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The Six Different Types Of Dental Specialists

Dr. Shariq Ali khan

3 min read

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Many people do not consider seeing a dentist very important and only think of getting an appointment when they encounter an oral problem. Frequent dentist visits for routine check-ups are however essential for maintaining good dental health. There are also people who visit the same dentist for all of their oral care which is not the best idea. There are six different types of dental specialists and all of them cater to very different problems.

Dental specialists are concerned with matters pertaining to the mouth, jaw and oral cavity; and, like all other fields of medicine, branch out into 6 different specialisms to provide exclusive care for various different regions between the neck and nose. In this article, we will be explaining what all of these different types of dental specialists do, so that you can choose the right one when you encounter a specific problem.

1- Orthodontist

Known commonly as the ‘brace-doctors’, orthodontists specialize in teeth alignment procedures and filling tooth gaps-both medically and cosmetically. They are also trained extensively in the prevention and correction of various facial abnormalities and tooth, bite and jaw disorders. Orthodontists commonly treat patients below 21, however, options such as ceramic and lingual braces and Invisalign are also available for adults wanting alignment corrections.

2- Endodontist

Endodontists study the morphology, physiology, and pathology of the human dental pulp, and their area of expertise lies in ‘root canal therapy’ i.e. replacement of infected root canal pulp with an inert material. If you have abnormally long or narrow canals, a molar that needs extraction or badly infected teeth requiring a root canal, a specialist may be called for. An Endodontist will usually refer back to a general dentist for post canal restorations.

They have specialization in the field of saving teeth and are the experts to refer to when you want to maintain your natural teeth and thus your natural smile. Their expert training, perfected techniques, and superior technologies mean you get the highest quality care with the best result.

3- Periodontist

Periodontists are dentists who specialize in preveting, diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and in placing dental implants. Their expertise also include treating oral inflammation.

Periodontists are extensively trained in these areas which require three additional years of education beyind dental school.They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.

Adult tooth loss is largely caused by gum diseases-such as gingivitis-whose treatment is overseen by Periodontists. Such specialists are usually referred to when Grafting or Bone Regeneration procedures are required. People who experience continued tooth loss and gingival overgrowth issues might also benefit from a periodontal visit.

4- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

These Orthopedic Facial Surgeons not only extract wisdom teeth, but can also expertly treat diseases, injuries and defects of the hard and soft tissues in the oral and maxillofacial (face and jaw) regions. Facial reconstructive surgeries and extraction of impacted teeth-which fail to grow through bone or gum tissue-are also offered by oral surgeons.

The most common procedure performed by these surgeons is tooth extraction. Patients are often referred to these specialists when wisdom teeth are impacted—that is, forming in a position where they can’t erupt or grow into the bite properly. Sometimes, minor surgery is performed to remove the impacted wisdom teeth; it is recommended even if the impacted wisdom teeth are not at that time producing any such symptoms.

Fortunately, this procedure is routine, and it is often done in the dental office using the techniques of sedation dentistry.

5- Prosthodontist

Prosthodontists are the ‘plastic surgeons’ of the oral and maxillofacial region who work to restore or replace natural teeth through complex procedures such as bridge and temporary dentures-or artificial teeth-installation. They also ‘fix smiles’ by treating genetic facial defects-such as cleft palate-as well as patients seeking post-traumatic oral and maxillofacial tissue restoration.

Prosthodontists also treat snoring and sleep disorders, jaw joint problems and work on restorative surgeries for oral cancer patients. Simpler cosmetic procedures performed by prosthodontists include ‘veneering’ to conceal tooth defects, ceramic or metallic ‘capping’ onto teeth, and bleaching to minimize tooth discoloration.

6- Pediatric Dentist

Last but not the least on our list of different types of dental specialists are Pediatric dentists. Pediatric dentists address the dental issues and oral hygiene of the younger population; starting from newborns and toddlers to young adults. Well versed in child psychology, they treat child specific dental problems such as uneven bites  and tooth eruption delay and disorders, among others.

This article is written with the intention to spread general awareness among people regarding dental health. This article is however not enough to help you decide what kind of a specialized dentist you need to see. For this purpose, you should consult with your Dentist and see if you need to see any of the Specialized Dentists described above.

You can also book an appointment with a top Dental Specialist in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad through oladoc.com. Or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your dental needs.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Shariq Ali khan - Author Dr. Shariq Ali khan is a cosmetic dentist and implantologist based in Lahore. He offers services like aesthetic crown & bridges, cosmetic dental surgery, and braces. You may book an appointment with him via oladoc.com.
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