disease as well as performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.
Dentist vs Periodontist
Dentists are doctors that specialize in oral health. Among other services, dentists may diagnose oral diseases, monitor the growth and development of teeth and jaw, and perform surgical procedures on teeth, bone, and soft tissues in the mouth.
While dentists do offer some gum services, they don't have the education and expertise to treat or manage periodontal cases.
Should I See a Dentist or Periodontist?
It's important to know which specialist or doctor you require for your oral health or oral issues.
You may have mild periodontal needs which your dentist will identify. You need to discuss with your dentists whether they are capable and qualified to treat your concerns. In most severe cases your dentist will refer you to a periodontist.
If you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms you should seek the expertise of a periodontist:
- Change of bite
- Loose teeth
- Receding Gums
- Red, inflamed, and tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Gums that pull away from the teeth
- Teeth looking longer than before
Additionally, you should seek out the services of a periodontist such as Dr. Suzanne Caudry if you require dental implants.
For all other oral concerns make an appointment with your family dentist. These include but are not limited to:
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Repair a filling
If you're unsure of which doctor to see, speak to your dentist who will recommend a periodontist if you require one.
Choosing a Periodontist vs Dentist to Keep Oral Health in Check
Now that you understand the difference between a periodontist vs dentist you'll know who to call when you have oral health issues. Remember, periodontists specialize in all things related to your gums but dentists will refer you to an expert if needed.
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