The suffix –dontist means someone who deals with the teeth.
Add various prefixes to –dontist and you have a plethora of dental specialties, including periodontists and endodontists.
It is easy to find each specialty indistinguishable at first. However, knowing the differences between these two specialists will help you understand:
In today’s post, we will explain the differences between these specialties so you can feel more informed and confident enough to choose the best treatment plan for your needs.
The prefix perio– means “around,” so a periodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on the tissues surrounding the teeth—namely, the gums and bone.
A periodontist’s number-one goal is to fight gum disease. Patients who need to see a periodontist are those who have gum disease, infections, or bone loss caused by gum disease.
Periodontal disease is a major leading cause of tooth loss. This disease can also wreak havoc on the rest of the body, particularly the heart. Patients with advanced periodontal disease have a higher risk of:
Gum disease starts with plaque buildup. Over time, the plaque calcifies (tartar/calculus), making it impossible to remove with a toothbrush or floss. If it is not removed by a dental professional, gum disease can result. Signs of gum disease include:
Left untreated, the plaque and tartar continue to irritate the gum tissue, causing it to recede. Eventually, the ligaments that attach the gums to the teeth will weaken and break. Over time, the bone will start to recede as well, leading to loose teeth and, eventually, tooth loss.
A periodontist performs a variety of dental procedures to help combat periodontal disease. These include:
Endo- means “inner.” Therefore, an endodontist is someone who treats the inner portion of the tooth, also known as the root, nerve, or pulp of the tooth.
Each tooth has at least one root canal, a thin opening that is filled with a soft tissue (pulp), which is made up of nerves, connective tissues, and blood vessels. The pulp feeds nutrients to the tooth, keeping it alive and healthy.
At times, the pulp can become traumatized or infected due to an accident or bacterial exposure. Nerve irritation can cause a toothache. If a damaged nerve is not treated, it can weaken the tooth and lead to fractures or tooth loss.
An endodontist specializes in restorations that help prevent tooth loss. All endodontists are licensed dentists. They receive extra training in their specialty. Approximately 3 percent of dentists are endodontists.
Here are just some of the services provided at our Renovo endodontic studio.
Depending on their training, an endodontist can also specialize in other treatments including extractions and dental implants.
If your general dentist has informed you that you might need root canal treatment, turn to the team you can trust—Renovo Endodontics.
We are a diverse group of endodontists that are dedicated to providing exceptional care to every single patient that walks into our office. One of the things that helps us do that is having so many excellent practitioners on our team. We have no problem providing you with a second opinion to ensure you are getting the treatment you need for healthier dentition.
We understand that hearing the words “root canal treatment” can cause some anxiety, and we want to help put your mind at ease. Every practitioner and team member in our Renovo endodontic studio is caring and compassionate. We will answer all your questions and make sure you are thoroughly comfortable during your time in our office.
Have you been told you need endodontic treatment but still have questions? We would love to answer them for you. Contact us for more information.