If you’re struggling with tooth loss, severe damage or decay, bone loss, or other oral health issues, dental implants can provide a permanent solution. Implants can also be used to correct any number of cosmetic concerns and restore your ability to smile with confidence.
Choosing the right provider to place your dental implants is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make regarding your oral health and smile. Not everyone who performs dental implant procedures is a specialist. So should you look for an oral surgeon, a periodontist, or a general dentist?
Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of each type of implant treatment provider and the factors you should consider in making your decision.
What is an oral surgeon?
An oral surgeon (also known as a maxillofacial surgeon) is a dental care provider that specializes in surgical treatments for a wide range of health problems associated with the jaw, mouth, and facial structures.
To become an oral surgeon, one must have graduated from dental school and subsequently completed additional specialized education and surgical training, including a 3-6 year residency program.
Here are just a few of the treatments oral surgeons perform:
- Simple and complex tooth extractions
- Dental implant surgery
- Corrective jaw surgery
- Bone grafting
- Facial cosmetic procedures
- Removal of oral pathologies
Oral surgeons often specialize in a particular type of care or procedure. At Smart Arches, our oral surgeons specialize in dental implant surgery. It’s what they do every single day.
What is a periodontist?
Periodontists are also qualified to perform a variety of oral procedures and must also graduate from a general dental school and receive additional training for their specialty. However, unlike oral surgeons, they specialize solely in treating the hard and soft tissues within the mouth, namely the gums and teeth.
Some procedures that can be performed by periodontists include:
- Root canals
- Pocket reduction surgery
- Gum grafting
- Dental bone grafting
- Crown lengthening
How do oral surgeons and periodontists differ from general dentists?
General dentists can be considered the dental-care equivalent of a primary care physician. Most general dentists see their patients on an ongoing basis for routine cleanings and exams. They also regularly diagnose and treat infections and oral diseases. In some cases, general dentists may perform minor oral surgeries and procedures such as simple extractions, root canal therapies, and dental implants. However, many general dentists prefer to make referrals for these kinds of procedures.
Oral surgery and periodontics are both specialty fields. Practitioners in both professions must undergo additional education and training beyond the requirements needed to obtain a general dentistry license. While general dentists may treat gum disease and occasionally perform minor oral surgeries, they aren’t specialists like oral surgeons and periodontists.
Who should I choose to perform my dental implant procedure?
Dental implants can provide you with natural-looking, functional, and long-lasting tooth replacements to restore your smile and promote your overall oral health. But who should you trust to perform your dental implant procedure: a periodontist or an oral surgeon?
Pros and cons of choosing an oral surgeon/implant specialist
- Oral surgeons are trained to treat patients in need of extensive restoration.
- They can provide holistic implant treatment that considers the role of supporting facial structures.
- They have experience with complex surgical procedures.
- Surgical specialists can offer dental implants as part of a total smile makeover.
- Oral surgeons can perform bone grafting and/or sinus lifts prior to dental implant surgery.
- While Smart Arches does offer some cosmetic treatments to complement dental implants, not all oral surgeons provide additional non-surgical treatments.
- Oral surgeons generally don’t offer ongoing, generalized care.
Pros and cons of choosing a periodontist
- Periodontists often collaborate closely with general dentists and oral surgeons to provide comprehensive treatment.
- They specialize in treating gum disease, which is sometimes necessary prior to placing dental implants.
- While periodontists may perform implant placements, they’re more likely to specialize in procedures such as root canal therapies, soft-tissue grafting, and gum lifts.
- Periodontists rarely get the extensive education and training in the use of anesthesia that oral surgeons do.
Meet with our oral surgeons to get expert dental implant treatment!
Our dental implant specialists at Smart Arches have the extensive knowledge and practical experience to provide holistic dental implant procedures to patients from all walks of life. You don’t have to suffer from severely damaged or missing teeth. We can help!
We’re invested in the health and appearance of your smile and we care deeply about providing a comfortable and positive patient experience.