Breaking Down the Different Types of Dentists

Dentist's chair and set-up

You know that going to the dentist is essential to ensure optimal oral health and hygiene, but you might not be familiar with the types of oral practitioners who keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy.

Which specialist do you go to have your teeth cleaned versus undergoing root canal surgery? You might find that a trip to the dental clinic involves more than one dental practitioner, depending on how complicated your problem is.

This article aims to provide you with all of the information on the different fields of dentistry so that you know what to expect when you need a specific treatment administered, as well as the necessary experience, skills, and qualifications your dentist in Soho must be equipped with.

4 Types of Dentist

1. General dentist

The local dentist you see every six months is your general dental practitioner. His or her responsibilities may include the following:

  • Identifying gum issues, tooth decay and oral diseases with diagnostic x-ray photographs.
  • Examining not only the teeth and gums but the head, neck, jaw and other areas of the face for early signs of serious bodily infections.
  • Filling cavities
  • Routine cleaning
  • Referring patients to specialists for further dental care if needed.

Seven years of studying is required to practice as a general dentist; four years of undergraduate education, followed by three years at a dental school. A qualified dentist attains a DMD (doctor of dental medicine) degree.

2. Oral hygienist

Not all dental practices have a hygienist. When one does, the general dental practitioner and oral hygienist work closely together.

While a dentist fills cavities, prescribes treatment, diagnoses infections and refers patients to specialized practitioners, a hygienist has his or her expertise in preventative dentistry.

  • They administer deep cleans on people showing signs of gingivitis, gum disease in its early stages. The clean, also known as scaling and planing, prevents the advancement of periodontitis, which if left untreated, could lead to significant bone, tooth loss and consequently, a changed facial appearance.
  • Provide you with information on adequate home care, which includes tips on brushing techniques, recommendations of fluoride toothpaste, and advice on how to improve your diet to better the state of your mouth, gums, and teeth. 

3. The pulp experts – an endodontist

The pulp is the inside tissue of a tooth made up of a complex system of nerves and blood vessels.

You might damage the pulp of your teeth in the event of an injury, and if it is left untreated, could result in the infection of the pulp, which can put your teeth in jeopardy.

The job of an endodontist, among other roles, is to curb infections and preserve teeth by performing root canal surgery. A root canal involves removing the infected pulp and filling the hole with a sealant to prevent re-infection. While the pulp is imperative for keeping a child’s growing teeth healthy and functioning its presence is not crucial in a fully-formed adult tooth. 

4. Boast a beautiful smile with an orthodontist

An orthodontist diagnoses malocclusions and misaligned teeth that could pose as a threat to prime dental health.

Depending on the nature of the above, this specialist will prescribe an orthodontic treatment and straightening aid that pulls teeth into place using wires, elastic bands, and brackets.

Developments in modern orthodontics have seen more people of all ages wearing braces to fix their teeth to optimize their quality of life.

The above article has described only some oral health providers and their responsibilities. If you are unsure of whom to go to for your particular teeth issue, chat to your dentist in Soho, who will either refer you to the right dental professional or treat the problem if they have the correct expertise.

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