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Periodontists

Boy showing dentist his tooth in dental chair

Have questions about what makes a periodontist different from your general dentist? Our dentists took some time to share information and answer common patient questions to help educate about what periodontists do and how they protect your oral health. View the table of contents below to learn more or find your question and get an answer from one of our dentists!

Dr. Mike DesRosiers

 

 

The following content was provided by Dr. Michael DesRosiers, LVIF Certified General Dentist, and has been medically reviewed for accuracy. Some relevant links have been added to audio transcripts to provide resources for additional information.

 

What does a periodontist do?

Answer provided by Dr. Michael DesRosiers. Transcript included below.

Dr. Michael DesRosiers:
So a periodontist is a specialist that limits their practice to the soft tissues in the bone, in the mouth. So they don’t really deal with the teeth per se, as most general dentists do. They’re knowledgeable about them. They’ve all gone to dental school, of course, but their main focus is the supporting hard and soft tissues. So the bone, the jaw bone in your mouth, and the supporting soft tissues. So the gum tissue, the periodontal tissues and things like that. So they deal with maintaining and keeping the support system of the teeth healthy, as well as deal with any issues of cancer lesions, things like that. They they’ll do biopsies, they’ll deal with those kinds of things for patients.

When do I need to see a periodontist?

Answer provided by Dr. Michael DesRosiers. Transcript included below.

 

Dr. Michael DesRosiers:
So what I typically recommend is, if you have an issue with the soft tissue, if you have a growth or a soreness or a tooth that feels loose, mention it to your general dentist and they will direct you. If that’s something that you need to do, they’ll refer you to the periodontist and give the periodontist the information they need to get started.

What is the main difference between a periodontist and my normal dentist?

Answer provided by Dr. Michael DesRosiers. Transcript included below.

Dr. Michael DesRosiers:
So the main difference between the periodontist and the general dentist is, as I said before, they both have gone to dental school. So they’re both knowledgeable about dental issues. The periodontist really doesn’t focus quite as much on the teeth and curing problems with the teeth, like broken teeth or cavities or cracked teeth, or even cosmetic issues with the teeth per se. They really deal more with the supporting tissues, the soft gum tissues and the bony tissues in your mouth. So they deal more with the support system and the other tissues other than the teeth inside your mouth.

What’s the difference between a periodontist and an endodontist?

Answer provided by Dr. Michael DesRosiers. Transcript included below.

 
Dr. Michael DesRosiers:
So the endodontist deals largely with the teeth, but they deal with problems inside of the tooth. So their really focus is to deal with the nerve tissues and the pulpal tissues within the tooth. So they don’t fill cavities and things like that largely. If you have an infection within your tooth, they’ll access that, do things like root canals. They do do some surgical procedures as well, when indicated. So if there’s a root canal that’s failing, they will do open surgery to deal with that specific problem. But they’re really two different focuses. So where the periodontist will deal with the gums and the bone, the endodontist is really more focused on dealing with problems within a certain tooth that typically would be causing pain in that tooth.