Saskatoon Dental Group is a locally owned, full-scale Saskatoon dental clinic offering general dentistry services. At Saskatoon Dental Group, we are dedicated to offering excellent care to our amazing patients who are like family to us. We are grateful to treat whole families in Saskatoon across multiple generations, and have a multicultural team speaking multiple languages. In our latest dental tip we share the difference between a dentist and a periodontist.

What’s The Difference Between A Dentist And A Periodontist?

In the world of dental specialists, there are a few key differences between dentists and periodontists. These differences are explained below.

Dentist vs. Periodontist: General vs. Specific 

The most simple way to explain the difference between a dentist and a periodontist is to think of a dentist like your family doctor, who you visit for a check up. Like your family doctor, you visit the dentist for a for general care. Now, think of a periodontist like your cardiologist, who you visit for a specific condition as they have a specialized scope. Just as a cardiologist specializes in the heart, periodontists specialize in the gums.

In summary, a dentist’s job involves general oral health care, including cleaning and check-ups. A periodontist diagnoses and treats specialized conditions affecting the gums and bone that support the teeth. 

What Does A Periodontist Do? 

Periodontists are dental specialists. Periodontists prevent, diagnose, and treat periodontal diseases. Periodontal diseases are infections of the structures around the teeth. In particular, the gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone (the part of the jaw that holds the teeth). The word “Periodontal” is derived from two Greek words – “peri” meaning “around” and “dontal” meaning “dental” or “related to the teeth”.

Typically, periodontal diseases originate from infections in the gums. However, without treatment, gum infections progress to affect the nearby tissue as well. Periodontists work to prevent diseases by recognizing them and treating them appropriately at all stages of their development. 

Though there are a few key differences between dentists and periodontists, both are dental specialists who work to ensure your smile is healthy and beautiful. Regular visits to the dentist are important as dentists spot evidence of periodontal disease and refer patients to a periodontist for further investigation. 

Don’t wait until it is too late! If signs of gingivitis and gum disease are present, you may require a periodontist’s help through a referral from our office. Certain treatments are outside the scope of a general dentist’s reach. 

Remember that good oral health habits start at home and we encourage you to visit us once a year for a full checkup and examination. Oral health is closely tied to your overall health and wellness and often we can identify issues before they become problems.

We are always welcoming patients looking for a new dental family. If you would like to book a checkup or if you have any dental questions please do not hesitate to reach out to our team.

See you soon!

The Saskatoon Dental Group Team


woman with dark curly hair with hand on cheek experiencing gum pain