Types of Dentists

Posted on: 16 January 2020

When you think of dentistry, you think of the medical professional who cleans your teeth, performs routine exams, etc. However, there are over six dental specialists, and they include:

1.    General dentists

A general dentist handles preventive services, restorative services, cosmetic procedures and general oral health. General dentists are the primary providers of dental care services. They begin by examining your mouth to check for the presence of cavities, tooth decay, gum diseases and overall dental health. They provide restoration services, especially if you need a tooth filling.

Some are equipped with skills for advanced procedures such as dental implants and root canal therapy. They will also fit dentures and carry out cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening and cosmetic bonding.

2.    Orthodontist

Orthodontists are tasked with correcting jaws and teeth. If you'd like to change the way your teeth or jaws look, you might want to talk to an orthodontist. They will realign your teeth and correct jaws that don't close properly. They can also correct crowded teeth which are attributed to insufficient space in the mouth.

3.    Oral & maxillofacial surgeon

These dental specialists are unique in that they spend 4 years in dental school and an additional 4 years training in different techniques in fields such as anesthesiology, emergency medicine and general surgery.

Oral surgeons perform procedures such as tooth extractions, especially when the teeth in question are wisdom teeth. They can also perform corrective jaw surgery as well as surgeries to correct facial defects such as cleft lip/palate.

4.    Periodontist

These are medical professionals who diagnose and treat diseases in tissues that support the teeth. They are seen as plastic surgeons due to their ability to reshape the jaw and remodel soft tissue.

5.    Endodontists

Endodontists specialise in performing pulp treatments. Their work is somewhat similar to that of a general dentist as they all handle root canal treatments. However, a typical week sees them handling about 25 root canal treatments while general dentists handle about two per week.

Endodontists have more experience than general dentists when it comes to root canal treatments. They also have better equipment that makes treatment smooth, efficient and comfortable for the patients.  

6.    Prosthodontist

This is a dental specialist who deals with teeth replacement and restoration. Prosthodontists have experience dealing with dental implants, crowns, porcelain veneers, dentures and bridges. They also carry out specialised procedures, such as reconstructive dentistry and oral cancer screening.

The mouth has billions of bacteria; some are helpful; others are harmful, while the rest are neither harmful nor helpful. This is why oral hygiene is essential, but you also need to visit a dentist for regular checkups. The dentist will examine for any oral-related problems before they balloon.