Dentistry has several branches for specializations. There will be instances when your dentist will recommend you to a specialist to further fix a dental problem or for advance diagnosis and treatment. Here are some of the most common dental specialists:
General dentist -Similar to medical field, general dentists can handle diagnosis and treatment of most dental problems for all ages- from home dental care instructions, prophylaxis, teeth whitening, root canal to gum disease treatment. They can also provide smoking cessation advice to prevent further stains and damage to your teeth.
Pediatric Dentist or Pedodontists -These are the specialists in dental care for infants, children and teenagers. It’s important to start early to protect your children’s teeth from cavities, and also prevent teeth problems and additional expenses in the future. The American Dental Association recommends that the baby’s first dental exam should be done within 6 to 12 months of age, followed by regular preventive visits twice a year. Taking kids regularly to the dentist does not only ensure healthy and perfect teeth when they grow up, but will also help remove the fear and anxiety on taking trips to the clinic.
Prosthodontics Specialist -These are dentists who specialize in prosthesis or cosmetic repair of natural teeth, and in general, for aesthetic improvements of your smile. If you have chipped or broken tooth, a Prosthodontist can repair it with bonding material or in some cases with dental crowns or caps. Other services include dentures and dental implants as artificial tooth root for those with missing teeth, and veneers to cover defects. They also handle complex dental restoration and reconstruction for people who have undergone facial trauma and injury, or from genetic facial abnormalities.
Orthodontics -When you have misaligned teeth or disproportionate jaw, open or deep bites, spacing or crowding teeth, dento-facial orthopedic treatments can help redirect teeth, tissue and jaw growth to the right position. These malocclusion problems can affect not just your smile and self-esteem, but also the way you eat and speak. Treatment with orthodontics involves fixed or removable dental appliances like braces, retainers and aligners.
Orthodontics Surgeons -When braces and orthodontic appliances cannot fix jaw and/or teeth abnormalities, surgery may be required to fix the underlying problems within the bone structure. Your general or orthopedic dentist may refer you to a surgeon for minor or major corrective jaw alignment, removal of cysts or tumor and dental implants that involve bone grafting. Oral surgeons can also provide maxillomandibular advancement surgery to open airways that cause obstructive sleep apnea.