Types of Dental Specialties & What They Do

Types of dental specialties

Not all dentist’s are created equal, but they all have a common goal, helping you have and keep a healthy mouth. Find out the different types of dental specialties and exactly what they do.

Pedodontics  – Pediatric Dentist

While general dentists are allowed to treat patients of any age, pediatric dentists are specially trained to address specific needs and oral health of children and teens, like flouride treatments and dental sealants. Pediatric dentists will guide children and teens through their dental growth and development utilizing their training from infant oral health exams to space management after the premature loss of a primary tooth. They also offer other oral health related care like special counseling on nutrition, advice on teeth grinding, and discouragement of thumb and finger sucking.

Endodontist – The Tooth Root Doctor

Need a root canal?  Endodontists are highly trained in the normal functions, causes and effects of dental disease and the relationship between the two, concerning the human dental pulp – that is, the center of the tooth, made up of living connective tissue and cells. And the tissues surrounding the root.  They focus on prevention and treatment of injuries or diseases of the dental pulp; including pulpitis, “pulp stones”, or pulp exposure – all of which can be extremely painful or can lead to dental abscesses. Common treatment for dental pulp disease is the root canal therapy.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons are orthopedic facial surgeons treating a wide variety of dental issues, from removal of impacted teeth, to dental implants, and reconstructive facial surgery. This specialty diagnoses and treats diseases, injuries and defects of both hard and soft tissue in the oral (mouth) and maxillofacial (jaw and face) region.

Our team, at Bay Oral Surgery & Implant Center, which includes Board Certified surgeons, practices a full scope of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery and have specialties ranging from corrective jaw surgery to wisdom tooth removal and dental extractions. We also diagnose and treat facial pain, facial injuries, and TMJ disorders; and perform a full range of dental implant and bone grafting procedures.

Orthodontist – The Alignment Dentist

Orthodontics deals with the diagnosis and treatment of misaligned or malpositioned teeth or jaws. Orthodontic dentists will correct misalignment of teeth, gaps, overbite or underbite, or other abnormalities of the jaw, bite or teeth, using non-surgical procedures. Correcting the bite and alignment of teeth will improve your smile but also affects the function and longevity of the teeth.  There are a variety of orthodontic treatments including wires, braces, retainers, Invisalign® or other corrective appliances.

Periodontist – The Gum Specialist

Of all dental specialties, periodontists are dentists specializing in the care and prevention of gum-related diseases and the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists often treat more problematic cases or severe gum disease with a wide range of treatment including scaling and root planing – which is commonly thought of as a “Deep Cleaning” and involves thoroughly scaling all plaque, toxins and tartar deposits and then smoothing all of the rough areas on the root surface. Another common treatment would be root surface debridement, where damaged gum tissue is removed.

Periodontists are also specially trained in placement, maintenance and repair of dental implants.  

Prosthodontist – The Restoration Dentist

A prosthodontist is certified in restoration and replacement of broken or missing teeth. Using crowns, bridges, or dentures, prosthodontists understand the dynamics of a smile and are trained to create replacements to address the oral function, comfort, appearance and oral health of patients with missing or deficient teeth. They also are one of the dental specialties that work in post oral cancer reconstruction, jaw joint problems, traumatic mouth injuries, and snoring and sleep disorders.