The Different Types of Dentists You Might Encounter
Taking good care of our oral health is a crucial part of staying healthy. Whatever problem occurs to our mouth, gums, or teeth can impact our overall health and quality of life. Hence, it is highly essential that our oral health is well taken care of and that all problems related to the mouth, including the teeth and gums, are given proper attention before they become worse.
Dentists are our primary saviors when we have problems related to oral health. But do you know that dentists have their own specializations, too? Overall, there are seven types of dentists, each specializing in certain areas related to oral health.
This type of dentist is the primary provider of dental health care. General dentists cater to a wide range of dental health problems. They diagnose, treat, and provide insights on the proper care for gums, root canals, bridges, crowns, fillings, veneers, and many more. They also educate people about the preventive measures that can be taken to avoid possible issues that concern oral health. General dentists also provide services that include regular teeth cleaning and routine dental exams. If a patient needs more care than what they can provide, they often refer such a patient to a dentist specializing in that particular area in dentistry.
Known as an orthodontist, an orthodontic specialist is the type of dentist capable of treating certain types of dental abnormalities, including jaw misalignment, crooked teeth, overbite or underbite problems, crowded teeth, and teeth that are spaced too far apart. Orthodontists focus on two disciplines in dentistry: the proper and safe shifting of teeth and properly guiding the development of the jaw, teeth, and face.
Also known as a pedodontist, this dental professional specializes in caring for, diagnosing, and treating all dental issues in children, infants, and teenagers. Pedodontists provide their patients with comprehensive oral health care, including oral health exams, repair of tooth cavities and any defect in the teeth, teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, and correcting an improper bite. They can also diagnose oral conditions associated with more serious medical problems or diseases, such as congenital heart defects, diabetes, ADHD, hay fever, and asthma. These professionals also provide insights on the proper management of gum diseases, such as ulcers, mucoceles, short frenulum, and pediatric periodontal disease.
This dentist specializes in providing cosmetic surgery or treatments meant to improve the overall appearance of teeth. Prosthodontists specialize in teeth whitening, teeth repair, and treatment of jawbones. They are also experts in creating and installing teeth veneers, crowns, bridges, and dentures.
For people suffering from tooth pain, infection, and tooth or gum diseases, an endodontist is the perfect professional to seek help from. Endodontists can diagnose and treat toothaches. They can perform a special procedure called a root canal designed to save a decaying or infected tooth.
Also known as oral surgeons, oral pathologists are specialized in treating diseases concerning the teeth and jaw. These professionals may work closely with ENT specialists or licensed in the care and treatment of diseases and conditions concerning the ear, nose, and throat. Oral pathologists cover all areas of disease management, including the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of oral disease. They may also perform research related to their work.
People suffering from certain conditions in their mouth, such as lesions and suspicious growth of tissues, should consult with an oral pathologist to determine the cause of the problem. These conditions may be indicative of more serious illnesses, including cancer. A pathologist can make an assessment and then come up with proper treatment once a diagnosis is made.
Some of the most common oral health issues that a pathologist can help patients with include cancers in the mouth, canker sores, salivary problems, herpes of the mouth, and bad breath.
Sometimes, it may be hard for people to understand what is going on inside their mouths. Hence, it is crucial to seek the necessary medical attention or visit a dentist when they see something suspicious inside their mouths or feel something wrong with their teeth, gums, or even breath.
Many people do not also realize the importance of having a dentist check their oral health regularly. A dentist can help alleviate any significant pain and prevent any issues from escalating into something worse in the long run. This way, you can continue to have good oral health and give a bright smile to those who need it.