What Are the Differences Between a Periodontist and an Endodontist?


Quick Answer

A periodontist specializes in the study and examination of the structures surrounding the teeth, such as the gums and jaw bone, and performs surgical procedures on those areas. An endodontist focuses specifically on the pulp and root of a tooth to ensure its health, commonly performing a root canal to clear out an infected pulp and prepare the area for dental implants.

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Full Answer

Periodontistry is a dental specialty that looks at the areas of the mouth beyond the tooth to understand the full oral health of a patient. It includes training to identify a variety of issues in the areas of the gum, known as the gingiva, as well as the other components that connect the tooth to the bones in mouth. Periodontists can prepare patients for root canal therapy but don't perform the actual procedure. They also conduct other treatments to deal with gum disease or other bone issues as well as repair and install dental implants.

Endodontistry focuses specifically on the root and pulp of each tooth rather than on the full oral structure. Endodontists can diagnose severe tooth decay that affects the nerve of the tooth that extends into the jaw. They also perform root canal therapy, which involves drilling out the core of a tooth, removing the infected pulp and inserting an artificial filling into the area to prepare for a dental implant.

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