A periodontist is a specialist who receives two to three years of post-graduate training in the area of gums, gum disease, soft tissue, and bone disease. In many cases, when patients suffer from oral health issues relating to the gums or tooth loss, they may be referred to a periodontist for a more specialized treatment plan. Understanding when to visit a periodontist vs. dentist can help you make a more effective decision about your oral care.
Drs. Nicholas D. Shumaker, Leslie J. Paris, and Jessica S. Allen are board-certified periodontists serving the Greeley and Fort Collins, CO, areas. At Northern Colorado Periodontics, we specialize in periodontal care and dental implant treatment to provide state-of-the-art care for all our patients.
The Difference between a Dentist and a Periodontist
Dentists are general practitioners for oral health. They provide treatments to maintain the overall health of your smile, including cleanings, simple extractions, and routine examinations. In most cases, they can also provide cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening. However, for more complex cases, your dentist may recommend you to a specialist. In the case of gum problems, they will likely refer you to a periodontist.
Periodontists specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease, as well as the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants. They receive extensive training beyond the level necessary for general dentistry, including at least three years of additional education beyond dental school, allowing them to provide treatment for all the supporting structures of your smile.