Most people know what dentists do, but they might not know about all the different kinds of dentists. Just like medical doctors can specialize in treating different parts of the body, like the heart, liver, or lungs, dentists can specialize in a specific area of mouth or type of treatment.
What is a General Dentist?
A general dentist must have a doctor of dental medicine (DMD) or a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) degree. Usually, they need their Bachelor’s degree, plus an additional four years of dental school.
Dentists wear many hats and manage their patient’s oral health by offering many procedures, such as Dental examinations, dental fillings, crowns, bridges, extractions, tooth whitening, dentures, etc. More specialized care is done by a dentist who has advanced training in a specific area of dentistry.
What is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a dental specialist who completed 3 additional years of training and studying the treatment of the gums and jaw. They take on complicated cases that involve gum disease, dental implants, and oral inflammation.
For example, if someone has advanced gum disease or needs a dental implant, the general dentist will refer them to a periodontist. While a general dentist may be able to offer some of these procedures, they will usually refer their patients to a periodontist when they need more specialized care.
Dentists vs. Periodontists
Both general dentists and periodontists have the same foundation of education. They both receive a DDS or DMD degree, and they also appear before the American Dental Association (ADA) for board certification. These professionals can treat a variety of oral conditions and prescribe treatment accordingly.
The main difference between a general dentist and a periodontist is that general dentists see patients with all types of oral health care needs. Periodontists provide specialized treatment that focuses only on the gums and jaw.
General dentists also provide care for their patient’s gums and are typically able to manage gum disease treatment successfully. But they refer severe cases to a periodontist to ensure that the patient receives the customized and specialized care they need.
When to see a periodontist
- Swelling or bleeding in the gums
- Pain in the gums
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Tooth loss
- Referred by a dentist
To learn about gum disease click here.
Talk to a periodontist in South Gate, CA
You should see a periodontist if you are experiencing any gum disease symptoms or have been referred by your general dentist. Delaying treatment can lead to losing teeth and more expensive treatments down the line!
Reza Dental Care is here to help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. No matter what type of treatment you need, our team will work with you to keep those pearly whites healthy and shining.