For most people, a dentist of Whittier is a dentist, but this could not be further from the truth. For routine checkups, cleanings, and occasional filling, most individuals consult a general dentist. However, there are situations where our smiles call for more than conventional care. In this case, there are various types of dental specialties, each with a specific role to play in oral care.
Dental specialists are simply dentists who have additional training in a particular dental specialty above the general dentistry degree. Due to an accident, heredity problems with your overall health, or some other reason, you may need the help of a dental specialist. That being said, here are the top five dental specialties that you may come across during a lifetime of dental care.
Also referred to as root canal treatment, endodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on treating the soft pulp tissue found inside the tooth. When your tooth’s pulp becomes infected, or the inside of your teeth sustains damage, your general dentist will refer you to an endodontist.
The inside of your teeth has small cavern-like passages referred to as canals that contain nerves, blood vessels, and sensitive pulp. An endodontist diagnoses and treats issues in this region. These specialists diagnose tooth pain and, more often than not, do root canals on damaged or diseased teeth.
This branch of dentistry specializes in diagnosing, prevention, as well as correction of misaligned jaws and teeth. The specialist who corrects the position of your jaws and teeth is known as an orthodontist. You might come across this type of dentist if you have an underbite, overbite, or crossbite as a result of a misaligned jaw.
Orthodontists ideally correct misaligned or crooked teeth. In these situations, the dentist uses headgear, braces, clear aligners, or even palatal expanders as part of the treatment plan. This form of treatment is common in children. Still, adult braces and other alignments have become more and more common, making it an oral treatment for people of all ages.
When seeking orthodontic treatment for you or a child, it is imperative to check your dental coverage first to know what you can expect in regards to out-of-pocket costs. Ideally, some plans call for a referral from your general dentist before getting orthodontic treatment. So, get in touch with your dental insurance company regarding this as well.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
This is a dental specialty that focuses on treating problems related to the soft and hard tissues of the jaw, mouth, and face. You do not require oral and maxillofacial surgeons for every type of oral surgery, however. These specialists do more complex procedures, particularly those that need deep levels of sedation beyond laughing gas or nitrous oxide. As a matter of fact, dentists in the specialty are the only practitioners, other than anesthesiologists that administer sedation of all levels. Specialized procedures done by oral surgeons include corrective jaw surgery, cleft palate or cleft lip surgery, and tooth extractions.
Also known as pedodontics, pediatric dentistry is a specialty branch that focuses on treating children from birth through their teen years. A pediatric dentist is tasked with helping children stay on a path to healthy, lifelong smiles.
Parents tend to pick a pediatric dentist for their routine care due to their child-friendly practices as well as age-specific knowledge. These dentists provide regular dental care such as checkups, cavity fillings, and cleanings. Still, they are ideally excellent for children-specific issues such as thumb sucking, etc.
These specialists also conduct a diagnosis of oral conditions related to diseases such as childhood diabetes. They monitor the development of your kid’s smile and recommend other practitioners like orthodontists when necessary.
This a specialty in dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions affecting the gums and structures that support your teeth. Periodontists also referred to as gum disease experts, diagnose and treat early stages of gum disease. They ideally perform minor surgeries like pocket reduction and gum grafts to resolve gum disease and also improve the appearance of your smile.
And there you have it, the most common dental specialty procedures.
Come see us at:
Whittier Square Dentistry
13215 Penn St #200,
Whittier, CA 90602