In this section of the site, we will give you an introduction into the most common dental specialties.
What do they do? Why might you need to see them? What training do they need?
Here is a list of each specialist, just click on the relevant link for more detailed information on each one:
These specialist dentists deal with diseases of the inner working of the tooth (‘the pulp’). The bulk of their work is doing root canal treatment. You may need to see them if you need this ‘endodontic work’, particularly if the tooth involved is a difficult one. Read on here.
Crooked teeth, maligned bites, gaps and more – Orthodontics is the terms given to moving the teeth from one position to another, more favorable, one. Traditionally used to dealing mostly with kids, an explosion in the popularity of adult orthodontia makes their work much seem much more accessible to all age groups. Read into their work here.
3. Pediatric dentist
The treatment and prevention of dental disease in children is called pediatric dentistry, and is where the ‘pedodontist’ comes into play. Whether it be for routine dental work, more complicated treatment or dealing with special needs, these specialists have a very important role to play. You can read more about them here.
4. Oral surgeon
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is an area within dentistry that deals with diseases, defects or injuries of the head, neck, face, jaws and teeth. An undergraduate degree in medicine is needed for one to become a maxillofacial surgeon, so years of dedicated training are needed to reach the level of specialist in this area. Oral surgeons deal with difficult extractions, eg wisdom teeth, placing implants, apicoectomies and much more, all of which you can read about here.
Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults, a fact that you will find mentioned in many places on this site! Specializing in periodontics involves dealing with gum diseases, both in terms of treatment and prevention. The role is not limited to this however, as periodontists can also place implants and perform cosmetic gum surgery if needed. More here.
Crowns, bridges, veneers, dentures and implants – Prosthodontics is the restoration or replacement of damaged or missing teeth. A lot of their work is also within the scope of a general dentist, but the prosthodontist commonly deals with difficult cases, eg one that involves treating many teeth or a mouth with lots of gaps. Click here for our article on this field.
7. Cosmetic dentist
While not a specialism in the strictest sense, these dentists focus on producing beautiful smiles, of course. Any dentist can call themselves a ‘cosmetic’ one, but look for those that have invested in the extra training required to deserve to use this term. Read on…
Should you require the services of any of these specialists, you will often be referred firstly from your general dentist. It’s always best to ask them any questions you have about the treatment you require. While you may think that your general dentist can do everything, occasionally and especially for complex cases, you will be better off in the hands of a dentist that specializes in a particular area.