Endodontist vs Periodontist: The Key Differences, Explained

Are you curious about the differences between an endodontist vs. a periodontist? If so, you’re not alone! We know they’re dentists, but what exactly do they work on?!

Gum disease is serious partly because advanced gum infections can cause a range of illnesses. 85% of adults in the U.S. have gum disease, but that’s not all we’re talking about here. Many people have damaged teeth that could fall out due to accidents, bad chewing habits, or disease.

Here’s a quick overview of which specialty dentist works on gums and which specialty dentist works on saving teeth.

What Is an Endodontist?

An Endodontist saves teeth that otherwise would fall out or have to get pulled. This type of specialty dentist works on the most severely damaged teeth. They will tell you not to chew ice cubes, for example, because this bad habit is a great way to wind up in their office needing treatment.

They work on cracked, chipped, split, and infected teeth and try to salvage them. If you need a root canal to save your tooth, an Endodontist can do this! And if you fall off a horse and break your front teeth, they may be able to fix them so you don’t lose them or else refer you for a tooth implant.

What Is a Periodontist?

A Periodontist, on the other hand, works on keeping the gums healthy. They treat gum diseases like gingivitis, periodontitis, and missing teeth. Although many people don’t realize this, there’s a well-established link between gum disease and heart problems like pericarditis.

According to a recent study, there’s even a link between gum disease and worse complications from COVID.

Periodontists also save teeth, focusing more on the surrounding tissue. They work to strengthen the gums and keep gum tissue healthy, so the jawbone doesn’t erode.

Advanced gum disease can cause teeth to loosen and fall out, so sometimes Periodontists also do tooth implants. For more information, check out this complete guide on periodontics.

Difference Between an Endodontist vs. Periodontist

So what’s the difference between an Endodontist and a Periodontist? Both save teeth and promote oral health, but their strategies are different. An Endodontist works on the tooth, while a Periodontist works on the surrounding gums and bone.

To become experts in their fields, both types of dentists attend dental school after getting their undergraduate degrees. Then they do an additional 3 to 4 years of specialized study.

When to See a Periodontist, When to See an Endodontist

So there you have it- we’ve answered the endodontist vs. periodontist question to clarify any confusion. You should see a Periodontist for gum issues and an Endodontist for tooth repairs. Both specialties work closely together, so if you see one specialty dentist and happen to have some overlapping issues, ask for a referral to the other specialty.

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