Know the Differences between an Oral Surgeon and a Periodontist

If upon consultation and diagnosis, your dentist recommends a surgical procedure to treat your gum and/or teeth problems, he will refer you to an oral surgeon. The latter has formal training to perform oral surgery in addition to general dentistry services like routine dental checkups, treatment of cavities, x-rays, perform root canals, and install artificial bridges and crowns.

Oral surgeons can also be dental implants dentists as long as his clinic has the staff and equipment that will enable performance of proper dental implant procedures.

Other oral health problems that prompt a general dentist to refer a patient to an oral surgeon include:

  • Removal of impacted teeth;
  • Implant alignment
  • Complex tooth extractions and those that involve working on the bone; and
  • Oral cancer treatments like tumor removal

However, if your dentist sees your dental problem as requiring a more advanced type of oral surgery and dental treatment, he will recommend you to a periodontist.

What Does a Periodontist Do?

A periodontist specializes in advanced surgical training in implant dentistry and treatment of other oral health issues, usually using a less invasive surgical procedure.

A periodontist treats dental patients who need a sinus lift procedure, or a bone graft as preliminary procedures before implant placements. Periodontists are trained to do extensive surgical procedures in addition to all general dentistry services.

A general dentist usually has good professional relationships with oral surgeons and periodontists. This is important because a patient must have confidence in the oral surgeon or periodontist who will perform the oral surgery.

What to Consider When Consulting with a Periodontist for the First Time?

Prior to scheduling your first visit, make sure that you have looked at the clinic and its facilities. That way, you know beforehand that it meets the required conditions and features of an advanced provider of dental health care. Consider checking the following before finalizing plans of receiving some form of specialized dental treatment from a referred dental care provider:

1. Ascertain the training and qualifications of the periodontist and as much as possible obtain feedback from other patients.

2. Also, as much as possible, opt for a dental office or clinic that is near your location.

3. Take note if the staff members are competent, courteous and trained to provide optimal care to different types of patients.

4. Find out what the clinic offers as dental care amenities such as scented towels, warm blankets, pillows, and similar treatments that will make you comfortable. Some other clinics offer premium amenities like wifi, TV and games to make children feel at home.

5. Know the rates and prices of the health care services, the accredited insurance providers, and financing options availàble for discussion. It’s important to know at the onset if the clinic’s services are affordable, as far as your finances are concerned.