Over the period, dentistry has been evolved due to a tremendous increase in knowledge. Dentists come to mind whenever we thought to go for our regular dental check-ups. Nowadays, all dental problems cannot be handled by your routine dentist also called the general dentist. Dentistry is now much more advanced than ever before. We all have heard of medical specialists e.g. cardiologist or pulmonologist etc., but most people don’t know that dental specialists are also available to deal with complex dental problems. Dental specialists are dentists who received additional training and experience to provide you complex treatment to achieve better oral and dental health.
Have you ever thought about what type of dentist you should see for your dental problems? How many types of dentists are there? What types of dental treatment do they provide?
Let’s take a look at different types of dentists:
A general dentist or family dentist provides you primary oral health care. You need to visit a general dentist regularly for routine dental procedures. General dentists provide preventive and interceptive treatment for mild to moderate dental problems. Procedures commonly performed by them include fissure sealants, fluoride application, fillings, simple root canal treatment, teeth cleaning, crown, and bridge.
While general dentists are capable of treating most dental problems, but for the complex problems, they will provide you with a referral to a specific type of dental specialist such as:
An implantologist is a dental specialist who has completed extensive training in dental implantology and has vast experience in placing dental implants and restorations in patients who have lost one or more teeth.
An endodontist is a dental specialist that has received training for complicated root canal procedures. A root canal treatment is a procedure that treats the infected tissues within a tooth. For complicated surgical root procedures, your general dentist will probably refer you to an endodontist.
An orthodontist is a dentist that specializes in the prevention, interception, diagnosis, and treatment of dental problems that affect the teeth and jaws, e.g. crowded or spaced teeth, missing or extra teeth. An orthodontist will help in straightening your teeth and identify when braces are needed. Your child can be referred to an orthodontist as early as the age of seven.
A pediatric dentist has expertise in dental care for children. They primarily focus on children teeth and provide routine care like examination, cavity fillings, pulpotomy, pulpectomy, and teeth cleaning.
Parents often choose a pediatric dentist for their children’s routine dental care because of their child-friendly practices and age-specific knowledge.
A periodontist is a dental specialist that focuses on caring for your gums and structures around your teeth. In advanced cases, a referral to a periodontist is made to help patients diagnose and treat advanced gum disease. They are also trained to perform minor gum surgical procedures, like soft tissue grafts and periodontal pocket reduction procedures.
Prosthodontists help patients restore nature smile by replacing missing or damaged teeth. They have extensive training in dental procedures such as dentures, veneers, crowns, and bridge and implant prosthesis.
An Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is responsible for any type of surgery that involves the mouth, jaw, or face. They perform more complex procedures like impacted or wisdom tooth extractions, corrective jaw surgery, oral cysts or tumors removal, and cleft lip or cleft palate surgery.
Typically, you will see an oral and maxillofacial surgeon if you have suffered trauma to your mouth, face, or jaw.
It is important to remember a general dentist is your primary health care provider and you will be referred to a dental specialist if your dental problem is complex and beyond the scope of a general dentist.
And remember, it is important to stay current with your 6-month check-up and cleanings. Contact us to consult a dentist for more information and treatment.