Periodontal Treatments & Procedures – A Beautiful Smile, At Any Age


We aide in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal or gum disease. Request an appointment with one of our specialist today!

When your teeth need a cleaning or an X-ray, you probably schedule an appointment with your family dentist, right? And you probably do the same thing when you need a cavity filled or if your teeth have become discolored. But there are times when your Howell family dentist can’t help you, simply because the work you need done requires more than a simple tooth extraction. That’s where the difference between a dentist and a periodontist comes in to play.

But what exactly IS a periodontist? And how does s/he differ from your dentist? Periodontists have extended education in the periodontium which focuses on the soft tissue (gums) and bone. A general dentist can treat gum disease through routine cleanings, scaling and root planning (deep cleanings), and antibiotic medications. Periodontists are needed for advanced cases of gum disease call periodontitis which are out of the realm of treatment a general dentist.

One main difference between dentists and periodontists has to do with your gums. Periodontists are the ones who usually diagnoses gum disease (like gingivitis) and periodontitis – the technical term for a disease that affects the gum AND the bones. But a periodontist also works towards treating (and with your help, preventing) any disease of the soft tissue, so you could see one if your mouth is sore.

Understanding the Difference between a Dentist and a Periodontist

So how do you know when you need a periodontist vs. a dentist? We’ve compiled a list of basic things for which to see your dentist. Please note that your dentist may recommend a periodontal visit for concerns that don’t necessarily appear on this list, if s/he thinks it’ll help you.

Visit the Dentist for:

Checkups to Ensure Proper Oral Health
Bi-Monthly Cleanings
Standard X-Rays
Filling Cavities
Root Canals
Standard Tooth Extractions
Crowns or Bridges
Some Cosmetic Procedures (Veneers, Bonding, Whitening, Etc.)
Pediatric Care
Non-Surgical Periodontal Care
Visit the Periodontist For:

Deep Pocket Cleanings
Bone Grafting
Soft Tissue Removal
Root Planing
Implant Replacement
Crown Lengthening
Hard Tissue Recontouring
Periodontist Vs. Dentist

Unlike the standard dentist, a periodontist focuses on soft tissue and bone disease. Periodontistis often presents with bleeding, tender or swollen gums, loose teeth, and mouth pain. But since the main difference between a dentist and a periodontist is the soft tissue specialty, your dentist might not be able to help you if your gums are in bad shape. Severe cases of periodontitis can lead to health problems like diabetes and heart disease – even cancer. Pregnant women with unhealthy gums and teeth often deliver babies with low birth weights. Some medical professionals have even found a correlation – though in truth, they’re not quite sure why – between Alzheimer’s and poor oral health.

In the end, the main difference between dentists and periodontists is the course of their studies. And the best way to spend time with your dentist (vs. a periodontist) is by forming good oral hygiene habits. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing between meals and scheduling regular visits with us should prevent you from having to see a specialist, because taking care of your teeth means taking care of your gums.

We proudly provide dental care services for Sarasota, Venice, Temple Terrace, Ocala and surrounding neighborhoods. Call us today at 941-365-1717 or email us at to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists and see how we can help you smile!