A specialist is a general dentist who has completed additional postgraduate training. By undergoing extensive training in their chosen field, they focus primarily on performing these specific procedures. A specialist orthodontist was a dentist before deciding to specialize. This requires additional education and training before they can call themselves specialists.
Dental specialists are dental professionals who have decided to receive extra education and training to specialize in a particular dental area. Examples of dental specialists include endodontists, periodontists, orthodontists, and prosthodontists. A general dentist may refer one of their patients to an endodontist, for example, because endodontists are specifically trained to perform endodontic treatments, as well as other types of complex root procedures. While general dentists usually perform most of the same dental procedures as dental specialists, it is sometimes necessary for a general dentist to refer the patient to a dental specialist.
While specialists have been trained to carry out all of the same procedures as general dentists, they usually limit their offices to working only on procedures within their specialty.