Types of Dentists: You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers

What’s the deal with all of these different types of dentists? How do you know what it all means and who you should visit? Not to worry, we’re here to help make sense of the different types of dentists what it means for you as a patient.

General Dentistry –  
Most often when you go to the dentist, you are seeing your general dentist who treats your overall oral health care needs. This includes diagnosing and treating problems such as gum disease, cavities, root canals, crowns, and bridges as well as preventative care, hopefully allowing you to avoid the need for our next types of dentists – the dental specialists.

Orthodontist –
A patient is referred to an orthodontist when a general dentist notices misalignments with the jaw and/or teeth of both children and adults. If there are extra teeth, missing teeth, or teeth are crowded, an orthodontist will treat the patient with solutions like braces, Invisalign, and/or retainers. Don’t be surprised if your child is referred to an orthodontist as early as the age of seven.

Pediatric Dentist –
The types of dentists who work exclusively with children are called pediatric dentists or pedodontists. Much of their additional training focuses on building a positive association between children and their dentist and is based in child psychology. They work with children to build a base line for good oral health care and many work with patients who have special needs.

Oral Surgeon –
an oral surgeon specializes in the surgical treatment of disease, injuries and esthetic or functional areas of the mouth. They are the ones who remove wisdom teeth, handle dental implants, and biopsy suspicious spots in the mouth. They also have additional training in anesthesia to ensure the comfort of the patient when surgery is required.

While it may seem like an inconvenience to visit a dental specialist, it is in your best interest to to do so when referred.

Remember, your general dentist will always be your primary point of contact to help you with your oral health care needs. Do you need a new general dentist?

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