Just like there are many kinds of doctors to take care of specific parts of the body and various health issues, there are different kinds of dentists to deal with all of the different aspects of your teeth. To help you understand who these specialists are and when you may encounter them, we’ve put together a little primer on the difference between dentists, endodontists, and orthodontists. Don’t worry, there’s no quiz after!
Think of the dentist as the primary care doctor for your teeth. They’re in charge of examining your overall oral health and will be able to decide whether or not there’s a problem going on, along with what kind of corrective or preventative treatments you may need. Your general dentist can also conduct a wide range of treatments, including fillings, cleanings, dentures, crowns, and more. For more extensive or specific problems, however, your dentist will often refer you to a specialist, who has more detailed understanding of one or two particular parts of your tooth or mouth.
Endodontists deal with the health of your dental pulp and the nerves in your tooth. Most people see this specialist for root canals, but this isn’t the only procedure they can perform! Endodontists can also replant a tooth that has been knocked out of its socket, as well as perform exploratory surgery to diagnose undetected causes of nerve pain, repairing roots, and other treatments.
If you had braces as a child, you’ve seen an orthodontist. This specialist deals with malocclusions, or problems involving jaw or tooth positioning. This includes underbites or overbites, missing, crowded, extra, or misaligned teeth, amongst other aesthetic or structural issues. In addition to braces and retainers, an orthodontist may perform tooth extraction surgery, which is particularly common with wisdom teeth.
General dentists and specialists all work together towards one goal — improving smiles and preventing dental problems from developing. Remember, you can always contact us if you have any questions about your oral health. Or, simply leave us a comment below!