A periodontist is a dentist who has completed a three-year specialty program, after the completion of his DDS degree. The specialty training is similar to a medical doctor’s residency training, where 100% of the dentist’s education is focused on his specialty. Periodontics is one of nine specialties in dentistry. Periodontists receive extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease and the placement of dental implants. Periodontal disease is the disease of the supporting structures of the teeth; gingiva (gums) and bone. It can range from inflammation of the gums to a major infection that destroys bone, resulting in the loss of teeth, and the spread of infection to other parts of the body. When diagnosed in the early stages, the progression of periodontal disease can be stabilized. The later stages of periodontal disease are more difficult to manage and require more aggressive types of treatment. Periodontists are skilled in oral surgery and the placement of dental implants.
A prosthodontist is a dentist who has completed a three-year specialty program after earning a DDS degree. During specialty training, the dentist spends 100% of his time mastering prosthodontic skills and treating patients. Prosthodontics is one of the nine specialties in dentistry. As the name implies, a prosthodontist is highly skilled at creating a dental prosthesis to replace or reconstruct missing or severely damaged teeth. Dental implants are widely used by a prosthodontist. Implants are the foundation for many types of dental prostheses; crowns, bridges, and implant-supported dentures. The prosthodontist designs and creates a dental prosthesis to replicate a natural tooth for harmonious chewing function with the other teeth. This specialty also encompasses artistry through the prosthodontist’s attention to cosmetic detail. A prosthodontist is the most highly trained and skilled dentist for creating beautiful, natural looking teeth, or a complete smile make over. The end result of the treatment is a more beautiful smile than the patient has ever had. Prosthodontics is a very complex type of dentistry but the outcomes are life changing for the patient.