We recently wrote a blog describing the role of periodontists. What is a periodontist? Dr. Steven Lieber
and Dr. Jessica Stilley
from Periodontal Health Center realized that many people still struggle with the term, but also wonder about endodontists (when they hear that term). Both are oral health specialists, and have also been trained as dentists, but with extra specialized training. We’ll go over the details for you.
General dentists handle general issues regarding teeth and oral health, including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of conditions in the teeth and soft tissues. Dentists and their teams handle regular oral health checkups, radiographs, cleanings, fillings, veneers, crowns, and other cosmetic and health issues in teeth. They refer patients to specialists for things like braces, oral surgery, root canals, dental implants, and periodontal concerns involving the gums, soft tissues, and jaw bones.
Periodontists examine the gums and soft tissues of the mouth. They are looking for gum recession, pockets around the teeth, infection, and problems even below the gum line. They remove damaged tissue and perform surgery on the gums to preserve the teeth and soft tissues. As you will see, there will be a big difference once we discuss endodontists.
The dental specialist known as an endodontist manages diseases and problems INSIDE the tooth including the pulp which is composed of nerves, blood vessels, and tissue. If you have ever had a root canal, you visited an endodontist. During that procedure, the infected pulp was removed and the tooth was sealed in an attempt to save the tooth. Endodontists also often are able to save a tooth that has been knocked out of the mouth.
As you can see, two very different, but important dental roles in these descriptions. Good oral health happens when the patient does their part at home, but also visits their dentist regularly, and on occasion one or more specialists.