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  • Writer's pictureLeande Kotze

The Role of a Periodontist

How do They Differ from Dentists & Their Specialty in Dental Implants, Bone Augmentation, and Treatment of Periodontal Diseases

When it comes to oral health, most people are familiar with dentists and their role in maintaining a healthy mouth. However, there's another dental professional that plays a crucial part in preserving our oral health - a periodontist. These specialists focus on dental implants, bone augmentation, and the treatment of periodontal diseases. In this blog post, we'll delve into what a periodontist does and how they differ from a dentist, highlighting their unique expertise.

What is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dental professional who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal diseases, which affect the gums, bone, and supporting structures of the teeth. Periodontists have undergone additional years of training beyond dental school to focus on the complexities of periodontal health and related procedures. Their in-depth knowledge allows them to perform advanced treatments like dental implants, bone augmentation, and management of complex periodontal cases.

Dental Implants: Expertise of a Periodontist

One significant area of expertise for periodontists is dental implants, which are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed into the jawbone to replace missing teeth. Dental implants have become a popular and long-lasting solution for the replacement of missing teeth, providing a stable and natural-looking option. Periodontists have the skills and knowledge to evaluate, plan, and perform dental implant surgeries, ensuring the best possible outcome for patients.

Bone Augmentation: Rebuilding Jawbone Structure

Periodontists are also proficient in bone augmentation, a procedure aimed at rebuilding the jawbone structure to support dental implants. Bone loss can occur due to periodontal disease, tooth extractions, or other factors, and can lead to complications when placing dental implants. Periodontists use various techniques, such as bone grafting and guided bone regeneration, to restore the jawbone's volume and density. This expertise is essential in preparing the site for dental implants and ensuring their long-term success.

Treatment of Periodontal Diseases: The Core of Periodontics

The primary focus of periodontists is the treatment of periodontal diseases, which are infections of the gum and bone surrounding the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal diseases can lead to tooth loss and other health complications. Periodontists are trained to diagnose and manage various forms of periodontal diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis. They employ various treatments, such as scaling and root planing, surgical procedures, and the use of antimicrobial therapies to help control the infection and preserve the patient's oral health.

How Periodontists Differ from Dentists

While both dentists and periodontists work to maintain oral health, the primary difference lies in their specialized areas of expertise. Dentists are responsible for general dental care, which includes routine checkups, cleanings, fillings, and minor oral surgeries. On the other hand, periodontists specialize in treating periodontal diseases, dental implants, and bone augmentation procedures. In many cases, dentists will refer patients with advanced periodontal issues or complex implant needs to periodontists for specialized care.


Periodontists play a vital role in maintaining our oral health, particularly when it comes to dental implants, bone augmentation, and treatment of periodontal diseases. Their advanced training and specialized expertise set them apart from general dentists, making them the go-to professionals for complex periodontal cases. If you're dealing with periodontal issues or considering dental implants, it's essential to consult with a periodontist to ensure you receive the best possible care for your specific needs.

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