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Different Types of Dental Specialists

Dental Specialists

Types of Dental Specialists 

You can’t take care of your overall health without taking care of your teeth, so the general consensus is that you should visit your dentist at least twice a year if you don’t have any dental problems since it’s always best to keep everything in check and get your annual dental cleaning. If you need a Saturday dentist, check our website and schedule a dental appointment.

But, how do you know what your dentist options are? How do you know what type of dental specialist you should visit? And how do you know which one is the best dentist for you? Well, that’s what we’ll get into today. Without further ado, here are the different types of dentists.

General Dentist

General dentistry is the most common type of dentistry. It covers a vast array of treatment alternatives and procedures that are crucial for good oral health. Just like it says on the lid, general dentistry deals with general problems instead of focusing on specific areas. 

The things a general dentist can offer include:

  • Cavity fillings
  • Restorative dentistry (dental bridges, implants, dentures, etc.)
  • Dental exams
  • Teeth cleanings
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Fluoride treatment
  • Tooth extractions 
  • Wisdom teeth removal

So, if you’re looking for a dentist that can handle any of the mentioned areas, you’ll do just fine by visiting a local dentist. 

Family Dentist 

A family dentist covers the same areas as a general dentist would. However, a family dentist treats people of all ages, adults and kids alike. This specification is needed since teeth differ exponentially depending on the age of the patient, and naturally, so do the care and treatments they receive. A family dentist can be a great and practical choice, and finding the closest dentist in your area that can treat your entire family shouldn’t present a problem. 

Pediatric Dentist 

While a family dentist can treat both young and old, a pediatric dentist specializes in children’s oral health. Children go through a lot of changes as they continue to grow up, and one of these changes is their teeth. A pediatric dentist is there to monitor the changes in their oral health and treat problems that may occur. So, pediatric dentistry deals with the following:

  • Oral health exams 
  • Preventive dental care
  • Cavity repair
  • Dental injuries
  • Habit counseling
  • Orthodontics
  • Management of gum disease and related conditions

Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry takes care of the aesthetics, helping you achieve a beautiful smile. Cosmetic dentistry overlaps with general dentistry, given that some procedures, like braces, gear towards both functionality and aesthetics. And most general dentists can perform cosmetic dental procedures with proper qualifications. Common procedures a cosmetic dentist may perform are:

  • Dental veneers
  • Braces
  • Dental implants
  • Teeth whitening treatments
  • Gum contouring 

Emergency Dentist

As the name implies, an emergency dentist deals with all sorts of dental emergencies. They treat all sorts of issues, like fractured teeth, a dislocated jaw, or dental injuries. If you’re experiencing intense pain or have a dental emergency, an emergency dental office is the best choice. 

Periodontist

A periodontist specializes in dealing with the soft tissues surrounding the teeth in the upper and the lower jawbone. This includes preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases and conditions that might affect the surrounding structures. They cover everything, from function to the aesthetic appearance of the tissues. Periodontists most commonly provide the following procedures:

  • Non-surgical periodontal treatment
  • Scaling and root planing
  • Dental implants
  • Regeneration
  • Gingivectomy 
  • Soft tissue grafting

Orthodontist

An orthodontist specializes in treating malocclusions, which can lead to problems with biting, like an underbite or an overbite. They offer treatments that aim toward correcting and realigning misaligned teeth. Common treatments an orthodontist might perform consist of:

  • Braces
  • Retainers
  • Clear aligners
  • Space maintainers
  • Palate expanders

Endodontist

Endodontists are specialists who deal with periradicular tissues and dental pulp. Periradicular tissues include the tissues, blood vessels, and nerves that surround the root of the tooth. Common procedures endodontists perform include:

  • Endodontic treatment
  • Root canal treatment
  • Endodontic surgery
  • Dental implants
  • Dental injuries

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon 

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons take care of the functions and aesthetics of the oral and maxillofacial area. They receive a lot of special training, including being trained in hospitals, on top of their dental studies. That is because, unlike other dental professionals, oral surgeons tend to perform more complex and invasive surgeries. Some of the problems they treat are:

  • Trauma
  • Injuries
  • Diseases
  • Deformities
  • Dental caries
  • Tooth loss
  • Periodontal problems

Prosthodontist

A prosthodontist deals with damaged or missing oral tissues and helps restore their functions. They provide restorations to teeth that are missing, damaged, or decayed. That includes providing oral prostheses, such as crowns, bridges, dentures, veneers, and tooth implants. Prosthodontic dentistry covers both the cosmetic aspect and also cares for reconstructing functionality in cases of trauma.

Bonus: How to Choose a Dentist

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of dentists and what they specialize in, you might be wondering how to choose a dentist. Well, understandably, if you have a specific dental problem that a general dentist won’t be able to appropriately deal with, you should look into visiting a specialist. You can also ask your usual dentist for a referral. 

When deciding on a dentist, you should always make sure to try and find a dentist that has convenient office hours and is, ideally, somewhere in your area. You should also make sure your dentist has arrangements for handling emergencies. Most dentists usually have some type of emergency service that they can refer you to in case they’re unavailable. 

Always check whether they’re willing to provide information about payment before you schedule an appointment. Also, be sure to ask about their policy regarding missed appointments. 

Many people also ask their friends, family, and acquaintances for recommendations. It’s always good to hear an honest opinion from a trusted individual. Looking for reviews online is also a handy way to get insight when it comes to a dental office and the quality of its services.

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