A periodontist is a specialist who receives three years of additional post-graduate training beyond dental school in the area of gums, gum disease, dental implants and related disease, soft tissue and bone pathology, and other bone diseases. In many cases, when patients suffer from oral health issues relating to the gums, jaw bone, 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 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.
When to See a Periodontist
Due to their advanced training, periodontists are uniquely qualified to provide certain services, such as:
- Preventive periodontal care
- Surgical and non-surgical gum disease treatment
- Treatment for gum recession
- Cosmetic periodontal procedures
- Bone grafting for implants
While certain general dentists can perform some of these procedures, a periodontist has a deeper understanding of treating the supporting structures of your teeth. Furthermore, a number of studies have shown a connection between periodontal disease and other chronic health issues, such as heart disease and cancer. Visiting a periodontal specialist can protect both your oral and overall health.
Why Choose Us?
In addition to his advanced training in periodontics, Dr. Shumaker is one of the few Diplomats of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists in the state. He holds an advanced certification in general dentistry and is board-certified by the American Board of Periodontology. Dr. Allen are a Diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology, as well. Our team can perform all aspects of periodontal care and dental implant treatment for comprehensive care under one roof.
Visit a Specialist
At Northern Colorado Periodontics, we accept patients by both dentist referral and individual request. Whether you need to replace a tooth with a dental implant or restore the health of your gums, our team of periodontists and hygienists can help. We are dedicated to providing a positive impact on the quality of our patients’ lives through dental care. For more information about the services we offer or to make an appointment, contact us online or call our office in Fort Collins at (970) 207-4061 or in Greeley at (970) 351-6166 today.
A Letter From the Doctors
Ask the Experts
Dr. Shumaker and Dr. Allen were recently interviewed by NOCO Style magazine where they shared information about the practice, their innovation in the field, and more. Click the PDF below to read the full article.