Surprising Difference between Dentists and Periodontists? Best Guide

difference between dentists and periodontists

Although most of the peoples do not know the difference between dentists and Periodontists that’s why Dentist and Periodontist are commonly considered as similar there is a difference in between dentist and Periodontist. Most of the persons however do not know about this as many of the problems of periodontists are treatable for a dentist. 

Simply we can say that the dentist treats the problems and diseases related to the teeth, gums and other areas of the mouth while the periodontist only treats the problems and disorders related to gums and bones which support the teeth.

General Dentist:

General dentist is similar to MBBS or MD means he/she is not a specialist in any special part of the mouth.  A general dentist can treat most of the problems related to teeth and supporting structures of teeth and some mouth problems. In most of the cases General dentist is required while in a few cases requires specialist of that part.

General dentists provide a routine treatment that includes X-rays, tooth extraction, and other common dental problems such as nerve damage, fractures, discoloration of the teeth, cavities, calculus bridge removal, etc.

In most of the problems General dentists are required they not only treat common dental problems as well as oral health problems. Consulting a General dentist is really important for maintaining great oral health and also maintaining hygienicity of the mouth and teeth.

Common responsibilities of a General Dentist includes:

  • Promoting person’s health wit different methods for proper oral care
  • Performing X-rays or other techniques for diagnostic purposes.
  • Extraction of teeth when teeth is non treatable.
  • Administration of anesthetics to alleviate pain in affected areas of the oral cavities.

Here one must know the basic concept of Periodontology, which makes it easier to remember the difference.

Periodontology commonly known as Periodontics is the branch of dentistry which deals with the study of supporting structures of teeth as well as diseases related to the supporting structure.


So simply we can say that Periodontists are just like dentists but they can treat only supporting structures of teeth while dentists not only treat supporting structures as well as teeth and mouth problems as well.

A common question is asked that “can periodontist do general dentistry”. Of-course Yes. Periodontist is a dentist with additional qualification as well.

Regular visiting to the periodontist can help a person to avoid serious health problems. The periodontist commonly asked for treating severe and complex cases related to supporting structures as it completely relates to his field while general dentists face difficulty to treat these problems.

In both specializations dental graduation is necessary from any dental colleges or medical and dental universities while the Periodontist requires additional 3 years for specialization. 

For Example:

Just like a Doctor, When he/she has completed the MBBS/MD. He became a doctor after completing FRCS. So Dentist is like MBBS/MD when any dentist completes its studies and also completes additional 3 year course for Periodontology He becomes Periodontogist.

When it talk about the periodontist vs dentist salary, The Salary of Periodontist is much more then General dentist as Periodontist requires specialization and has higher qualifications then dentist.

Commonly Periodontists treat Cases such as

  • Tissue removal i.e soft Tissues
  • Recontouring Hard Tissues
  • Cleaning Deep Pocket
  • Grafting in Bone

Common Responsibilities of periodontist includes:

  • Interpreting various examinations of tooth and imaging it
  • Removal of gingivitis agents along the gum lines and teeth
  • Administration of numbing agent at required areas
  • Pulling of irreparable teeth
  • Performing grafting of tissues and bones.

While Dentist commonly treats minor cases of Periodontists as well as other cases of teeth and mouth such as 

  • General Cleaning of Teeth
  • Extractions of teeth
  • Non-surgical cases of Periodontal cares

One may confuse Periodontist with implantologist, so one must differentiate periodontist with implantologist. Implantology deals with the techniques for dental implants. An Implantologist is trained to implant surgeries, prosthetic rehabilitation etc. There are a few techniques which an implantologist performs that are also performed by the Periodontist but not all the techniques of implantologists can be performed by the Periodontists. Simply, we can say an implantologist performs the work of dental implants. One must remember the implantologist requires Diploma (DICOI stands for Diplomate of International Congress of Oral Implantologists) of 1 to 2 years while the Periodontists requires 3 years for specialization.

What does a Periodontal dentist do?

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in preventing treating and diagnosis of periodontal disease i.e disease related to the supporting tissues of the teeth such as gums. They use different methods and latest techniques for diagnosing and treatment of periodontal diseases such as gingivitis and perform different procedures for the treatment of different periodontal disease.  Remember that Periodontal is also considered as a specialist in oral inflammatory diseases.

What type of procedures does a periodontist perform?

Periodontists treat a wide range of gums and supporting structures problems and different procedures includes scaling and root planing (i.e the cleaning of infected root surfaces) , debridement of root surface (i.e the removal of damaged tissues) and regenerative procedures as well.

Should I see a dentist or Periodontist?

Not all the time you need a periodontist. Some of the experienced dentists can manage and treat mild periodontal problems and diseases but if cases are severe and complex periodontists are necessary. In most of the cases dentist refers person to periodontist. Research suggests that Periodontitis have a high amount of cases at older age i.e aged person has higher risk of Periodontitis i.e case of Periodontist. In some instances, genetic disorders are found in these cases one must visit a Periodontist clinic. When you have the following signs you should look for Periodontist:

 When you noticed a change in your bite:

If our teeth feel different while talking, chewing or biting or brushing you should see a Periodontist. In long term problems of these cases one must visit a Periodontist while in less severe cases you can visit a general Dentist clinic.

 When You have Redness, Swelling or Bleeding from Gums.

These are the obvious signs as discussed earlier periodontists are considered as experts in inflammatory problems. 

Loosening of Teeth:

When losing teeth due to gum problems it is an obvious sign for a Periodontist. One should look for a periodontist and it is one of the signs of Periodontitis. In these cases periodontists are necessary.

When Your have Pain and Discomfort:

Oral pain can occur due to various reasons such as gingivitis. In most cases a general dentist is enough to treat disorders and diseases. While a few cases require a Periodontist, Normally general dentist refers to the periodontist in these cases.

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