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999 Walt Whitman Road Suite 303
Melville, NY 11747
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999 Walt Whitman Road Suite 303
Melville, NY 11747

What Is The Difference Between A Dentist And A Periodontist?

August 28, 2023
What Is The Difference Between A Dentist And A Periodontist?

Have you ever been referred to a periodontist by your dentist? While both dentists and periodontists specialize in oral care, significant differences between these two dental professionals exist. Read on and learn more about the differences between a dentist and a periodontist.


General Dentistry vs. Periodontics

When you have a concern with your teeth, you typically visit a general dentist. They provide preventative and restorative care to patients, like cleanings and fillings. On the other hand, periodontists specialize in a more advanced level of care. A periodontist is a dental professional with additional training in diagnosing and treating diseases affecting gum tissue, such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. This specialization allows them to provide more advanced care for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal conditions. Periodontists often provide support and guidance to general dentists when treating complex cases involving the gums.


What Do Dentists Do?

Dentists play an essential role in maintaining the oral health of their patients. From preventative care to restorative work, dentists are responsible for diagnosing, treating, and preventing a wide range of dental concerns. Generally speaking, a dentist’s duties include: 

  • Examining teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues to detect signs of decay or other problems
  • Performing fillings, root canals, and extractions
  • Preventive care, such as regular cleanings, oral screenings, and X-rays
  • Applying sealants to prevent cavities
  • Applying fluoride treatments to help strengthen tooth enamel
  • Fit dentures, bridgework, or other prosthetic devices
  • Diagnosing and treating oral diseases 
  • Educating patients on oral hygiene and the importance of regular check-ups 
  • Discussing treatment options with patients 
  • Referring patients to specialists as needed


What Do Periodontists Do?

Periodontists specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases affecting the gums, teeth, and jawbone. They have advanced training in gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. Specifically, periodontists provide the following services: 

  • Diagnosing and treating gum disease, including periodontitis
  • Dental implants and implant placement
  • Scaling and root planing (cleaning below the gum line) 
  • Regenerative procedures for soft tissue and bone
  • Surgery for gum recession 
  • Grafts for lost tissue around teeth 
  • Cosmetic periodontal procedures, such as crown lengthening 
  • Soft tissue augmentation increasing the thickness of thin gum tissue 
  • Bone grafts to repair damaged bones around the teeth


When Do You Need a Periodontist?

 If you have any issues or concerns with your gums or jawbone, you may need a periodontist's help. Here are some signs you need a periodontist:

  • You have bleeding or receding gums
  • You show signs of gum disease, such as swelling, redness, or tenderness
  • You have a severe case of tooth decay or a deep cavity.
  • You have loose teeth
  • You suffer from chronic bad breath
  • Your dentist recommended you see a periodontist for further treatment


Periodontists in New York and New Jersey

If you need periodontal care in New York and New Jersey, contact the skilled and compassionate periodontists of Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry. From preventive care and gum disease treatment to full mouth reconstruction, we offer comprehensive services for all periodontal needs. Contact us today and schedule an appointment or request an appointment online


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Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry
999 Walt Whitman Road Suite 303
Melville, NY 11747
Monday | 10am - 6pm
Tuesday | 9am - 5pm
Wednesday | Closed
Thursday | 9am - 5pm
Friday | 8am - 2pm
Saturday | Closed
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Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry
999 Walt Whitman Road Suite 303 Melville, NY 11747
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