Taking care of our teeth is important in maintaining our overall well-being. Some may be skimping on dental visits until they twist in pain due to teeth problems, but some people follow the regular dentist visits of once every six months. Some visit more often when they have special conditions to be addressed.
But did you know that there’s more than one type of dentist that can address specific medical concerns? You may be only meeting general dentists for your general dental health needs. So, if by any chance you experience dental issues that go beyond a general dentists’ skills and knowledge, we’re going to tell you about the other types of dentists you can consult.
Take a look at this list:
1. General Dentists
General dentists are the most common type of dentists we come across. They’re the ones who provide routine dental exams and regular teeth cleanings. Simply put, general dentists are the ones you go to for simple dental care procedures.
General dentists are also the ones who will refer and introduce you to other dentists who practice different types of dentistry based on your needs. The recommendation is made when you require treatment they’re not qualified or licensed to provide.
2. Pediatric Dentists
Pediatric dentists or pedodontists specialize in diagnosing and treating dental problems in children from infancy and well into their young adult years. In special cases, they also provide care for older patients.
They’re required to complete additional education and experience to qualify for becoming pediatric dentists, aside from earning a general dentistry degree that general dentists have.
Aside from treating children’s oral health problems, pediatric dentists also work hand in hand with parents to teach young children about proper oral health practices and teach parents how to best handle their children’s oral habits.
Orthodontists diagnose and treat overbites, overcrowding, occlusions, and misaligned teeth and jaws. If your general dentist diagnoses any of those conditions, they will refer you to a qualified orthodontist who is qualified to address your oral health concern.
They have tools to solve teeth alignment problems, such as braces, which are the most popular solution orthodontist provide to patients. Aside from braces, they also use wires, retainers, and other dental devices to help patients with alignment problems.
Similar to practicing pediatric dentistry, orthodontists are required to take additional learning and experience years to practice as licensed orthodontists.
Prosthodontists work with patients’ problems with their teeth and jawbones. They specialize in treating facial and dental problems involving restoring missing jaw and tooth structures, making a prosthodontist a cosmetic dentist.
They receive specialized training in crowns, dental implants, cosmetics, bridges, dentures, and many more. Simply put, prosthodontists are the dental experts for anything teeth-related that needs replacement or repair. Making them the go-to for enhancement procedures in the dental side of things.
Periodontists specialize in the treatment and repair of gum problems. Even though general dentists can diagnose gum problems, they aren’t qualified to provide any treatment but can help you prevent these issues. What they can do is refer you to periodontists who can provide the treatment your gums need to efficiently address damaged tissue and prevent progressive gum diseases.
Endodontists are dentists that specialize in dealing with issues concerning the nerves of a tooth. They’re the ones who perform root canals, which are procedures meant to prevent further infection through removing infected pulps, filling the space, and sealing to prevent bacteria from seeping in and causing another infection.
7. Oral Pathologists and Surgeons
Oral pathologists specialize in dealing with the nature, identification, and management of diseases that affect the maxillofacial and oral regions of the body. In other words, oral pathologists work to understand the causes and effects of diseases in those regions. They do clinical examinations, testing, all while taking a patient’s health into consideration.
On the other hand, an oral surgeon addresses issues from our wisdom teeth, impacted teeth, bone loss, and jaw misalignment. They can provide treatment for chronic diseases and conditions that come from problems with our mouths.
Determining the type of care you need
To know which type of dentist you need to consult, you need to meet with your general dentist. After a thorough assessment of your oral situation, they can determine the proper care you need and which type of dentist you can get that care from. So don’t delay in making an appointment. Ignoring issues can worsen them and create more problems. Take the time to make the visit.