General dentistry is one of the most common types of dentistry. It is also known as family dentistry and is responsible for providing preventive oral care, such as regular dental cleanings, dental x-rays, and educating patients about proper oral care at home. General dentists are also responsible for restorative oral care, such as treating tooth decay by replacing it with artificial fillings, repairing cracked, chipped or missing teeth, and whitening services. They also treat oral problems caused by diseases or trauma. Pediatric dentists specialize in dental care and treatment for children and young people.
They understand the unique needs of children and are trained to handle their anxiety when visiting the dentist. Orthodontists specialize in aligning the teeth and jaw, using wires, braces, retainers, and other devices. Periodontists focus on problems patients have with the gums, bones and tissues that support the teeth. Endodontists are root canal specialists who treat the diseased, dead, inflamed, or infected nerve of a tooth that can cause unbearable pain.
Prosthodontists are dental specialists who manufacture prostheses or replacement teeth that are removable or non-removable for patients who are missing some or all of their teeth. When a patient has signs of bone loss around their teeth during their routine preventive and hygienic cleaning visit, a deep cleaning is usually necessary. This is often done with local antibiotics to get the gums healthy again and train patients on how to improve their care in the home. If the gums and teeth do not respond or need further treatment, a periodontist will be asked to perform an examination. Periodontists are trained to treat these diseased areas and will work to save teeth unless they have passed a point of no return.
They perform many procedures such as reducing excess gums, equalizing gum level for aesthetic purposes, adding gum grafts in areas that are recessed and lack tissue, bone grafting in areas that lack bone, hopeless tooth extractions, placing dental implants to support crowns to replace missing teeth (including the All-on-4 procedure that restores the entire mouth of the teeth in one day) and biopsies on suspicious tissue areas. When an endodontist performs root canal treatment, he drills a small access hole in the top of the tooth, removes infected tissue, cleans and shapes the canals with small shaping files, and places a rubber material called gutta-percha into the canal to seal it from any additional bacteria invading space. Usually this will immediately eliminate all the pain in the area, and with the help of antibiotics, the tooth will usually feel better very soon. After the root canal is completed by the endodontist, a temporary filling is placed in the access area. The general dentist will then make a porcelain crown on top of the posterior tooth to protect it from fracture. Endodontists also perform surgery (an apicectomy) on teeth that have a chronic infection that doesn't heal with regular root canal treatments.
A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who manufactures prostheses or replacement teeth that are removable or non-removable for patients who are missing some or all of their teeth. These include porcelain crowns and bridges, partial dentures, and full dentures. Prosthodontists also make specialized dentures for patients who have lost part of their jaw due to accidents, cancer, or physical defects. When general dentists don't see children in their office they will refer them to a pedodontist or pediatric dentist who primarily treats children. Pedodontists understand the unique needs of children and are trained to handle their anxiety when visiting the dentist.
Most general dentists perform all these procedures and some dentists have advanced training and also do larger cases involving implants or natural teeth. Are you curious to know what other types of dentists are there? You've come to the right place. A general dental office is where you go regularly to clean your teeth and get checkups but there are many more specialties in dentistry than just this one.