The mouth is a very complex part of your body, some parts are so complicated they require their own branch of specialty practice. However, you may not ever need a specialist since general dentists exist as well. General dentists can do all the basics, and may potentially handle a lot more specific procedures like root canals.
If the procedure is difficult or has rare complications, then a specialist may be required to do the operation.
Types Of Dentistry
There are 3 types of dentistry:
General dentistry is the school of dentistry that most people will be familiar with. There’s a good chance that you probably won’t ever need to see a dentist that’s more specialized. Some general dentists are also more diverse then others, it will depend on their skill set and experience.
Here is a few things a general dentist can do:
- Restorative dentistry
- Cavity fillings & tooth decay
- Dental exams and teeth cleanings
- Dental x-rays
- Fluoride treatment
- Wisdom teeth removal
- Simple tooth extractions
- Gum health
- Cosmetic dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry is pretty much what it sounds like. Cosmetic procedures tend to focus on aesthetics, like veneers, and teeth whitening. However, an aesthetic procedure can have very functional benefits. For example, if you have uneven front teeth, it might make it difficult to bite and chew if there’s enough of a gap, veneers will fix the gap, and make it easier to chew in the process.
Some cosmetic procedures include:
- Teeth whitening treatment
- Gingivectomy (gum contouring)
- Cavity fillings
- Teeth cleanings
- Gum disease treatment
6 types of dental specialists
There are 6 types of dental specialists:
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
- Pediatric Dentists
A periodontist works on the:
- Upper jaw (mandibular)
- Lower jaw (maxillary)
- Overall health and aesthetics of the gum tissue
A prosthodontist specialty is restoring missing or damaged teeth back to their original function. Some general dentists are capable of inserting implants, or root canals, etc. But if it’s in a complicated position, or the teeth are decayed more than normal, then they may feel more comfortable referring you to a prosthodontist.
They specialize in restoring:
- Missing teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Damaged teeth
Oral And Maxillofacial Surgeons
- Accidental injury
- Periodontal issues
- Dental caries
- Tooth loss
Orthodontists specialize in malocclusion, this involves missing teeth or imperfect bites. If your jaw has an imperfect bite, it may lead to complications later on like an overbite, underbite, and difficulties eating or talking.
Some things orthodontics specialize include:
- Clear aligners
- Space maintainers
- Palate expanders