During a routine dental visit, you probably expect to spend most of your time with a dentist. They are the resident tooth experts after all, but other people are constantly popping in to work on your mouth as well. Dental assistants and hygienists are easy enough to understand – doctors have nurses to help them, right? – but why do you need to see a periodontist and what does that have to do with your teeth?
A lot, actually.
Both dentists and periodontists hold the keys to a healthy mouth. Here’s why!
What is the difference between a dentist and a periodontist?
A general dentist specializes in overall oral care, helping you maintain the health of your teeth through regular examinations, cleanings, and oral hygiene advice. They diagnose and treat decaying or injured teeth and perform a variety of non-surgical periodontal (gum) care such as treating mild gum disease through routine cleanings. Dentists can also help improve the aesthetic appearance of your smile with a variety of cosmetic procedures.
Go to a dentist if you need a:
•Crown or bridge
A periodontist , on the other hand, is a dentist who has gone through additional training specific to the gum, bone, and connective tissues that surround and support your teeth. They diagnose and treat gum disease and perform a wide variety of gum-specific surgical and non-surgical procedures.
Go to a periodontist if you need:
•Deep pocket cleanings
•Soft tissue removal
•Hard tissue recontouring
Working together for the common good
Dentists and periodontists often work in the same clinic, which allows them to collaborate on the treatment of patients. While the dentist focuses on the health and appearance of your teeth and any minor gum concerns, they may not be able to fully address major gum problems. If the dentist notices that your teeth are loose or your gums are tender, bleeding, or swollen, they may defer to the expertise of a periodontist since these symptoms may indicate gum disease (periodontitis). The periodontist will use a variety of methods to determine the extent of your condition and recommend treatments or surgical procedures to address the problem. By working together, dentists and periodontists can maximize the health of your teeth AND gums, which will help you maintain a beautiful smile for many years to come.
Taking care of your teeth means taking care of your gums as well, so you need a full-service dental clinic that encourages collaboration between dentists and periodontists. At Zen Dental Center, our professional staff uses state-of-the-art technology to ensure that you receive the absolute best dental care. If you are interested in safe, gentle, and effective dental services in a comfortable and welcoming setting, then schedule an appointment with our team today!
Get the best tooth and gum care by calling (206) 324-1100!