A dentist can specialise in many different fields of dentistry. They can be a good orthodontist, a prosthodontist, or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. They may also be a good general dentist as well.
Let us understand what these different types of dentists do.
- General dentist:
Also called the ‘family dentist’, the general dentist is the one that patients visit on a regular basis for preventive oral care. The services include dental X-rays, dental cleanings, artificial fillings, teeth whitening, and so on. He/she can help the patient with false teeth/braces/mouth guards too.
A general dentist can treat issues caused due to gum and root problems as well. No doubt, general dentists are competent to solve most oral problems; they themselves sometimes refer their patients to other kinds of dental specialists depending on the intensity of the problem.
If the patient needs to get a root canal treatment done; he/she should visit an endodontist. An endodontist specializes in the treatment of injuries and diseases that develop in the teeth’s inner workings. Endodontists are concerned with the pulp and nerves of their patients’ teeth.
They undergo training in the branch of dentistry that covers the physiology, pathology and morphology of the dental pulp and the periradicular tissues.
When the patient needs to install braces, an orthodontist is the one he/she should consult. Not only that, orthodontists correct gaps, crooked and misaligned teeth, jawbones, and other supporting facial structures for either cosmetic or functional reasons or both.
In simple terms, it means they improve the way their patients bite on food by designing oral tools like mouth guards, braces, retainers and so on.
Specialising in the cure of periodontitis and other advanced gum diseases, a periodontist is the one who is a pro at preventing and treating any kind of gum related disease, and also excels at dental implants, and guided bone regeneration.
Prosthodontists are responsible for what we know as ‘smile correction’ or ‘smile makeovers’ of their patients by providing oral prostheses which replaces their decayed, damaged or missing tooth/teeth. Oral prostheses are artificial or false teeth tools that include bridges, crowns, tooth implants, veneers, and dentures.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeon:
These surgeons are concerned with injuries and diseases that occur in the mouth or its surrounding area. They perform complex surgeries on their patients, which include removal of wisdom tooth, or placement of dental implants, and they even care for patients who suffer from oral cancer by conducting necessary surgeries on the ones who have facial injuries.