If your family dentist has ever caused you to scratch your head by referring you to another professional such as an orthodontist or oral surgeon, you are not alone. The truth is, many people do not realize there are several different types of dental specializations. Depending on which procedure you need, you may have to visit someone other than the regular dentist who provides your annual cleanings. Without further ado, here are seven types of professions in the world of dentistry.
1. General Dentists
When most people think about the “dentist,” this is the person who comes to mind. Your general dentist is the health care professional who keeps up with your general oral health. This includes cleanings, fillings, and other routine procedures.
Also called pediatric dentists, professionals in this area of dentistry work with children’s teeth. From diagnoses to treatments, this specialization focuses on younger mouths and jaws.
Jaw realignment is an issue that affects many people. For those looking for braces or similar types of solutions, an orthodontist is the professional you will need.
Gums can play an important role in the overall health of a person’s teeth. Although a general dentist can help individuals prevent gum disease, a periodontist is necessary to treat and repair any problems specific to the gums.
Another common type of oral health care provider is an endodontist. When troublesome issues involve tooth nerves, this is the kind of specialist you can expect to call. While root canals make up the majority of endodontic procedures, this specialist can also perform a variety of other surgical procedures related to a damaged nerve.
6. Oral Surgeons
If you are looking for someone who specializes in oral diseases of the teeth and jaw, this is who you need to search for. Often, these kinds of dentists work with ear, nose, and throat specialists on interconnected problems.
For many people, appearances matter, especially when it comes to teeth. For anyone who needs cosmetic treatment, a prosthodontist is the professional to turn to. From teeth whitening to veneers to dentures and crowns, these specialists offer patients a variety of services to keep teeth looking great.
Without a doubt, oral health is complex, and taking care of your teeth involves more than a yearly visit to your family dentist. Depending on your individual situation, it is possible you may need to see any one of the types of dental professionals on this list at some point.