The Role of Specialists in General Dentistry

Author: Dr. Rima Solanki, DMD

Your general dentists at Spring Lake Dental group can, in most cases, perform some of the same procedures a specialist performs. However, there may be a time that your general dentist will refer you to a specialist. The reason could be the complexity of a procedure, the patient’s health, or because they feel your procedure warrants a provider with extra, specialized training.

But what about specialists? Who are they and what do they do exactly? A specialist is a general dentist who has completed additional post-graduate training. By completing extensive training in their chosen area, they focus primarily on performing these specific procedures. Types of specialists include: endodontists, pediatric specialists (also known as pedodontists), prosthodontists, oral surgeons, periodontists and orthodontists. 

To help with your decision, learn about the types of specialists and different services they perform.

Pediatric Specialists: Pediatric dentists focus on performing dentistry for infants, children, teens and children with special needs. These dentists deal particularly with the oral healthcare of children and provide care to those with comprehensive medical and dental care.

Orthodontists: Orthodontists can straighten crooked teeth with braces—but they also do much more. These dentists use a variety of oral appliances to help give you a better-looking and more functional smile.

Oral Surgeons: After finishing dental school, these specialists train alongside other medical residents in emergency medicine, surgery and anesthesiology. They are experts in all parts of the face, mouth and jaws.

Endodontists: The soft tissues found deep inside the tooth are the main focus of these specialists. When tooth pain is caused by a root canal problem, an endodontist can relieve the pain—and often save the tooth.

The soft tissues found deep inside the tooth are the main focus of these specialists. When tooth pain is caused by a root canal problem, an endodontist can relieve the pain—and often save the tooth.

Prosthodontists: Prosthodontists have a keen understanding of all the factors that go into making a pleasing smile. If you need replacement teeth, these experts can help ensure that you get top-notch results.

Periodontists: Your teeth are supported and sustained by healthy pink gum tissue… and that’s a periodontist’s area of expertise. These specialists treat gum disease, perform gum surgery—even place dental implants.

At Spring Lake Dental Group, we pride ourselves on being a multi-disciplinary practice. Whether you need a root canal, orthodontic  treatment or gum surgery, we have the provider that will suit your situation best!