Dentistry has come a long way. Why is it we always hear horror stories about the dentist? No one ever talks about when they had a good experience at the general dentist. Truth be told, it’s not so bad now a days. Advances in dental technology have enabled dentists to make the dental experience less unpleasant.
Another reason why dental experiences have become more pleasant is due to the increasing amount of specialists in the dental world. A long time ago, it used to be that you would see just the regular dentist to get a wide variety of dental procedures. Today, we have several specialists who undergo extensive training in a particular niche. These specialists therefore can provide the best treatment for their patients.
Cosmetic dentists specialize in techniques to improve the aesthetics of teeth. This may include changing the size, color, shape, and positioning of teeth. It may entail the placement of a cosmetic ceramic crown, porcelain veneers, or laminate veneers. It may also entail working with an orthodontist, depending on the particular patient case, to give the best results for the patient.
Orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth and fixing occlusion, which is how the upper and lower teeth meet when one bites down. There are several different techniques for moving teeth, including traditional braces to Invisalign, which are clear retainers.
Endodontists are specialists who treat teeth that have nerves that are dying off. This entails removing the nerve and blood supply to the teeth in order to prevent or remove the source of a tooth infection.
Periodontists specialize in techniques to arrest gum disease and prevent bone loss which holds the teeth in place. Techniques include gum surgery, laser surgery, and chemotherapeutic agents to kill the type of bacteria that thrive in patients with gum disease.
Oral surgeons specialize in several areas of dentistry. Removal of impacted wisdom teeth is a common procedure. Oral surgeons also place dental implants in the jaw bone to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Implants are usually made of titanium, and act at a root of the tooth inserted in the jaw bone. A general dentist, or cosmetic dentist works in conjunction with the oral surgeon, and will place a implant crown on top of the titanium implant.
This is just a brief overview of some of the specialties in dentistry. If you have any concerns about you teeth or gums, the first step is to see a general dentist or cosmetic dentist, who will evaluate your entire dentition. At that point, they will determine a treatment plan for you and if needed refer to you specialists who will be the best to work with your particular dental situation to give you the best results!