Over time, the world of dentistry has expanded significantly, offering more specialized services and treatment options to patients. Among these specialties is periodontics, a field that is often misunderstood or even unknown to many. But what exactly is periodontics and how does it relate to general dentistry?

Understanding The Role of a Dentist

A dentist is typically the primary dental care provider for patients of all ages. They are responsible for ensuring overall oral health. This includes not just the teeth, but also the gums, tongue, and other areas of the mouth.

Dentists perform a wide range of procedures, from basic teeth cleanings and fillings to more complex procedures like root canals and tooth extractions. They also play a crucial role in the early detection of oral health issues. Regular visits to the dentist allow for the early diagnosis of problems such as cavities and gum disease, which can then be treated before they become more serious.

Exploring The Specialization of a Periodontist

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. Periodontists receive additional years of training beyond dental school, focusing specifically on the gums and bone supporting the teeth. This enables them to handle complex periodontal cases, such as severe gum disease or patients with a complex medical history. They are also trained in the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are familiar with the latest research in the field.

Periodontists are experts in the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants. Dental implants are a popular and effective long-term solution for people who suffer from missing teeth, failing teeth, or chronic dental problems. They can provide a strong, stable base for replacement teeth, which look, feel, and function like natural teeth.

When to See a Dentist and When to See a Periodontist

Knowing the difference between a dentist and a periodontist is important when it comes to deciding who to see for your dental health needs. For regular checkups, cleanings, and common dental procedures like fillings, crowns, and even root canals, a general dentist will typically suffice.

However, if you're experiencing symptoms of gum disease – such as swollen, red, or bleeding gums; persistent bad breath; loose teeth; or a change in your bite – it's advisable to see a periodontist. They have the specialized training and expertise to effectively diagnose and treat periodontal disease.

If you're considering dental implants, a periodontist is also the best choice. Their additional training in this area means they are highly skilled in the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants, leading to better results in these procedures.


A periodontist plays a unique and crucial role in dental health. While dentists provide a wide range of oral health care services, periodontists specialize in the treatment of gum disease and the placement of dental implants. Their additional training and expertise make them the go-to professionals for these specific dental issues.

For more information on periodontics, visit Implant Dentistry Periodontics & Facial Rejuvenation at our office in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Please call 813-973-7770 to schedule an appointment today.