Periodontist vs Dentist: A Complete Guide

People of all ages are realizing the importance of dental care and scheduling visits to the dentist. Yearly dental check-ups keep your mouth healthy and prevent bacteria from spreading to your body. But sometimes you experience dental pain and you need a professional, like a periodontist. 

What is a periodontist and why would you need to see one? And, how is visiting a dentist different from seeing a periodontist?

If you’re suffering from tooth pain or other strange oral health symptoms, you might want to see a periodontist. Keep reading more about a periodontist vs dentist to find out more. 

Periodontist Vs Dentist

Both a periodontist and a dentist are both dentists, but a periodontist is a special type of dentist. General dentists clean teeth, perform exams, take x-rays, and may offer other services. 

A periodontist is a type of dentist that specializes in ridding the mouth of gum diseases like gingivitis. They also diagnose other mouth conditions that inflict the bone and jaw. A periodontist deals strictly with your gums and jawbone to restore them back to health if possible. 

To obtain this type of certification, a dentist must finish dental school and study for another 2 to 3 years. During their continuing education, they learn about different types of gum disease, treatments, and how to make a diagnosis. 

Seeing A Periodontist

There are many reasons you’ll want to see a periodontist over a general dentist. But what are those reasons? Here are some ways you can know if you need to make an appointment with a periodontist.

Tender of Bleeding Gums

When you brush or floss your teeth, do you notice that your gums bleed or are tender to the touch? This is a sure sign that something is wrong with your gums. It could be the onset of gum disease, so schedule a visit to your periodontist to have your gums checked out. 

Bad Breath

Bad breath that lingers and doesn’t get better with brushing or regular flossing means bacteria is stuck in between your teeth. The more bacteria that remain after brushing, the higher the chances of gum disease. 

Loose Teeth

Think of your gums as the glue that holds your teeth in place. When your gums weaken due to disease, your teeth become loose, and you may notice your gums receding or pulling away from your teeth. To avoid losing them altogether, reach out to your periodontist. 


Enamel is a substance that coats the surface of your teeth and protects them from decay. However, with age, poor diet, and poor oral hygiene, your enamel quickly wears away and your teeth become more sensitive to hot and cold substances. Without your enamel, your teeth are more susceptible to decay.

You may have other symptoms that concern you about your gums. Remember, the health of your body depends on the health of your gums and teeth. When you have fewer bacteria in and on your teeth, there’s a small risk of it entering your bloodstream and causing more health problems.

What do Periodontists Do?

Keeping teeth free from disease and decay is the goal of periodontists, but how do they do it? What types of services or treatments do they provide to restore your mouth and eliminate gum disease? Here are some services periodontists offer to keep your mouth healthy and strong.

Deep Cleaning

If you have a lot of plaque build-up on your teeth, your periodontist may do scaling and root planting. This type of procedure eliminates plaque build-up through scaling and encourages the gums to reattach to the teeth. 

You may need more than one visit to the dentist to remove all the plaque from your teeth. If you’re diligent about brushing, flossing, and check-ups, this procedure may save you from more advanced forms of gum disease. 

Laser Gum Therapy

Dental treatment technology consistently advances to give the patient a less painful experience and better results. Laser gum therapy uses laser technology to kill bacteria and promotes healthy gum tissue. Talk to your periodontist today about laser gum therapy and if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. 

Dental Implants

Dental implants replace missing teeth due to illnesses like gum disease. These implants look like real teeth and are permanently inserted into your jawbone. You care for them just as you would your regular teeth. 

Most periodontists offer dental implants as a service for patients who want to restore their mouth and replace lost teeth. Periodontists are experts in the jaw bone, so they understand how to work with patients experiencing jaw issues. 

Tooth Extractions

Sometimes a tooth is completely beyond restoring due to decay that it needs extraction. The point of extracting the tooth is to halt any infections from spreading and relieve the pain the tooth causes. 

Periodontal Surgery

In severe and advanced cases of periodontal disease, your periodontist may suggest surgery. Because periodontal disease is irreversible, the only solution to save your teeth and restore functionality and appearance is periodontal surgery. Only your periodontist can recommend if surgery is necessary. 

Oral Health Education

Besides treating various forms of gum disease, periodontists equally care about prevention. Your periodontist may speak with you about ways to clean and care for your teeth so you can avoid more advanced forms of periodontal diseases. Forming a healthy oral health routine is the key to warding off gum disease so you can keep your smile healthy and strong. 

Find A Periodontist Near Me

When it comes to a periodontist vs dentist, you need to see a dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings, while a periodontist treats gum disease. If you think you have any symptoms of gum disease, see a periodontist today and be on your way towards stronger teeth and gums. 

Do you need to see a periodontist? Our team of periodontists can help you restore the look and feel of your teeth. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

Please fill out the form below to request an appointment or call us at 781-812-0740.

    Get your free LANAP® treatment guide:



      Phone (optional)

      Your privacy matters! We don't share your information with anyone.

      Get your free LANAP® treatment guide:



        Phone (optional)

        Your privacy matters! We don't share your information with anyone.

        Here you go! Just click the download link below to download your free LANAP® Information Pack.

        Download your free LANAP® Information Pack