There are currently 12 dental specialties recognized by the National Commission. According to the requirements for recognition of dental specialties, dental specialties are recognized to protect the public, promote the art and science of dentistry, and improve the quality of care. Pediatric dentistry, analogous to pediatrics in medicine, deals with the dental care of children and adolescents. Periodontics deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the periodontal tissues (the tissues that surround and support the teeth).
These tissues are mainly composed of the gums and jaws and their related adjoining structures. Advances in periodontics have mainly focused on treatment techniques. Bacterial plaque, a soft layer of bacteria-rich substances that adheres to teeth, is thought to be responsible for most of the destruction of the gums and tissues surrounding the teeth. Periodontists advocate for the removal of this plaque through a specific controlled hygiene regime.
Prosthodontics is concerned with the restoration and maintenance of oral function, comfort, appearance and health by replacing missing teeth and adjacent tissues with artificial substitutes or prostheses. Prosthodontists have special training in building and placing fixed (stationary) and removable appliances to replace missing teeth. They also build obturators, prosthetic devices designed to close defects in the roof of the mouth in cases of a cleft palate. A subspecialty of prosthodontics is maxillofacial prosthesis, which consists of the creation of devices, composed of latex, silicone or other modern materials, designed to replace parts of the face and jaw that have been lost due to surgery, illness, congenital disorders or an accident.
Most people know when to see a general dentist, but what about their dental problems that are less routine? There are many types of specialist dentists depending on your oral care problem. To help you make decisions about specific dental problems, we'll discuss the most common types of dentists and dental specialists and when to see each of them. General dentists are primary care oral health providers and are one of the most common types of dentists. You can visit your general dentist for routine dental cleanings and dental exams.
In these exams, a general dentist will evaluate the health of your teeth and gums and perform treatments such as tooth decay removal, root canals, and dental crowns. Your general dentist will also refer you to other types of dentists if you need services and procedures for which they are not qualified. Pediatric dentistry specialists offer youth-oriented approaches to routine dental care, as well as to dental problems specific to pediatrics. A pedodontist will monitor the child's teeth and oral development and refer the child to an orthodontist, when needed.
Orthodontists specialize in aligning the teeth and jaw, using wires, braces, retainers, and other devices. If you have an overbite, an underbite, a cross bite, or misaligned teeth, you may be referred to an orthodontist for correction. Periodontists help treat and repair gum diseases and problems. While a general dentist will support the prevention of gum disease, a periodontist will provide treatment (including minor surgery) for tissue damaged by progressive gum disease.
You may also be referred to a periodontist for dental implants. When you have a dental problem, your general dentist or even your primary care doctor can refer you to any type of dentistry that they are not qualified for. It's important to visit your general dentist at least once a year, not only to clean your teeth, but also to have an exam to ensure your oral health. Getting a professional opinion will help you manage any potential problem before it becomes a bigger problem.
See your general dentist right away if you feel any pain in your mouth. For dental emergencies, such as a chipped tooth, a fallen tooth filling, or a dental abscess, the first step should be to talk to your general dentist. When you think about dentistry, you might picture your family's dental office, where you go regularly for teeth cleaning and checkups. However, the profession expands much more than this, and your general dentist is just one specialty in the field.
Are you curious to know what other types of dentists exist? You've come to the right place. A general dentist is also known as a family dentist and takes care of your oral health on a regular basis. This is the most common type of dentist and most of their work revolves around important preventive oral care. This includes regular dental cleanings, dental x-rays, and educating patients about proper oral care at home.
General dentists are also responsible for restorative oral care, such as treating tooth decay by replacing it with artificial fillings, repairing cracked, chipped, or missing teeth, and whitening services. They also treat oral problems caused by gum disease and root problems below the gum line. Your general dentist can also guide you through the process of placing braces, false teeth, mouth guards, and other treatments. Because your general dentist is the health professional you're likely to see most often, he'll also monitor the health of your mouth, neck, and head to make sure there are no problems.
While general dentists are capable of treating most conditions and may even have significant experience providing items of specialized care, they will very often refer you to a specific type of dental specialist, such as those listed below. You may know orthodontists as those who install braces, but their care goes far beyond that. Generally speaking, orthodontists are concerned with correcting misaligned teeth, jaw bones, and other facial support structures for aesthetic and functional reasons. This means that they work to improve people's bites by designing custom oral accessories, such as dental appliances, transparent trays for aligning teeth, mouth guards, headdresses, retainers and face masks that correct developmental problems.
All of these devices work over time to improve bone structure that may be deformed and teeth that have spacing problems. In British Columbia, orthodontists have the right to designate themselves as “certified orthodontic specialists.”. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons focus on the hard and soft tissues found in and around the mouth. These tissues include the gums, cheeks, lips, hard palate, soft palate, tongue, and facial tissues.
These surgeons receive medical training in hospitals after their dental studies and, therefore, perform more invasive surgeries than other dental professionals, such as complex tooth extractions, surgical corrections of the jaw or smoothing as a basis for the formation of false teeth. They also perform reconstructive surgery, cleft palate or cleft lip surgery and, sometimes, biopsies, removal of cancerous tissue, facial infections, or even treatments for sleep apnea. Oral surgeons often lay the foundation for future dental work, since they deal with the surgical improvements that must be made to the teeth and supporting bones before they can perform oral appliances, false teeth, or cosmetic procedures. Gums are the focus of periodontics, and periodontists are concerned with preventing, diagnosing, and treating a variety of gum problems.
This may include treating extreme gum inflammation and pain, diagnosing and treating extreme gum disease (also known as periodontal disease), installing dental implants, and performing cosmetic skin grafts on the gums. In general terms, anything that involves extensive work on the gums is when a periodontist intervenes. The treatment of gum disease is a very important part of periodontics and, therefore, periodontists often recommend prevention and treatment plans to general dentists that are adapted to the patients' lifestyles. In British Columbia, periodontists have the right to designate themselves as “certified periodontal specialists.”.
As their title suggests, prosthodontists are responsible for providing oral prostheses that replace damaged, decayed, or missing teeth. Oral prostheses are false teeth appliances and include crowns, bridges, dentures, dental implants, and veneers. These dental replacements are usually both aesthetic and functional, as they can greatly improve the ability to chew, bite and speak effectively and safely. You may have heard the term “smile makeover,” which involves a complete revision and visual appearance of a person's smile.
Prosthodontists are usually responsible for carrying out this operation, both for aesthetic reasons and for cases of traumatic reconstruction. Prosthodontists work closely with dental laboratories that create oral appliances and false teeth to ensure that the customization and quality of the prostheses they work with are perfectly suited to each patient. In British Columbia, prosthodontists have the right to designate themselves as “certified prosthodontic specialists”. The inner part of the tooth, which is protected by the hard enamel of the tooth and the inner layer of dentin, is located below the gum line and is known as the pulp.
It is soft and made up of sensitive living tissue, and is the part of the tooth that endodontists focus on. Tooth pulp can be damaged, inflamed, or decay due to injury, trauma, or decay and must therefore be treated or removed. If it can be treated and preserved, this keeps the tooth alive in the patient's mouth. But if it cannot be preserved, the treatment required is known as endodontics, which is probably the most common procedure performed by endodontists in their profession.
In British Columbia, endodontists have the right to designate themselves as “certified endodontic specialists”. . .