When it comes to looking for a dentist, you may encounter terms like general, family, or cosmetic dentistry. Additionally, some dentists are orthodontists, periodontists, or endodontists, etc. This blog takes a quick look at these dental terms and the different types of dentists.
Dentistry is “the evaluation, diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment (nonsurgical, surgical or related procedures) of diseases, disorders and/or conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and/or the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body,” as defined by ADA. The short version is that dentists are medical practitioners who specialize in the mouth and adjacent areas.
Types of Dentistry
General dentistry is focused primarily on preventive dental procedures, including cleaning, diagnosis, x-rays, and patient counseling. General dentists can provide treatment for most dental conditions, and have proficiency with most all treatments. They may choose to focus on one particular area of dentistry, however.
In the US, 80% of all dentists are general dentists, making them the majority. General dentists provide various types of diagnostic, preventive, restorative, and cosmetic services to maintain their patients’ oral health. To become a general dentist, one needs to get a specialized education and earn the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from a dental college.
The term family dentistry is used when a dentist provides dental care to family members of all ages. These dentists treat common dental conditions which may happen to someone during any stage of their lives.
Rather than improving the functional aspect of the gums, teeth and bite, cosmetic dentistry involves procedures which improve the appearance of a person’s smile. It mainly deals with improving the aesthetics of a smile, including the color, size, and shape of teeth. Cosmetic dental treatments include things like teeth straightening, reshaping, whitening, bridging, gum lifting, and installing implants and veneers.
Types of Dentists
Dentists may go on to become a specialist by receiving additional education and training. Here are what some of these dental specialists do.
Dentists who primarily specialize in root canal therapy. Knowledgable on tooth pulp, nerves, and blood vessels.
Responsible for installing braces, headgear, mouthguards, clear aligners, retainers, and facemasks. They help improve bone structure and modify midface and mandibular growth.
Pedodontist or Pediatric Dentist
These specialists provide dental care to children, from newborns to teens. They can provide counseling for children’s habits like thumb-sucking.
Deal with the surgical and non-surgical treatment of the periodontium, which is the soft tissue in your mouth such as the gums.
Oral (and Maxillofacial) Surgeon
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are responsible for dental implant surgery, tooth extractions, corrective jaw surgery, cleft lip or cleft palate surgery, as well as other surgeries pertaining to the soft and hard tissues of the face.
This specialist provides dental prostheses like implants, dentures, and bridges to replace damaged or broken teeth for functional and cosmetic purposes.
Dental Public Health (DPH)
Focusing on populations instead of individual patients, this dental specialization addresses preventing oral disease and promoting oral health.
Geriodontics, or Geriatric Dentistry, deals with age-related oral problems and treating senior citizens.
The General Dentists at Twin Dental can provide most treatments our patients may need all at one convenient location, be it orthodontics, periodontal therapy, root canals, oral surgery or prosthodontics. If you have questions about any of the services we provide or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dave or Dr. Mike, call us today!