Periodontist Versus Dentist: There is a Difference!

Your periodontist is a fully trained and licensed dentist, just like a cardiologist is a fully trained and licensed internal medicine physician first. While referrals aren’t necessary, your regular dentist may send you to a periodontist for more in-depth oral health assessments and treatment.

Your dentist knows that a periodontist has undergone years of more advanced study in tooth restorations and specialized gum treatments to save failing teeth, restore gum health and, if needed, replace failing or missing teeth. All of our doctors are board certified by the American Board of Periodontology, which is the highest level of achievement in the field.

Periodontal procedures may include:

  • Deep “pocket” cleaning to reverse gum disease
  • Bone grafts and hard tissue recontouring
  • Root planing and scaling
  • Laser treatments to address gum disease and/or peri-implantitis
  • Soft tissue recontouring for gum recession
  • “Gummy smile” corrections
  • Dental implant placement for single teeth or full mouth permanent tooth replacement
  • Tooth extraction needed for dental implants
  • Crown lengthening
  • Some orthodontic tooth movement acceleration

Periodontists are Gum Disease Experts

Also known periodontitis when it’s most severe, gum disease can act as a silent disease. When treated in its earliest stages (gingivitis), we can minimize damage and help decrease the need for more invasive surgery in the future. If left untreated, gum disease will not get better on its own and becomes periodontitis. You could lose teeth and the ability to chew, speak and smile naturally. And remember, gum disease is also linked to other serious systemic conditions like heart disease, certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease,  birth complications and more.

When Should You See a Periodontist?

With early diagnosis, appropriate treatments, improved at-home oral hygiene and regular periodontal hygiene visits, we can help reverse gum disease and hopefully save your teeth.

While no visible signs may be present, the following symptoms are normally red flags indicating that you should see a periodontist sooner rather than later:

  • Receding gums/gums that look like they’re pulling away from your teeth
  • Longer-looking teeth
  • Bleeding when you eat or brush
  • Continued bad breath even with rigorous at-home oral hygiene
  • Loose or missing teeth

If you suspect you may have gum disease, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with one of our expert, board-certified periodontists at the South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. We hold ourselves to the highest standards not only when it comes to optimal periodontal and dental implant care but also in terms of ensuring you have a comfortable, stress-free experience with us.

Your regular dentist should be your first stop in overall dental care from childhood onward. You should rely on your dentist for routine checkups every six months, normal teeth cleaning, the filling of cavities, root canal (or your endodontist), crown restorations and teeth whitening or other purely cosmetic procedures.

Interested in learning more about periodontists? Here’s what the American Academy of Periodontology has to say about our specialty and call us with any questions or to schedule a consultation!