The importance of good oral care cannot be overstated. However, a simple trip to the dentist once or twice per year may not be enough for you depending on the exact needs of your teeth and gums. As your needs change, so does your need for the type of dental specialist you should be seeing. However, unless you know what the major types of specialists are, you may feel confused when making a future appointment. Before seeking an outside specialist, be sure to have a conversation with your dentist about all the services they themselves provide. In some cases such as Midjersey Smiles, you might find that your dentist does do a variety of work and can help you with whatever you need. If not, they can help refer you out.
Who Are the Main Specialists?
While a general dentist is the first professional you most likely think of when it comes to oral health, he or she is not considered a specialist. A specialist is one who focuses on one or two main areas of oral health. For example, a pediatric dentist focuses on the oral health of individuals under the age of 18 and particularly of very young children. Children often have specific problems, such as thumb sucking and poor brushing techniques, that require specialized care.
An orthodontist focuses on straightening the teeth and on improving bite. While these changes can make it easier to eat and speak, they are typically made for cosmetic reasons. He or she will use braces, retainers or other appliances to shift the teeth.
If you have gingivitis or gum disease, your dentist may tell you that you need to see a periodontist. These specialists educate you on ways to care for your gums and provide such treatments as scaling and gum surgery to ensure that you keep your teeth. If you do lose a tooth for any reason or if you need to reconstruct your teeth, a prosthodontist is the specialist you should see. While this professional provides cosmetic services, such as veneers, he or she focuses on dentures and implants. Other specialists include endodontists who focus on the health of tooth roots and maxillofacial surgeons for special tooth extractions and jaw surgeries.
What about Training?
Specialists receive far more training than general dentists do. While they receive the same general level of education about oral health that general dentists receive, they go on to have more education and hands-on learning in their area of expertise. This typically takes two or more additional years in school before they can work on their own.
Where Should You Start?
You should typically start with a trip to your general dentist before heading to a specialist. Your dentist will be able to provide you with great preventative care and will notice other problems as they begin. Your dentist will then be able to recommend a trusted specialist with whom he or she has worked in the past. Before seeking an outside specialist in Old Bridge, NJ be sure to have a conversation with your dentist about all the services they themselves provide. In some cases, you might find that your dentist does do a variety of work and can help you with whatever you need.
Who Should You See?
When comparing specialists, it is vital to consider your personal needs. If you are looking for cosmetic changes, an orthodontist may be the person to see. If you are aging and noticing growing issues with your gums or with teeth that have needed to be pulled, you may instead need to see a prosthodontist. By choosing a specialist, you can rest assured that you are receiving the best care possible for your needs, and you can trust your practitioner‚Äôs level of education and expertise by his or her credentials.
If you are still unsure of who you should be seeing, your general dentist can help you understand what type of help your teeth and gums need and which specialist is right for you. By choosing a specialist, you can enjoy specialized care that will improve your oral health and ensure that you enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.