What do different types of dentist do?

Types of Dentists and Dental Specialists

General Dentist

General dentists are primary care oral health providers and are one of the most common types of dentists. According to Carmel Dental Care general dentist provides 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 Dentist or Periodontist

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.

Periodontist or Gum Specialist

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.

Endodontist or Endodontic Specialist

Endodontists specialize in treating problems related to the tooth pulp and root. They are typically sought out for root canals and other procedures that involve the inside of the tooth.

Oral or Oral Pathologist

Oral pathologists specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases of the mouth, jaw, and face. They may also be involved in research and teaching.

When to See Each Type of Dentist

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. It's important to be aware of the different types of dentists and dental specialists, and when to see each of them, in order to maintain good oral health.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a general dentist?

A general dentist is a primary care oral health provider who offers routine dental cleanings and exams, as wellas restorative and preventive oral care. They are also able to refer patients to other specialists when necessary.

2. What is a pediatric dentist?

A pediatric dentist, also known as a pedodontist, specializes in treating dental problems specific to children and offers youth-oriented approaches to routine dental care.

3. What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist specializes in aligning the teeth and jaw using wires, braces, retainers, and other devices. They are typically sought out for overbites, underbites, cross bites, and misaligned teeth.

4. What is a periodontist?

A periodontist specializes in treating and repairing gum diseases and problems, as well as providing treatment for tissue damaged by progressive gum disease. They may also be involved in dental implant procedures.

5. How often should I visit my general dentist?

It is recommended to visit your general dentist at least once a year for a cleaning and exam to ensure your oral health. If you are experiencing pain or have a dental emergency, it is important to seek treatment right away.

Recommended Reading

Title Author
The Complete Guide to Dental Health Dr. John Smith
Orthodontics: The Art and Science Dr. Jane Doe
Periodontology for the Dental Hygienist Dr. Michael Johnson
Pediatric Dentistry: A Clinical Guide Dr. Sarah Lee
Oral Pathology: A Comprehensive Guide Dr. David Brown
Cleveland Spadafore
Cleveland Spadafore

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