Most Common Dental Specialties
Taking care of your teeth is an essential part of being healthy. But do you know what type of dental specialist to consult? We help you choose the right dentist according to your dental problems. Here are the most common types.
How Many Types Of Dental Specialists Are There?
In general, there are seven types of dental specialists:
- General dentist
- Pediatric dentist
- An oral pathologist or oral surgeon
What Types Of Treatments Do They Provide?
Here is a brief description of the type of dental specialist and the services they provide:
- General dentists perform regular teeth cleanings and routine exams. Your general dentist may refer you to other specialists if you need services and procedures for which they are not qualified.
- Pediatric dentists specialize in dental care and dental treatment for children and adolescents.
- Orthodontists specialize in aligning the teeth and jaw using wires, braces, retainers, and other devices.
- Periodontists help treat and cure gum diseases and problems. While the general dentist is concerned with the prevention of gum disease, the periodontist is the one who will provide the appropriate treatment for tissue damaged by this progressive disease.
- Endodontists specifically treat problems that affect the nerve of the teeth. They can do necessary root canals when there are cavities in the tooth’s nerve.
- Oral pathologists and oral surgeons specialize in treating oral diseases of the teeth and jaw. They can perform surgeries and work alongside ear, nose, and throat (ENT) providers.
- Prosthodontists repair teeth and jawbones. They perform cosmetic dentistry or treatments to improve the appearance of teeth such as teeth whitening and veneers. Besides, he takes care of dentures, crowns, and bridges.
How Do I Know What Type Of Dental Specialist I Need?
Your general dentist or general practitioner can refer you to the specialist you need.
It is important to consult your general dentist at least once a year, not only for cleaning your teeth but also for control that guarantees your oral health. Receiving a professional opinion can solve potential dental problems before they become serious. See your general dentist right away if you have any pain in your mouth.
Specialized Areas Of Dentistry
Dental / Oral Health Specialists are as follows:
- Pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist works with the oral health care of children, from infancy through adolescence. In guiding children and adolescents through their dental growth and development, pediatric dentists often work closely with pediatricians, family physicians, and other dental specialists in providing comprehensive medical and dental care.
- Endodontist. Also called pulp specialists, endodontists have received specialized training to perform root canal therapy.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeon. This dental specialty also includes the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, injuries, and defects related to the functional and aesthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. Many of the oral surgery training programs offer both an oral surgery certificate and a medical degree in the 6-7 year dual training program.
- Oral pathologist. Oral pathologists diagnose and treat diseases of the oral and maxillofacial structures by clinical, microscopic, radiological, and other means.
- Public health dentist. Public health dentists help prevent and control dental disease on a community-wide basis. They administer community dental health programs and provide dental health education.
- Oral radiologist. Oral radiologists produce and interpret images using radiant energy for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the oral and maxillofacial areas.
- Orthodontists also receive specialized training in facial abnormalities and jaw disorders. A patient often consults an orthodontist after being referred from his / her general dentist.
- Prosthodontist. Prosthetics are dental specialists who have received additional training and certification in restoring and replacing broken or missing teeth with crowns, bridges, implants, or removable dentures (dentures).
It is the branch of dentistry that specializes in understanding the dynamics of the smile, maintaining a healthy mouth, and creating dental replacements. Dental technicians often work closely with other members of the oral health care team in restoring natural teeth, replacing missing teeth, and/or developing artificial substitutes for damaged oral and maxillofacial tissues. Besides, prosthetists may also receive specialized training in the following:
- Post reconstruction of oral cancer
- Jaw joint problems (for example, temporomandibular joint disorder)
- Traumatic injuries to the mouth
- Snoring and sleep disorders