Your general dentist is just one of the many professionals who can help you maintain a healthy smile. There are a lot of “-odontists” out there – from ones who help with appliances like braces to others who specialize in restoring teeth back to health. Review the most common specialties in dentistry and what they do.
• Endodontists are dentists who specialize in the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the pulp. Infection of this area can cause tooth sensitivity and intense pain. Endodontists diagnose and treat infected roots and traumatic dental injuries, through procedures such as root canals and surgery.
• Orthodontists work to correct teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly by using braces, retainers, spacers, headgear and more. Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean and are more likely to be lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Misaligned teeth can lead to speech problems, jaw pain, unhealthy gums and trouble biting or chewing.
Orthodontists can help provide a healthier mouth, a straighter smile, and good oral health that is more likely to last a lifetime.
• Periodontists specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation (gingivitis) to major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. Periodontal treatment includes scaling, and root planing, gum grafts, and dental implants.
• Prosthodontists are experts at restoring and replacing teeth with aids that help enhance each individual’s oral health outcome. Prosthodontists use a variety of dental prosthetics like crowns, bridges, full or partial dentures and dental implants to restore tooth appearance and function following loss or damage.
Though it may be hard to remember who does what, each of these specialties serves an important role in oral health care. Though many general dentists provide a full range of services, specialists provide another level of expertise in the area.
Looking for more about dentists? Check out: