It’s true that a general dentist can handle most dental health issues. But it’s certainly possible that you will find better care with a specialist, and your general dentist can recommend one for you.
In North America, Dentistry has 9 recognized specialties:
Oral and maxillofacial surgery.
This specialty includes the removal of wisdom teeth, surgery for your TMJ (a joint in your jaw), the surgical removal of tumors, and the installation of dental implants. It can also include reconstructive oral surgery if you’ve been in a serious accident such as a car crash.
Oral and maxillofacial radiology.
This is a recently recognized specialty, and it involves the taking radiographs and then using them to diagnose dental conditions accurately. Oral radiologists have the training to find even the slightest abnormalities from radiographs, and they can best diagnose facial structure problems with these images as well.
Oral and maxillofacial pathology.
This specialty involves dealing with any disease that affects your oral cavity. An oral pathologist can take your oral tissues and test them to diagnose the disease.
Dental public health.
Specialists in this field consider their community as their patient, and they’re the ones who consult with local authorities to form policies that affect and improve public oral health.
Most people associate this specialty with root canal therapy. But the truth is that it encompasses the overall health of the dental pulp, along with the health of the tissues surrounding your teeth.
Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.
Orthodontists are mainly concerned about making sure that your teeth are properly aligned so that you have an even bite. They’re the ones you need to consult if you need braces.
As you can probably guess, these are the specialists who focus on treating very young children. It’s true that general dentists can deal with the average young patient, but pediatric dentists have been trained to deal with even the fussiest children. In addition, these specialists have been extensively trained to deal with the dental issues that children tend to have.
While many people think of “teeth” when they think of dentists, periodontists are the dentists who focus on gums. These are the specialists who can best deal with gum disease, and they can perform gum surgery and gum grafts. You may also need their services if you opt for dental implants, as these implants have to pass through the gums to fuse with your jaw.
This is the specialty that deals with prosthetic teeth. It’s true that some general dentists are skilled and experienced in putting in crowns, bridges, and dentures as part of their work. But these experts focus only on these solutions, and they’re your best option if your case is too difficult or too complicated for your general dentist to handle.
At our dental practice, we have skilled and experienced specialists, and also work with other specialist dentists in the area should you ever need them. Get in touch with us, and we can determine the right type of specialist who can best handle your concerns.