Within the field of dentistry, there exists numerous facets and specialities. While a general dentist or general practitioner (GP) can perform almost all of basic and simple dental procedures, there are dentists who specialize in certain fields that make them the best fit for the job.
What’s the difference between a general dentist and a periodontist in Singapore?
The major difference between a general dentist and a periodontist in Singapore (and even in the global sense), is that a periodontist has had additional training and education in the specific field of periodontology, or the branch of dentistry that deals with the gums or the soft tissues surrounding the teeth. Periodontists are well-experienced in the management and treatment of gum-related problems from mild periodontal concerns such as gingivitis to complex and severe cases like periodontitis, a periodontal disease that causes extreme gum recession and eventual tooth loss.
How can a general dentist help me with my gum-related concerns?
1. General dentists play a very important part in your dental care process.
Your dentist’s role in dental care is vital to keep your teeth and gums healthy. A general dentist can diagnose and administer immediate treatments for cavities and plaques (bacterial deposits from food debris and poor dental hygiene) and calculus (hard substance on the teeth surface that cannot be removed through normal brushing and flossing).
2. General dentists use a variety of techniques and tools to help them keep your mouth clean.
In general, thorough cleaning of your teeth by a general dentist is often required every three months depending on the individual cases or the extent of bacterial build-up to prevent gum disease. In addition, your dentist is well-equipped to help you become aware of the things that you can do at home and on a regular basis to maintain your over-all dental health. After all, you are the main caretaker of your teeth and gums, and dentists are there to help you become a good and effective one.
Why see a periodontist vs. a general dentist for gum-related concerns?
1. Periodontists are more equipped with the right knowledge and tools to treat gum-related concerns.
In general, periodontal disease and related concerns can be managed by several dental care providers. A general dentist can do a great job dealing with simple cases like the removal of bacterial build-up (plaques and calculus or tartar), which are the primary causes of gum disease, but there are periodontal cases which are more complex. Periodontists in Singapore like Dr. Marlene Teo has had up to three years of training in this specific discipline. She also got further training and earned her Master’s in Periodontology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.
Compared to general dentists, Dr. Marlene Teo can perform periodontal treatments, surgeries and a great number of dental implant placements each year.
2. Periodontists can general dentists create an effective and achievable treatment plan.
Once a general dentist has reached the limit of what he/she can do with your gum-related concerns, it is part of their duty to refer the patient to a specialist who is trained to treat gum diseases and gum recessions.
In this light, a periodontist helps the general dentist draw up a successful treatment plan regarding mild to severe form of gum diseases, restorative dentistry and dental implant placements. Periodontists in Singapore are specifically trained to design a treatment plan that is effective, achievable and tailors to the patient’s needs. By working hand in hand, a general dentist and a periodontist can work together to ultimately achieve the best results and satisfy the patient’s needs. In addition, systemic diseases like diabetes and cancer complicates things, and periodontists are trained to understand how these serious diseases affect periodontal diseases and give you the best care.
When dealing with gum disease, your general dentist can already do a lot of care. In more severe cases however, you should entrust yourself to the hands of someone who has all the tools in the bag. For advanced periodontal concerns, a periodontist is your best bet. They are specialized in the treatment of gum disease, in the same way as an orthodontist or an endodontist is a further generalization of a general dental degree. Periodontists in Singapore are exceptionally trained to diagnose all forms of periodontal disease and to manage these cases accordingly.
General dentists are incredibly important part of the team and they need to be involved in your care at all phases but with the help of an experienced periodontist like Dr. Marlene Teo, you can get the best health, especially in more severe cases. Her practice can be found at 360 Orchard Rd, #03-06/07 next to Lido, International Building, Singapore 238869 or via phone at +65 8588 9868. Dr. Marlene Teo devotes her practice doing periodontics or gum-related concerns as well as the structures that support and surround teeth and dental implant placements.
When a general dentist feels it’s beyond that it’s beyond his/her capabilities to help you with your periodontal concerns, your dentist will help you understand when it’s time to see a periodontist.