When it comes to taking care of your oral health, choosing the right dental care provider is crucial. While both general dentists and periodontists play essential roles in maintaining your overall dental wellness, it’s important to understand the key differences between the two specialties.
In this blog post, we will outline the distinctions between general dentists and periodontists and guide you in determining which professional is best suited to address your specific dental needs.
General Dentists: Masters of Routine Dental Care
A general dentist is a primary dental care provider responsible for diagnosing, treating, and managing oral healthcare needs. They can treat patients of all ages, including children as young as one year old.
Here are some of the most common services provided by general dentists:
1. Dental checkups and cleanings: Regular dental examinations every six months help maintain good oral health by detecting any issues early on.
2. Tooth fillings and restorations: General dentists treat cavities and restore damaged teeth using a variety of materials.
3. Dental crowns and bridges: These restorative solutions are used to replace missing teeth or protect damaged teeth from further harm.
4. Tooth extractions: General dentists perform simple and surgical tooth extractions in cases where a tooth is too damaged to save.
5. Cosmetic dentistry: General dentists can improve the appearance of your smile through teeth whitening, dental veneers, bonding, and more.
Periodontists: Gum Disease and Implant Specialists
A periodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating periodontal disease (gum disease) and placing dental implants. After receiving their dental degree, they have completed an additional three years of specialized training in periodontics. Periodontists are often called upon to treat more complex periodontal cases that may not respond to regular dental hygiene or require advanced treatment options.
Here are some services provided by periodontists:
1. Scaling and root planing: This is a deep cleaning procedure used to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from below the gum line and to smooth the root surfaces, allowing the gums to reattach properly.
2. Gum grafting: Periodontists can perform gum graft surgery to cover exposed tooth roots, prevent further gum recession and improve the appearance of the gumline.
3. Bone grafting and regeneration: Periodontists can use various techniques to regenerate lost bone and gum tissue, providing a stable foundation for dental implants.
4. Dental implant placement: Periodontists are experts in the placement and maintenance of dental implants, providing patients with a permanent solution for missing teeth.
5. Gingivectomy and periodontal surgery: These procedures treat advanced gum disease or reshape the gumline for cosmetic purposes.
Choosing the Right Dental Care Provider
So, how do you decide which dental professional best addresses your needs? In most cases, your general dentist will be your go-to provider for routine dental care, such as cleanings, fillings, and basic dental health maintenance. If you suffer from gum disease, experience gum recession or bone loss, or require dental implants, it is best to visit a periodontist. Your general dentist may also refer you to a periodontist if they encounter a complex periodontal issue during a routine examination.
Dental Implants Highlands Ranch
At Highlands Ranch Periodontics and Dental Implants, we offer a full range of periodontal and implant services for our patients in Highlands Ranch and surrounding areas. Our experienced periodontist, Dr. Mike Norouzinia, is an expert in all aspects of periodontal care and provides the highest quality treatment options available.
From scaling and root planing to advanced gum grafting procedures, we can ensure your smile stays healthy, attractive, and problem-free. To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation, call (303) 683-1144 or complete the online booking form.