What Types of Services Do Specialty Dentists Provide?

The field of dentistry has several types of dental specialties, including endodontics, orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and more. Dental specialists are oral health professionals who receive specialized training after dental school, just like a neurologist or cardiologist. Oral surgery deals with the diagnosis and surgery required for diseases, injuries and defects of the human jaws and associated structures. Both dentists and doctors refer a wide variety of special dental problems to the oral surgeon. These may include the extraction of impacted and infected teeth and the treatment of cysts, tumors, injuries and infections of the mouth and jaws.

In addition, there are more complex problems, such as injuries to the jaw and face, the cleft palate and the cleft lip. When looking for a new dentist, you might find phrases such as general, family, or cosmetic dentistry. Dentists can be orthodontists, endodontists, or periodontists, etc. Here's a quick look at these dental terms and the different types of dentists. An endodontist is a specialist in endodontics who has knowledge about dental pulp, nerves, and blood vessels.

An orthodontist is responsible for installing orthopedic appliances, transparent aligners, mouth guards, headdresses, retainers and face masks. Orthodontists help improve bone structure and modify the growth of the middle part of the face and jaw. A pediatric dentist or pedodontist is a provider of dental care for children from newborns to adolescents. They can provide advice on children's habits such as thumb sucking. A periodontist deals with the surgical and non-surgical treatment of the soft tissues of the mouth (periodontium), such as the gums. A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who manufactures removable or non-removable dentures or replacement teeth for patients who are missing some or all of their teeth.

These include porcelain crowns and bridges, partial dentures, and full dentures. Most general dentists perform all of these procedures, and some dentists have advanced training and also handle larger cases involving implants or natural teeth. Prosthodontists also manufacture specialized dental prostheses for patients who have lost part of their jaw due to accidents, cancer or physical defects. In most countries that recognize specialties in dentistry, the specialist is limited to practicing in the specialty and cannot carry out the practice of general dentistry. In the United States, eighty percent of dentists are general dentists making them the majority of all dentists. After graduating an emerging dentist must apply to the appropriate state dental board to become a licensed dentist in that state.

When the specialty is limited, the general dentist can refer patients and the specialist's office is based primarily on referral. While general dentists can treat patients of any age pediatric dentists are specially trained to address the specific needs and oral health of children and adolescents such as fluoride treatments and dental sealants.

Tom Roberts
Tom Roberts

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