When it comes to your dental health, there are many more specialists than dentists that you can consult. Depending on your medical issue, you may need to see one of several dental health professionals, such as an orthodontist, an endodontist or even a periodontist. But, what do these lesser known specialists in fact do?
Dentists are the most common of all the mouth doctors. The most pedestrian of the dental hygiene realm, dentists remove tooth decay, fill cavities and repair fractured teeth. Dentists diagnose and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums and related parts of the mouth as well as give advice and instruction on taking care of the teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health.
Dentists assist families with day-to-day oral hygiene dilemmas.
Orthodontists are a bit more specialised and are University-trained professionals in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists provide a wide range of treatment options to straighten crooked teeth, fix bad bites and align people’s jaws correctly.
While orthodontists are primarily known for straightening teeth, they can also assist with painful and misaligned bites, tooth movement caused by bad habits such as thumb sucking and even some forms of sleep apnoea, says Orthodontic Australia. If you’re wondering what an orthodontist can do for your smile, you should make an appointment to have an assessment, no referral is necessary.
A periodontist is a dentist who specialises in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease and in the placement of dental implants.
Perio.org explains that: “Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.”
This is perhaps the most obscure of all the dental health professions, less than three percent of dentists are endodontists.
Endodontists complete an additional two or more years of training beyond dental school with a focus on diagnosing tooth pain and performing root canal treatment and other procedures relating to the interior of the tooth.