When the term dentistry is mentioned, what comes to your mind? If you are like many people, you will quickly think of the family dentist you regularly visit for teeth checkups. However, the profession is more extensive than this. Your local dentist is just one of the many in dentistry. Here are seven different types of dentists that you are likely to come across.
Type #1: General Dentists
This specialist is also referred to as a family dentist. He/she is responsible for taking care of general oral health regularly. They are the most visible of all types of dentists with their major work being preventable oral care. This includes dental cleanings, dental health education and dental X-rays.
General dentists are also involved in restorative oral care such as treating tooth decay, whitening services, repairing cracked teeth and replacing missing teeth. They also treat gum disease, root issues and any other related condition.
Your general dentist is also useful in giving guidance on braces, mouth guards, false teeth and other treatments. You should see a general dentist regularly for oral health, neck and head checkup. They are usually your first point of call. A general dentist often works with a full team of dental staff, where the assistants and hygienists take on smaller responsibilities to expedite the process.
Type #2: Orthodontists
Orthodontists are dental specialists commonly known for installing braces. However, their work includes dealing with misaligned teeth, jaw bones, as well as providing support to facial structures.
For these types of dentists, their job is to better people’s bites through customized oral hardware such as braces, mouth guards, headgear, clear dental alignment trays, and face masks. All these are meant to correct developmental misnomers. The devices work to improve deformed bone structure and teeth with spacing issues.
Type #3: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
These are specialists who study the causes of oral diseases. They are interested in diseases which change the lip, jaw, teeth, and cheek structures. They will often do a biopsy on areas where the disease is suspected and conduct proper tests to determine the condition.
These types of dentists are responsible for the care of the soft and hard tissues, which are found in and around the mouth. These include gums, lips, cheeks, tongue, facial tissues, hard palate, and soft palate. The specialists perform surgeries that are more invasive than their counterparts in the same profession. The surgeries include surgical jaw corrections, complex tooth extractions and smoothing.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are also responsible for cleft lip surgeries, reconstructive surgeries, cancerous tissue extraction, occasional biopsies, sleep apnea and facial infections treatments. They lay the foundation for any future dental interventions since they introduce surgical improvements that are vital in supporting bones, a prerequisite for the installation of false teeth, oral appliances, or cosmetic procedures.
Type #4: Periodontists
These types of dentists are responsible for preventing and treating gum disease. They deal with all manner of gum diseases, however severe they may be. Periodontists install implants and perform gum cosmetic skin grafting. They advise general dentists on the prevention and treatment of gum diseases.
A periodontist must concern himself/herself on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases that affect soft tissues in the mouth, including bones and gums. It is these specialist dentists who diagnose and treat gingivitis and periodontitis.
Type #5: Prosthodontists
These types of dentists are dentistry specialists responsible for oral prostheses that usually replace damaged, missing or decayed teeth. In simple terms, oral prostheses are false teeth. They include crowns, dentures, veneers, bridges and tooth implants. The replacements are both cosmetic and functional. They improve your ability to chew, speak well and bite.
Prosthodontists are responsible for a comprehensive overhaul of one’s facial appearance, otherwise called a “smile makeover.” It is done both for traumatic reconstruction and cosmetic reasons. Prosthodontists work in close cooperation with dental labs to create customized oral appliances and false teeth that are uniquely suitable for each patient.
Type #6: Endodontists
Endodontists concern themselves with the pulp, the inner part of a tooth usually protected by the enamel and an inner layer of dentin. The pulp is found below the gum line. It is a soft part of the tooth made up of very sensitive living tissue.
Decay or trauma can cause injury or inflammation to the pulp. It is also affected by decay and tooth rot. To keep a tooth in your mouth, it is critical that pulp is treated correctly. If treatment is not possible, the endodontist will opt for a popular procedure known as a root canal.
Type #7: Pediatric Dentists (Pedodontists)
A pediatric dentist specializes in dental care for children. These types of dentists are similar to general dentists, but they focus only on children’s teeth. They clean, diagnose, and treat dental issues, even in young infants. Pediatric dentists train beyond the average period of training by an additional two years.
Oral health is undeniably an important part of your wholesome wellbeing. However, it goes beyond just general dentistry. This article delves not only into the different specialties available but also on their areas of concern. With the different types of dentists listed above, you can now seek appropriate dental attention specific to your condition.