What are the Different Types of Dentists?
There are many types of dentists and deciding what type of dentist you need may be confusing. From fixing misaligned teeth to performing complicated oral surgery, there are many types of dentists who will help you achieve the best oral health.
Curious about what other types of dentists there are? We’ve compiled a list of the types of dentists and dental specialists.
A general dentist is your primary dental care provider and has one primary goal: to help you maintain a healthy smile. Dentists diagnose and treat minor to moderate dental conditions and perform extractions, gum care, bridges, crowns, and fillings to help you improve your overall health.
Endodontists are dentists who specialize in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy (procedures, involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth). Patients typically need a root canal when there is inflammation or infection in the roots of a tooth. This type of specialist performs root canal procedures on patients which involve removing unhealthy pulp at the bottom of the tooth, filling the space and then sealing it. This procedure can save teeth that would otherwise have to be removed.
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who works to prevent, diagnose and treat facial and dental irregularities in the jaw and its structures such as malocclusions (bad bites). You would visit the orthodontist to identify if/when braces (or other options like Invisalign®) are needed. This dentist specializes in corrective retainers and appliances to improve your bite and smile.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
This type of dentist is responsible for any type of surgeries that involve the mouth, jaw, or face such as removal of wisdom teeth and placement of dental implants. Typically, you will see an oral/maxillofacial surgeon if you have suffered trauma to your face, jaw, or mouth, if you suffer from cysts or tumours, or if If you wish to receive dental implants.
An oral pathologist is a specialist who studies the different causes of diseases that occur in the mouth and the diseases that change the jaw, lip, teeth, and cheek structures. You would visit an oral pathologist if you have abnormal colouration in your gums (they should be pink), and growths on an x-ray. These specialists will often biopsy areas of concern and have them tested to determine the underlying disease or condition.
Paediatric Dentist or Pedodontists
A paediatric dentist (or pedodontist) specializes in dental care for infants and children. Paediatric dentists perform dental procedures that are similar to general dentists. However, because of their specialized training, they are equipped to handle many difficult behavioural situations and treat many types of patients, including infants, young children, and adolescents.
A periodontist specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases that affect the soft tissues within the mouth, including the bones and gums and are experts in the area of oral inflammation. You would visit a periodontist whenever you feel like your gums are sensitive or you notice bleeding. This dentist would diagnose and treat both gingivitis and periodontitis.
A prosthodontist specializes in the replacement of missing teeth or the repair of your natural teeth. This specialist will make use of caps and crowns to correct any areas of concern within the patient’s mouth. A prosthodontist is also involved in the dental implant process and can work with patients who experience any type of head and neck issues.