When you say the word dentist, the big chair, the bright lights and the sharp tools probably all come to mind. But did you know that there are actually different types of dentists? Not all dentists specialize in the same area, so it is important to know where you are being sent and for what. Here’s a list to help you better understand the different branches of dentistry.
A general dentist is a practice that specializes in general dentistry. They can treat basic problems and can do cleanings and regular dental care. This is probably the type of dentist you see most often.
A pediatric dentist specializes in dentistry with children. They are usually trained to educate patients how to brush, floss and all the basics of dental care. They are also used to doing dental work in small mouths, and can give advice about how to possibly avoid dental work in the future with good care now.
An endodontist specializes in the soft tissues that are found inside of your tooth. They have been known to relieve pain and save teeth from being pulled out completely. They must complete a general dentistry degree and then two or three more years of specialized training. They often have the latest technology in their offices to use in procedures, and they can sometimes reverse the effects of a bad root canal or other dental injury.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
If you need to have a tooth pulled, chances are you’ll be sent to an oral surgeon. These dentists have a lot of training in surgery and anesthetics that your regular dentist may not be able to use. If your dentist suspects a misalignment in your jaw, or if you need your wisdom teeth pulled, you will probably be sent to see an oral surgeon.
Orthodontists are usually known for applying braces. While it is true that the study of orthodontics deals with teeth that are out of alignment, they can also do so much more. Braces are no longer just the metal things that are attached to your teeth anymore. There are other options such as clean Invisalign braces that make things much easier. They can also use things like headgear to correct your jaw or overbite.
Periodontists specialize in the treatment and early detection of problems in your gums. Gum disease is one of the leading silent killers, so it is important to prevent and treat any problems that arise. They are sometimes referred to as the plastic surgeons of dentistry because they can help to bring your smile back to its full glory.
A prosthodontist specializes in the restoration or replacement of damaged or lost teeth. If you’ve had a dental injury or if you need an implant, you will probably go to see a prosthodontist. Crowns, porcelain veneers, dentures and bridges all fall under their training. They are also trained in reconstruction procedures.
If you are sent to see a specialist, there is a reason for it. At Hidden Smiles, we’d be happy to sit down with you for a free consultation to determine the best options for your smile. Give us a call today so we can get you started!