Although the general dentist is skilled in his or her craft, sometimes a case presents with problems outside of their comfort zone. In these cases, a dental specialist is recommended to take over as the oral healthcare provider.
Dental specialists are dentists who continue on with additional training in a specific dental field. Specialists have obtained a certificate in a given specialty, and many even earn masters or doctorate degrees. As a specialist, a dentist is able to narrow their practice to a single field of dentistry, and usually will deal with the more complicated cases beyond the general dentist’s ability. Prosthodontists specialize in prosthetic replacement of missing teeth, and usually handle complex crown and bridgework, dentures, and implant restoration. Endodontists are the dental specialists that deal with difficult root canals and infections of the dental pulp. Periodontists are specialists of the gingival tissue and alveolar bone (what you probably think about as your gums), and are responsible for deep cleanings and grafting when necessary. They also place implants. Pedodontists are dentists that specialize in the treatment of children. Most children in the area begin their dental experience with a pediatric dentist, before graduating the general dentist in their adult lives. Oral surgery is a field that spans over all surgery of the mouth, head, and neck. Depending on their comfort and the state in which they practice, oral surgeons not only extract teeth, but also treat oral cancers, biopsies, plastic surgeries, and jaw surgeries among other things. And finally, the orthodontist is the dental professional that is the expert in the alignment and occlusion of teeth. Using traditional braces or Invisalign we are able to give you the smile you always wanted and the confidence that comes with it.
Ultimately, all the branches of dentistry are needed, and often multiple practitioners work in concert to treat a given case. Knowing what each dentist does, and who to go to for your given issues will make any dental process easier, and will ultimately provide the best result possible.