Taking care of your teeth is an essential part of staying healthy. But do you always know what type of dentist you should see? To help you make choices about specific dental concerns, here are the common types of dentists.
How many different types of dentists are there?
In general, there are seven types of dentists:
- General Dentist
- Pedodontist or Pediatric Dentist
- Oral Pathologist or Oral Surgeon
What types of dental treatment do they provide?
Here’s a high level description of each type of dentist and the types of services they provide:
- General Dentists provide regular teeth cleanings and routine dental exams. Your general dentist will also refer you to other types of dentists if you need services and procedures that they’re not qualified to provide. General dentistry is one of the most common types of dentistry.
- Pedodontists or Pediatric Dentists specialize in dental care and treatments for children and youth.
- Orthodontists specialize in teeth and jaw alignment, using wires, braces, retainers, and other devices.
- Periodontists help treat and repair diseases and problems of the gums. While a general dentist will support gum disease prevention, a periodontist will provide treatment for tissue damaged by progressive gum disease.
- Endodontists deal specifically with issues troubling the nerve of a tooth.They are qualified to perform root canals that are necessary when there is decay around the tooth’s nerve.
- Oral pathologists and oral surgeons specialize in the treatment of oral diseases of the teeth and jaw. They are trained to perform surgery and may work closely with ear, nose, and throat specialists (ENTs).
- Prosthodontists repair teeth and jaw bones. They provide cosmetic dentistry, or treatments to improve the appearance of teeth, such as teeth whitening and veneers. They also fit people with dentures, crowns and bridges.
How do I know which types of dentistry I need?
Your general dentist or physician will refer you for any types of dentistry they’re not qualified to provide.
It’s important to see your general dentist at least once a year – not just for teeth cleaning, but for an examination that ensures your oral health. Receiving a professional opinion will help you manage any potential problems before they become significant. See your general dentist immediately if you’re experiencing any pain in your mouth.