Types of Dental Specialists
There are several types of dentists for specific dental care needs. Here are some dental specialists and what exactly they do.
A specialist in the field of dentistry -- dealing particularly with the oral health care of children, from infancy through the teenage years. In guiding children and teens through their dental growth and development, pediatric dentists often work closely with pediatricians, family physicians, and other dental specialists in providing comprehensive medical and dental care.
Endodontists have undergone specialized training in performing root canal therapy. This particular branch of dentistry is concerned with the morphology, physiology, and pathology of the human dental pulp and periradicular tissues -- including the prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular conditions.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are actually orthopedic facial surgeons responsible for treating a wide variety of dental problems -- including the removal of impacted teeth and reconstructive facial surgery.
This dental specialty also includes the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, injuries, and defects involving both functional and esthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region.
Orthodontists are specially trained dentists who specialize in the development, prevention, and correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite, and jaws. Orthodontists also have specialized training in facial abnormalities and disorders of the jaw. A patient often consults an orthodontist after receiving a referral from his/her general dentist.
Periodontists are responsible for the care and prevention of gum-related diseases, guided bone regeneration, and dental implants. It is the specialty of dentistry that includes the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes, and the maintenance of the health, function, and esthetics of these structures and tissues.
A dental specialists who has undergone additional training and certification in the restoration and replacement of broken teeth with crowns, bridges, or removable prosthetics (dentures). It is the branch of dentistry that also specializes in understanding the dynamics of the smile, preserving a healthy mouth, and creating tooth replacements. Prosthodontists often work closely with other members of the oral health care team in restoring natural teeth, replacing missing teeth, and/or developing artificial substitutes for damaged oral and maxillofacial tissues. In addition, prosthodontists also have specialized training in the following:
- post oral cancer reconstruction
- jaw joint problems (i.e., temporomandibular joint disorder)
- traumatic injuries of the mouth
- snoring and sleeping disorders