6 Types of Dentists and How They Help

Dentist Types and Their Varieties May Surprise You

Most of us are familiar with our local Arlington Heights dentist. We don’t really know if they’re a dental specialist of some kind, but we know they help when we need them to. Most of the time, we’re visiting a general/family dentist that takes care of our cavities, for example. However, there are many different types of dentist jobs that require just as many different types of dentist specialists.

Usually, we don’t require any services that would require seeing a specialist. However, when we do, we realize that the world of dentistry is vast. So, how do you know which type of specialist you need? That’s something we’re going to help you figure out.

Not every dentist offers or can perform the same services. That’s why you may have noticed that your local dentist is calling in other dentists to help out in cases of surgery, for example. Plus, children need their own kind of dental specialist. 

Let’s talk about each of the types to find out what they do and which one we should visit next time.

Types of Dentistry and Their Specialists

As we know by now, not every dentist can provide the care you need. They may be able to point you in the right direction, but not everyone has that amount of time to spend hopping from one dentist’s office to another. To prevent that from happening, we’re here to tell you that the most common types of dentistry include:

  • General dentistry
  • Family dentistry
  • Cosmetic dentistry

Each of the groups is in charge of giving you different services. General and family dentists are usually regarded as one in the same because they can do the same jobs. These jobs include cleaning and extracting teeth (including wisdom teeth), filling cavities, taking X-Rays, restoring teeth by installing implants, etc. 

A family dentist can do all of these things on people of all ages, genders, etc. That includes pregnant women, babies, teens, adults, and the elderly. It’s essential to have a good understanding of the differences between these demographics to perform different services.

Cosmetic dentistry is all about the aesthetic side of things, giving you that mesmerizing smile you’ve always dreamt about. General dentists can do some cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening, but they may need additional training for other procedures. 

Other than teeth whitening, cosmetic dentists do veneers, contour gums, and install braces. While braces aren’t always something people do for aesthetics, they still give you those kinds of results.

Types of Specialists

Types of dentist specialties depend on the area of study each doctor focused on. The types can be as follows:

  • Periodontist
  • Prosthodontist
  • Oral surgeon
  • Endodontist
  • Orthodontist
  • Pediatric dentist

Periodontists are the specialists that deal with the soft tissue that supports both sets of teeth — the periodontium. These specialists can diagnose, treat, and, of course, prevent diseases of the soft tissue. That’s what most of us know as gum disease. While all dentists can spot gum disease, you may need a specialist to deal with it.

Prosthodontists work in the realm of restorative dentistry. They are the ones you’re looking for when you want to restore teeth that are missing, damaged, or slowly decaying. In restoring these teeth, prosthodontists are helping oral tissues go back to functioning properly.

Most of us are familiar with oral surgeons. While a general dentist can extract wisdom teeth, an oral surgeon is needed if wisdom teeth are impacted. However, they deal with so much more than that. Oral surgeons are the ones to call in case of an accident resulting in injury or trauma.

Endodontists specialize in root canal work and all things relating to it. Of course, that’s not all. They can also perform surgeries related to pulp issues. If you ever have problems with nerves near teeth roots, endodontists can help you out.

If you’ve ever had crooked teeth, orthodontists are your best friends. They make your braces, clear aligners, retainers, etc.

Lastly, pediatric dentists work with children and babies until they become adults. They’re also trained to work with children with physical and mental disabilities, making them a little more specialized and reliable when dealing with certain types of patients.

Which Dentist Is the Best for You?

When it comes to the best dentists for you, it depends on the kind of dental treatment you need. Of course, not everyone can know what their problem is as soon as they assess the situation. That’s why it’s useful to go to a general dentist to try and figure out what the next step is.

In case of emergencies, emergency dentists exist, and they may also be known as Saturday dentists due to their extended hours. Not all dental offices work on weekends, so it’s a blessing to find ones that do. Regardless of what your problems might be, a general dentist can point you in the right direction.

Additionally, dentists that specialize in family dental care will often be available for consultations with their patients. That means you can reach them over the phone, explain the symptoms, and they will suggest a solution. Doing this saves you a lot of time and money because not everyone has dental insurance that covers every single trip to the office.

Good Oral Hygiene Matters

Cavities happen to us all, but good oral hygiene ensures you’ll take fewer trips to any type of dentist. Brushing your teeth regularly and flossing will help minimize the possibility of having gum disease or any other oral issues. However, if an accident happens, you’ll know which way to turn.

Having regular check-ups with your general dentist is just as essential. They will be able to diagnose and spot problems as they arise so that you can work to fix them before situations get any worse.

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