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Dentist vs. Periodontist in Toronto: What’s the Difference?

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One of the main questions people ask about a periodontist’s job is: how does it differ from a dentist’s? In fact, there are a number of ways that being a periodontist in Toronto differs from general dentistry. In this post, we’ll enlighten you on a few of the key differences between periodontics and dentistry.

General vs. Specific

Think of a dentist like your family doctor. You visit her for your check-up, or when you’re feeling ill, but if you are dealing with a more specific condition, such as aheart problem, you’ll be referred to a cardiologist, who specializes in that area.The relationship between a dentist and periodontist is much the same.

A dentist’s job takes into account a whole range of oral care issues, including check-ups and teeth cleaning, while a periodontist diagnoses and treats more specialized conditions, which affect the gums and the bone supporting the teeth.


A dentist’s and a periodontist’s education and qualifications are the same up to a point. They both must study and earn a licence to practice general dentistry. Following that, somedecide to train even further in a niche area of their choosing – a few of these people become periodontists.

In Canada, The Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) recognizes 9 dental specialties, including Endodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, and Periodontics, to name just a few. These specializations require extensive accredited training and constant updating to maintain, so when apatient visits a CDAC-accredited oral health professional, they can trust they are in good hands.

How do I know I need a periodontist in Toronto?

The question of whether you need a periodontist can be answeredin two ways: 1. Your dentist will refer you, or 2. You can do a rough diagnosis yourself and get directly in contact with your local periodontist.

If you think you have a serious gum-related issue, contacting a periodontist will cut out time in diagnosing and treating severe symptoms of periodontal disease. As certain treatments are outside the scope of a general dentist’s reach, it can be a more timely approach to get in touch with a Toronto periodontist directly, especially if the signs of gingivitis or more advanced gum diseases are already there.

Read more information on services we offer at Cumberland Periodontics & Implant Surgery, book an appointment, or why not get in touch!