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Oral health experts: 10 types of dentists

Written byDr. Sonia Gupta

Last updated on : 17 May, 2024

Read time : 6 min

You may or may not be aware that various kinds of dentists look after the dental health of the general people. People are aware of several types of doctors while considering them. For instance, you wouldn’t seek treatment from an OB/GYN for heart issues. You visit OB/GYN only for ailments, diseases, or conditions related to women’s reproductive system. Similarly, there are different types of dentists in the field of dentistry for various oral health concerns.

Why there’s a need for different kinds of Dentists?

Different kinds of dentists treat various problems, just like doctors do. Although every dentist can practice as a general dentist, some choose to focus on specialised procedures. These treatments may involve orthodontics and tooth alignment, children’s dentistry, dental implants, extensive dental surgery, and particular gum care. Your regular dentist may suggest or refer you to a specific dentist for specialised care when you see them for routine dental care. Here is a brief explanation of each type of dentist’s focus and academic requirements to aid in understanding them.

General Dentist- Let’s go for a general oral check-up!

All dental school graduates are qualified/licensed to work as general dentists. They provide regular dental care, including checkups and cleanings. They also offer crowns, bridges, veneers, fillings, and emergency care. Most patients receive their initial care in general dentistry. Your general dentist refers you to a specialist if you need specialised care.

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Pedodontist- Your kid’s teeth need a specialist too!

Pediatric dentists, often known as pedodontists, focus on young patients. Although dental care is safe, it can frequently be frightening for kids, which increases anxiety. Pediatric dentists know the various difficulties working with kids, such as nervousness, fear, and other dental concerns. These dental professionals understand that sedation is different for kids. They know how to successfully manage hyperactive and special children and complete complex procedures. Paediatric dentists frequently work with elderly patients with unique/special requirements or needs.

Periodontist- Keep your gums healthy!

Periodontists concentrate on the care of the gums. Along with treating gum diseases, bone diseases, and periodontal(the tissue that supports teeth) disease, they focus on preventing gum diseases. Since they have received specialised training in treating these affected areas, periodontists will try to save your teeth unless it is too late.

Periodontists perform procedures such as removing overgrown/enlarged gums, adjusting the gums for aesthetic purposes, adding gum grafts to tissue-deficient areas, placing dental implants to support crowns to replace lost teeth, and extracting teeth that have little chance of recovery.

Endodontist- Tooth pain getting on nerves!

A root canal specialist is another name for an endodontist. They take care of the tooth’s diseased, dead, inflamed, or infected nerve, which can be extremely painful. Each tooth has a pulp inside that contains living blood vessels and cells. The nerve dies, becomes infected, and can lead to pressure and inflammation in the bone and tissue supporting the tooth if a cavity, crack, or trauma affects the pulp. Patients may occasionally appear with a swollen region when pus is draining from the root. An endodontist drills a tiny access hole in the tooth during a root canal procedure, removes the infected tissue, cleans and shapes the canals with small shaping files, and then fills the pulp canal with gutta-percha to seal it off against other bacteria getting inside. Prescribing antibiotics typically eliminates all localised pain and infection.

When a tooth has a persistent infection that does not go away with routine root canal therapy, endodontists can additionally conduct surgery on the tooth called an apicoectomy.

Prosthodontist- Lost teeth replaced at once!

A prosthodontist is a dental professional who makes removable or non-removable prostheses, or substitutes teeth, for patients who are missing some or all of their teeth. These include partial dentures, complete dentures, and porcelain crowns and bridges. Mostly, general dentists perform each of these procedures, and some dentists, like those in practice, who have advanced training also handle more complicated cases such as implants or actual teeth. Prosthodontists make custom dentures for patients who have lost a portion of their jaw due to injuries, cancer, or physical deformities.

Orthodontist – Want a beautiful smile?

A dentist who focuses on tooth and jaw alignment is an orthodontist. They are the dentist in charge of straightening your teeth to an ideal alignment using braces, retainers, and other similar appliances. Clear brackets with metal wires are now an option in addition to conventional metal braces, brackets, and wires. Many patients want their teeth straightened with Invisalign, which involves a set of removable clear trays covering all teeth and gradually realigning them to the optimal bite. You can take out the aligner trays for any occasion, which is an advantage of Invisalign. To maintain teeth alignment, Orthodontists also create several types of retainers.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons- More like Doctors!

They are specially qualified to treat infections of the mouth that affect your teeth and jaw. They have received specialised training in dental surgery and may collaborate closely with an ENT to complete any surgical procedures (major/minor). They frequently handle complicated surgical procedures. Surgery to remove cancer can occasionally treat sleep apnea and other possible facial infections.

Oral Pathologist- Microscopic analysis!

An Oral Pathologist doesn’t provide direct dental care. They actively investigate the causes, progression, and consequences of disorders that begin in the mouth or jaw using clinical, microscopic, radiological, biochemical, and more. The examination and report provided by the pathology department is typical examples of oral pathology procedure.

Oral Medicine and Radiologist – Diagnosis done right!

These oral clinicians are specialists who provide primary dental care for those with complex medical issues that require long-term management and modifications in the delivery of oral health care because of their medical status.
They have particular expertise in diagnosing and managing such oral problems as mouth sores and other soft tissue changes, taste changes, dry mouth, oral burning sensation, and jaw or facial pain. They use imaging techniques such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and others, this type of dental specialist aids in diagnosing and treating oral disorders. They diagnose diseases affecting the head, neck, face, and jaws and analyse and interpret these images.

Dental Public Health Specialist- Research, Control & Prevention

Specialists create plans to prevent and control dental diseases and promote dental health through coordinated initiatives and efforts. Instead of treating one person as a patient, it treats the community as a whole. Public health professionals are involved in community-based dental disease prevention and control, dental health education, group dental care program administration, and applied dental research.

Conclusion

Ask questions about the complexity and severity of your oral health issues and your dentist’s comfort level and experience in managing them. When your regular dentist thinks you could benefit more from seeing a specialist for a certain oral procedure, they will make the referral. You can avail of branded and generic medicines by uploading your prescription on the Truemeds app. When placing an order for medications online, you may save money by selecting alternative or generic medicine advised by Truemed’s expert doctors. You can save up to 72% on your purchase and get free home delivery pan India.

FAQs

How do I choose the right dentist to visit?

Your general dentist is essential for maintaining your overall dental health and frequently handles many of the same tasks as a specialist. Your oral issue occasionally calls for further expertise. Sometimes your dentist cannot perform procedures like wisdom tooth extractions, root canals, implants, periodontal surgery, or other procedures. The general dentist refers you to the concerned oral health expert.

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Disclaimer

Our healthcare experts have carefully reviewed and compiled the information presented here to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness. It is important to note that this information serves as a general overview of the topic and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any health problem. This page does not establish a doctor-patient relationship, nor does it replace the advice or consultation of a registered medical practitioner. We recommend seeking guidance from your registered medical practitioner for any questions or concerns regarding your medical condition.

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