Periodontics and prosthodontics are two dental specialties that may sound similar but are actually quite different. A periodontist specializes in the tissues that surround teeth, while a prosthodontist focuses on making and placing dentures, bridges, and other appliances for people who have missing teeth. A periodontist is a dentist who has completed an additional three years of study in a residency training program in periodontics. They are experts in treating the structures that support the teeth and placing dental implants.
They also have experience with gum disease, which is often the underlying cause of unhealthy or missing teeth. Prosthodontists and periodontists are certified at two different boards, and they work indoors in similar environments. They may be asked to review x-rays and explain treatment options to their patients. Those interested in these specialties may also be interested in other dental specialties, such as orthodontics.
While some general dentists perform cosmetic and restorative dentistry, there is a significant difference between them and prosthodontists in terms of skill and experience.