When it comes to dental and oral healthcare, far more professionals are involved with taking care of people’s teeth, gums, and mouths than just a dentist.
We tend to think that all we really need is a dentist for our teeth, but sometimes our smiles need other oral healthcare specialists’ expertise and services.
We have listed below the different types of oral healthcare providers and what they do.
Different Types of Oral Healthcare Providers
- General Dentist
We all know what a dentist does for our oral health. He is the primary dental care provider that manages, diagnoses, and treats all of your oral health concerns.
They provide the most basic dental services that include teeth and gum care, fillings, veneers, crowns, root canals, bridges, and preventive education.
- Dental Public Health Clinics
Public health clinics that specialize in dental care exist to promote good dental care and hygiene in the community. Their main goal is to help communities have better dental health by educating the public with different oral health programs that help control and prevent the spread of dental diseases.
An endodontist is also known as a root canal specialist. Their work revolves primarily around the toot’s nerves. They determine the causes of toothaches, give diagnoses, help prevent injuries to the dental pulp or nerve. They are the ones who are most qualified to perform the harder root canal procedures other treatments involving the roots.
Have you ever been told you need braces for your teeth? When your teeth need alignment, you go to the alignment specialist, who is the orthodontist. They are the ones responsible for taking care of your “bite” and making sure that the overall structure of your teeth and jaw are aligned well for a better appearance.
- Pedodontist or Pediatric Dentist
Although general dentists are more than able to take care of children’s dental and oral needs, a certain group of dentists is somehow built for working with children. They have the same training as a general dentist, but they spend an additional two years learning about children’s oral healthcare, child behavior, and other special needs of child dentistry.
- Dental Anesthesiologist
Dental anesthesiology was only recently recognized as another form of dental specialty. They are the ones who control and manage patients’ discomfort and pain during procedures using the latest and most effective sedation methods.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
Oral and maxillofacial surgeonsare oral healthcare providers that specialize in performing complex surgical procedures in the face. If you need facial reconstruction due to facial injuries caused by accidents or reconstruction and dental implants, they are best qualified to perform the operation.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist
There are times that a dentist will ask you to go for an x-ray to provide a more accurate diagnosis of your teeth’s condition. An oral and maxillofacial radiologist is the one who takes and interprets all types of dental x-ray images and data needed for the proper assessment and management of your oral and maxillofacial region.
- Oral Medicine
Where certain complex cases are concerned, medical integration is needed with dental healthcare provision. Oral Medicine is a specialty that deals with diagnosing and managing oral diseases such as oral cancer, candidiasis, and aphthous stomatitis. They also provide services to complex medical patients and hospital inpatients.
- Oral Pathologist
Oral pathologists deal with studying the causes of certain oral diseases that can affect the structure of your teeth, jaws, cheeks, and lips, along with other parts around your face and neck. They are the ones that examine and diagnose the biopsy and tissue samples sent to them by other dental care specialists.
A periodontist is a type of dental care specialist that primarily deals with the soft tissues in the mouth (the gums) and provides diagnosis and solutions for treatment and prevention of gum-related diseases. They also deal with the teeth’s supporting structures that are both man-made and natural.
Prosthodontists are the oral repair specialists that help fix people’s teeth or replace missing ones that are a bit larger than the scope covered by a general dentist. They use artificial caps and crowns to replace missing teeth and also perform dental implants when necessary.
Now you have a better idea of who to go to when you have certain concerns with your teeth, gums, and mouth. These dental and oral healthcare providers can give you the care you need to keep your teeth and gums healthy.