When you have a problem with your teeth and gums, who do you call? For most people, their first call would be the dentist, who in turn may provide referrals to certain specialists. Depending on the problem, they may recommend that you see a periodontist or an oral surgeon in Oakville.


Periodontists and oral surgeons are just two of many specialists who can treat oral health problems that go beyond the teeth. If you have early signs of gum disease, you have missing teeth and require dental implants, or you’re experiencing issues with your jawbone, one of these specialists would be your next call.


Now, the question is, which specialist can treat your oral health problem? Or, we can even take a step back: do you know the difference between a periodontist and an oral surgeon? In this article, we’ll go over what periodontists and oral surgeons each do so that you can call the right specialist for your treatment needs in Oakville.


Periodontist vs. Oral Surgeon: Conditions Treated, Procedures Performed


Periodontists and oral surgeons certainly have a few things in common. Both specialists perform surgical procedures for treating oral health conditions, such as replacing missing teeth with dental implants and treating problems with the jawbone in Oakville. Let’s look at these in detail.




What does a periodontist do?


A periodontist specializes in treating problems in the gums and bones that support the teeth. Periodontists train to maintain the health of soft and hard tissues in the mouth, which are greatly impacted by gum disease, as well as having one or several missing teeth.


What does a periodontist treat?


Periodontists perform root planing and scaling, and pocket reduction surgery to eliminate harmful bacteria build-up, effectively treating gum disease. In addition, if you suffer from gum recession, a periodontist can place a gum graft to restore healthy gum tissue and cover the exposed roots of the teeth.


More crucially, periodontists can replace missing teeth with a complete tooth replacement system. By placing dental implants in the jawbone, they can restore its shape and density, and replace the roots of missing teeth. As a result, dental implants create a strong foundation that anchors new dental crowns in place, so you can eat, talk, laugh, and more with new teeth that look and work like your natural ones.


What are the qualifications of a periodontist?


In a nutshell, periodontists are specialist dentists. They start their training in dental school, much like dentists. Afterwards, they complete a three-year postgraduate specialization in periodontics, where they train in advanced treatment of the gums, tissues, and jawbone. Through their training, they also learn the practice of implantology, allowing them to surgically place artificial roots in your jaw that hold replacement teeth.


Oral Surgeon


What does an oral surgeon do?


Formally known as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, these specialists perform a wide range of surgical procedures in the jaw, mouth, and face. Compared to a periodontist, oral surgeons treat more areas and a wider range of oral health conditions.


What conditions does an oral surgeon treat?


Oral and maxillofacial surgeons often treat birth defects, traumatic injuries to the jaw, and other similar problems. In addition, they also remove cancerous tumours in the mouth, and perform complex tooth extractions. 


However, unlike periodontists, oral surgeons do not specifically treat the gums and bite. While trained in surgical procedures, oral surgeons do not focus on treatments like dental implants.


What are the qualifications of oral surgeons?


Oral surgeons undergo extensive training that includes dental school and surgical residency. After graduating from dental school, aspiring oral surgeons undergo approximately another six years of education and residency placement.


Periodontists vs. Oral Surgeons: Key Difference


Based on what we just talked about, it’s clear that despite some similarities in the areas they treat and their surgical training, periodontists and oral surgeons are clearly different specialists, with their distinct skills, training, and expertise.


The bottom line is, periodontists focus on keeping the gums healthy and replacing missing teeth permanently with dental implants. On the other hand, oral surgeons perform a wide range of surgical procedures on the mouth, jaws, and face, some of which may not even be related to dental functions or the teeth and gums. Knowing these differences can come in handy if you’re seeking oral health treatment so that you can speak with the right specialist.


Talk to Our Periodontists About Dental Implants, Gum Disease, and More


At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that oral surgery and periodontics are distinct specialties. Depending on your dental problem, you may need to talk to one or both of them. However, keep in mind that for a pressing concern like replacing missing teeth permanently, the answer is clear: you need to see a periodontist in Oakville.


At Periodontal Associates, we’re proudly led by a team of highly trained and experienced periodontists. We specialize in restoring your complete smile using dental implants, and treat problems in your gums that may have also progressed to the jawbone. 


Our periodontists’ training is highly specialized, focusing on the health of the gums and bones that support the teeth, so you can regain a full bite. From your first visit, to dental implant surgery in Oakville and long-term oral health, you can trust that our periodontists have the right tools, training, and experience to keep your gums and teeth healthy.


Do you need treatment for your gums, jawbone, and missing teeth? Our periodontists are here to help. Visit Periodontal Associates in Oakville to learn more about our unique specialization in dental implants.

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