Placing Dental Implants: Difference between a Periodontist and an Oral Surgeon

Dr. Alan Meltzer performing Dental Implant surgery

Why would you see a Periodontist for Dental Implants over an Oral Surgeon?

Dental implants are by far the most esthetically pleasing and durable option for replacing missing teeth. Not only do they restore your ability to eat all your favorite foods, but they also allow you to speak without difficulty, unlike the removable dentures.

While any dentist can replace missing teeth with dental implants, the clinical outcome of implant therapy highly depends on the qualification, training, and skill of the dentist. 

If you are considering getting your teeth replaced with dental implants and you’re unsure whether to visit an oral surgeon or a periodontist for this purpose, this article is for you.

This article goes over the advanced and continuing training a Periodontist receives to be able to Surgically place Dental Implants.

What is the Difference Between an Oral Surgeon and a Periodontist?

First, we must individually break down the specifics between a Periodontist and Oral Surgeon.

What is a Periodontist?

As per the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), a periodontist is a dental specialist specializing in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of diseases involving the structures surrounding the teeth: the gums, periodontal tissues, and the supporting jawbone.

The AAP also mentions surgical implant placement as one of the primary roles of a periodontist.

Like oral surgeons, periodontists have to undergo three to four years of additional clinical training to be recognized as periodontal specialists.

What is an Oral Surgeon?

According to the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (ACOMS), an oral surgeon is a specialist dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of disease and injuries related to the head, neck, jaws, and facial region.

In addition to the dental training to receive their DMD/DDS, oral surgeons must undergo additional three to four years of specialized training to become specialists in their field.

You would normally go to an oral surgeon in the case of a jawbone fracture, soft tissue injuries, or for the treatment of oral swellings and tumors. So, oral surgeons are primarily trained to treat dental problems surgically.

Why are Periodontists considered the Dental Specialist to see for Dental Implants?

To understand why a periodontist is considered the best Dental Specialist in New Jersey to handle dental implant procedures, we must first understand what an implant is and how it works. 

What is a dental implant and how does it works?

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), an implant is a screw-shaped fixture inserted into the jawbone.

Over time, the implant becomes fused – and firmly embedded – within the jawbone and serves as a replacement that supports the artificial teeth.

This ability of the titanium implants to become fused with surrounding bone tissue is known as osseointegration, is the reason behind the excellent success rate of dental implants, as they are embedded into the jawbone just like the natural teeth. 

Research has shown that the higher the degree of osseointegration (bone formation around the implants), the higher the success rate and longevity of dental implants.

At the same time, if there is an underlying infection in the gums or the jawbone, it can severely affect the clinical outcome of implant therapy and may even lead to implant failure.

In short, the success of dental implants depends, among other factors, mainly on your gum and periodontal health.


So, this is where a periodontist becomes useful. Since periodontists specialize in taking care of your periodontal health, they will thoroughly examine your teeth, gums, and jawbones before planning an implant procedure.

If they find any underlying periodontal problem, they will completely eradicate it first so that the underlying bone is healthy and strong enough to anchor an implant firmly – and allows it to support the artificial teeth attached to it. 

Many periodontists in Bergen County, NJ and across the USA, such as Dr. Alan Meltzer, have received additional advanced surgical training in Osseointegration.

At Advanced Oral Specialty Group, Dr. Meltzer is a Board-certified Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology – the only American Dental Association Accredited Board for Implant Dentistry, Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, and a Fellow of the Academy of Osseointegration

Dr. Meltzer has received his training from some of the most prestigious universities in the world, such as the #1 Ranked Dental School in the World – the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; the #1 Periodontics program in the US – Boston University; and one of the top dental schools in the US for his Dental Degree – the University of Pennsylvania.

While oral surgeons specialize in the surgical side of dentistry, a periodontist has advanced surgical training in Implant Dentistry, and is trained to improve oral health less invasively and without the need for advanced surgical procedures.

Even if someone requires a bone graft or sinus lift procedure before implant placement, a periodontist has received extensive surgical training to perform bone-grafting, sinus lifts, tooth extractions, perform the placement of Dental Implants, and every aspect of Dental Implant surgery and treatment – beyond that of a traditional oral surgeon. 

In Dentistry – to be more specific, Implant Dentistry – there is no dental specialist better trained or qualified than a periodontist when it comes to Dental Implant treatment near Philadelphia. So, the next time you or a loved one is in need of getting teeth replaced with dental implants, you should consider visiting a periodontal specialist!

If you are interested in Dental Implants, give us a call at 856-772-9444 to set up a Consultation! Dr. Meltzer and the staff at Advanced Oral Specialty Group in Voorhees, NJ are seasoned clinical experts in Implant Dentistry, with thousands of hours of experience from placing over 30,000+ Dental Implants!

We welcome patients from everywhere, including Hunterdon County, Sussex County, Somerset County, the USA, and Internationally!


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