Blog Dental Health

The Differences Between Dentists

Most people would assume that their regular dentist can do anything and everything they would need done. But that’s not the case.

Just like there are different types of doctors who specialize in treating different areas of the body, there are different types of dentists as well. Knowing their specialties allows you to understand which dentist you should turn to when you need some work done.

Let’s discover who they are, starting with the one we’ve all encountered: the general dentist.

The General Dentist

General dentists are the most well-known. Many people may never see a different dentist or specialist. A general dentist helps you maintain your overall oral health.

Their expertise covers a variety of functions, including the diagnosis of various dental conditions and treatments. They are also responsible for performing x-rays and moderate-level tooth extractions, root canals and fillings.

In most instances, people usually only require the medical assistance of general dentists. However, general dentists can’t handle severe cases. In such an event, they will recommend that you work with one of the following:

1. Endodontist

An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the care of the pulp, roots and nerves of the teeth. Their expertise allows them to evaluate the extent of the damage to the pulp and nerves and work out a feasible mode of treatment.

Endodontists can perform root canal treatments or carry out tooth extractions without harming the roots of the other teeth.

2. Orthodontist

These dentists are responsible for the correction of developmental issues of the bones of the mouth. They’re responsible for fitting braces, correcting misalignment of the jaws, and correcting facial components for functional and cosmetic reasons. The most common reason to see an orthodontist is to get braces.

Orthodontists are also responsible for mouth guards, retainers, dental alignment trays and more. In some cases, they work with oral surgeons for facial reconstruction, such as when an accident causes misalignment of the jaw.

3. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

If you have ever had to get oral surgery, you’ve probably met an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. These surgeons specialize in the soft and hard tissues of the mouth. They usually get additional training at hospitals before they get their degrees. They’re responsible for performing all invasive surgeries to correct injuries from disease or when trauma has occurred.

Most oral surgeons are also responsible for reconstructive surgeries, such as for a cleft palate or the extraction of cancerous tissues in the mouth. They also make sure that the jaw is in good condition before teeth implants or other cosmetic procedures occur.

4. Periodontist

These dentists specialize in the soft tissue and the gums of the mouth. A periodontist handles the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of various gum diseases, conditions and issues. This includes gingivitis, inflammation, bleeding gums and conditions in which the gums are withdrawing from the root of the teeth.

They are responsible for the treatment of gum drafts and dental implants. If any surgery is required that can impact the gums, a periodontist will be consulted to ensure that your gums are not harmed in any manner. With their help, your general dentist can devise a plan that will improve the condition of your gums and protect them from any further harm.

5. Prosthodontist

If you ever had to get dentures or veneers, you’ve worked with a prosthodontist. These dentists specialize in the removal and repair of decaying or missing teeth. Installation of false teeth could be done for both cosmetic and functional reasons. They usually handle cosmetic procedures, but can also be involved in accidents where teeth replacement is required.

A prosthodontist will make sure that your new teeth do not negatively impact your ability to properly chew, speak or bite. Prosthodontists work closely with the patient to customize all oral prosthetics they make for the best fit possible.

6. Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric dentists specialize in the teeth and oral health of babies and children. While they might appear to be similar to a general dentist, they have to study for two more years to understand the development and problems of growing teeth. This includes the transition from baby teeth to permanent teeth.

Most children see a pediatric dentist from childhood through their late teens. Once their permanent teeth have come in, they can start seeing a general dentist.

Holistic Dentist

Holistic dentists — sometimes called biological dentists — are just like general dentists. However, instead of prescribing medication, they make use of herbal remedies to improve oral health. They also take into account how the rest of your body and overall health are doing compared to your dental health.

If you aren’t comfortable with using chemical-based medications or creams in your mouth, a holistic dentist is a better option. With their extensive knowledge of natural remedies, you will be able to get better oral health in a completely natural, healthy manner.

Overall, I would recommend going to a holistic dentist. The products they use during cleanings and procedures are more natural. In addition, the care you receive will encompass more of your well-being compared to a general dentist.

If you’re looking for all-natural dental care products to use in-between dentist visits, try Dirty Mouth Toothpowder and more from Primal Life Organics.

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