Periodontist vs Orthodontist: Who You Should See First

When it comes to dental orthodontic treatment, tooth straightening, clear aligners or other dental care solutions, there are various specialists who focus on specific areas of oral health. Two such specialists are periodontists and orthodontists. Periodontists specialize in the health of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth, while orthodontists focus on the alignment of jaws and teeth.

If you’re dealing with specific dental concerns, you might be wondering whether you should see a periodontist or an orthodontist first. In this blog, we’ll explore the roles of each specialist and provide guidance on who you should see first based on your needs.

The Role of a Periodontist

A periodontist is a dental specialist who diagnoses, prevents, and treats gum diseases. They also treat other conditions that affect the supporting structures of the teeth. It includes the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament. Here are some common issues that periodontists address:

• Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease): Periodontists are experts in treating gingivitis and periodontitis. They can perform deep cleanings, scaling, and root planing procedures and provide recommendations for managing and preventing gum disease.

• Gum Recession: Periodontists can address issues related to gum recession, including gum grafting procedures to restore lost gum tissue.

• Dental Implants: Periodontists are skilled in placing dental implants. These are artificial tooth roots used to replace missing teeth.

• Bone Grafting: If you have bone loss due to gum disease or tooth extraction, a periodontist can perform bone grafting procedures to regenerate lost bone tissue.

Your periodontist can perform a crown lengthening procedure to remove excess gum tissue and expose more of the tooth’s surface. This procedure helps in preparation for restorative work. Consult your Expert Dentist in Bella Vista to learn more.

When to See a Periodontist First

You should consider seeing a periodontist if you’re experiencing any of the following issues:

• Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing.
• Swollen, red, or tender gums.
• Persistent bad breath.
• Loose teeth or changes in the fit of your dentures.
• Gum recession or tooth sensitivity due to exposed roots.
• Dental implant needs or concerns.
• Family history of gum disease.

Prioritizing your oral health by seeking specialised care when needed can lead to improved aesthetics, function, and overall well-being.

Dental Orthodontic Treatment: The Role of an Orthodontist

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who diagnoses, prevents, and treats issues related to the alignment of teeth and jaws. Orthodontic treatment aims to improve the appearance, function, and overall health of the bite. Here are some common issues that orthodontists address:

Crooked Teeth: Orthodontists are experts in correcting misaligned, crowded, or crooked teeth through various dental orthodontic treatment options, including clear aligners.

• Malocclusions: Overbites, underbites, and crossbites can impact bite function and facial aesthetics. Orthodontists can address these issues through teeth straightening to improve oral health and appearance.

• Spacing Issues: Gaps between teeth can be closed using orthodontic treatment, creating a more uniform and aesthetically pleasing smile.

• Bite Problems: Orthodontists can correct bite problems, such as overjet (protruding upper teeth) and open bite (upper and lower teeth don’t meet when biting).

This treatment option also addresses issues related to the alignment of the jaws, which can impact speech, chewing, and overall comfort.

When to See an Orthodontist First

Consider scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist if you’re dealing with any of the following concerns:

• Crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth.
• Bite problems, such as overbite, underbite, or crossbite.
• Gaps or spaces between teeth.
• Early signs of orthodontic issues in children, such as difficulty chewing or breathing through the mouth.

If you desire improved smile aesthetics, you can consult your orthodontic dentist for a suitable solution.

Who Should You See First: Periodontist or Orthodontist?

The decision of whether to see a periodontist or an orthodontist first depends on your specific dental needs. In some cases, the services of both specialists might be required. Here’s a general guideline to help you decide:

• Start with a Periodontist: If you’re experiencing gum-related issues such as bleeding gums, gum recession, bad breath, or concerns about dental implants, it’s advisable to see a periodontist first.

• Start with an Orthodontist: If your primary concern is related to the alignment of your teeth, bite issues, or jaw alignment, scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist is recommended. They can evaluate your bite and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Collaboration Between Specialists

In some cases, you might benefit from the expertise of both a periodontist and an orthodontist. For example, if you’re considering orthodontic treatment but have gum disease or gum recession, collaborating with a periodontist can ensure that your gums are in optimal health before starting orthodontic treatment.


Both periodontists and orthodontists play crucial roles in maintaining your dental health and improving your smile. The decision of who to see first depends on your specific concerns and needs. If you’re unsure, your general dentist can provide guidance and referrals to the appropriate specialist.

Consult Dentistry on Solent to get the most appropriate advice and solution based on your specific case and budget.

Dentistry On Solent