If you’re like most people, you only go to the dentist when you have a problem. And, more often than not, your general dentist is able to take care of whatever issue you’re having. But sometimes your dentist may refer you to a specialist. This could be because you need specialized care for a specific dental issue, or because your dentist doesn’t have the necessary training to provide a certain treatment. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of dental specialists, as well as when your dentist may refer you to one.
One type of dental specialist is an endodontist. An endodontist specializes in treating problems with the pulp, or the innermost part of the tooth. They can perform procedures such as root canals, and they are also able to treat dental abscesses. If you need a root canal or other treatment for a problem with your pulp, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist. Most dentists will refer patients when a previous root canal has failed or if the root canals are too narrow.
Another type of dental specialist is an orthodontist. An orthodontist specializes in correcting tooth misalignment and bite problems. They can perform procedures such as installing braces, aligners, retainers, and other orthodontic appliances. If you need braces or are experiencing a bite issue, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist for treatment. Although your general dentist may offer Invisalign® treatment for mild alignment issues, more severe issues generally require an orthodontist.
A periodontist is another type of dental specialist. A periodontist specializes in treating diseases and disorders of the gums, as well as issues with soft tissues and bone structure around the teeth. They can perform procedures such as gum grafts to repair receding gums, or place dental implants for missing teeth. If you need treatment for a gum disease or other problem with your gums, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is another type of dental specialist. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon specializes in treating diseases and disorders of the mouth, face, jaws, and neck. They can perform procedures such as tooth extractions, wisdom teeth extractions, and reconstructive surgery. If you need treatment for a problem with your mouth, face, jaws, or teeth, your dentist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Oftentimes, an oral surgeon may be recommended for extracting impacted wisdom teeth.
As you can see, there are several types of dental specialists. Your dentist may refer you to one of these specialists depending on the type of dental issue you’re experiencing. If you have any questions about when your dentist may refer you to a specialist, be sure to ask them at your next appointment.
Dr. Admar holds dual certificates — a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in 2010 from India and a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 2014 from Canada. He is now a full time practicing dentist in Kamloops where he provides a variety of services, including emergency dentistry. Dr. Admar spends hundreds of hours in continued dental education to stay up to date in cosmetic and implant dentistry and he has achieved several advanced qualifications.