What’s The Difference Between a Dentist and a Periodontist?

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What’s The Difference Between a Dentist and a Periodontist?

Periodontist in Jenkintown

Navigating the world of oral healthcare can sometimes be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding the roles of various specialists. The office of Dr. Barry Levin is here to help you learn the difference between two vital professionals in this field: the dentist and the periodontist.

Understanding the Role of a Dentist

A dentist is a general practitioner in the field of dentistry. After acquiring a bachelor’s degree, they attend dental school for four years to gain extensive knowledge and training in oral healthcare.

General Dentistry Services

Dentists are usually the first line of defense in maintaining oral health. They perform regular check-ups, cleanings, and take X-rays to monitor your teeth and gums’ health. They also fill cavities, perform extractions, and can do cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening and veneers. When complex issues arise, a dentist may refer patients to a specialist like a periodontist.

Defining a Periodontist

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, and in the placement of dental implants.

Periodontal Education and Training

After completing dental school, periodontists receive an additional three years of education and clinical training in their specialty. This training focuses on diseases that affect the gums and other structures supporting the teeth.

Periodontal Services

Periodontists are experts in treating more complex periodontal cases, such as patients with severe gum disease or a complex medical history. They offer a range of treatments, such as scaling and root planing or root surface debridement. They can also treat patients with severe gum problems using surgical procedures or perform dental implant procedures.

When to See a Periodontist

While regular visits to a dentist are crucial for maintaining oral health, there are situations when a periodontist’s expertise becomes necessary. If you have symptoms such as swollen or bleeding gums, loose teeth, receding gums, or you’ve been diagnosed with periodontitis, a visit to a periodontist would be beneficial.

Working Together For Your Oral Health

Both dentists and periodontists play essential roles in helping maintain your oral health. They often work in collaboration to ensure you receive the best possible care. While your dentist takes care of general oral health and can treat mild forms of gum disease, a periodontist is needed for more advanced forms of the disease or complex implant cases.

Contact Our Periodontist in Jenkintown Today!

Your oral health is an integral part of your overall well-being. Understanding the role of dental professionals like dentists and periodontists is key to ensuring you receive the right care when you need it. If you’re experiencing any issues with your gums or require an implant, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Barry Levin, our periodontist in Jenkintown, today!