When it comes to dental care, there are two types of dentists: general dentists and specialists. General dentists are responsible for taking care of all of a patient's dental needs, while specialists are trained to perform specific procedures within their field. Both DDS and DMD dentists are considered general dentists and are the primary providers who address general dental care needs. General dentists begin practicing immediately after dental school, while specialists must receive additional postgraduate training in the respective field.
To obtain DDS or DMD credentials, a doctor must complete three or more years of undergraduate studies followed by four years in dental school. Because general dentists perform a wide variety of procedures, they tend to invest in multipurpose tools and materials, while the specialist invests in tools that make performing their specialty smoother and easier for the patient. Dental specialties must meet certain training, education and several requirements to be recognized by the National Commission for the Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certification Boards (NCRDSCCB). If you need more complex or specialized services or procedures, your general dentist can refer you to a dentist who has advanced training and specializes in that service. In conclusion, general dentists are capable of handling a wide variety of dental procedures and emergencies, while specialists limit their offices to working only on procedures within their specialty. If you need more complex or specialized services or procedures, your general dentist can refer you to a dentist who has advanced training and specializes in that service.