There comes a time in all of our lives where we need to get our teeth checked and cleaned. As much as we dread a visit to the dentist, a visit to their office is much like death and taxes in that it’s inevitable. But then, there’s a lot more to the world of dentistry than just dentists. In fact, many different professionals deal with the responsibility of taking care of our pearly whites, all with their own specialties and reasons for existing. You might even have seen signs for one or two of them while driving around.
Ever curious what those other dentists are up to? Here’s the scoop:
This type of dental professional deals with everything related to the straightening of teeth. In practice, this is most often the installation and maintenance of braces, but jaw alignment and other miscellaneous fine-tuning of the structures in the mouth for a straighter overall look are well within the job description of an orthodontist.
Not everyone has the luxury of reaching the end of their lifespan with all of their teeth. When a tooth needs to be artificially replaced, it’s a prosthodontist you’ll be relying on. They focus on all dental prosthetics such as veneers and implants. All of these are made under the watchful eye of a prosthodontist as they work with a dental lab.
The scientific meaning for the prefix peri- means “around” or “adjacent to.” In this case, a periodontist deals with the gums, which are adjacent to the teeth. Any and all gum work is the job of a qualified periodontist. Gum issues are more serious than one would think. A periodontist in Beverly Hills, CA can expect a lot of high-class clients coming in to deal with how their lifestyles have affected their gum health.
This specialty is the one that deals with the infamous root canal. Deep within a tooth and below the gumline is a collection of tissue known as the pulp. The pulp is a living tissue that works as the “core” of a tooth. Without healthy pulp, there’s no healthy tooth. An endodontist works to treat any outstanding trauma or inflammation of the pulp, with a root canal being necessary for unpreservable tissue.
While it’s doubtful this article has renewed anyone’s interest in getting a check-up, it’s worth knowing what these professionals are all about, should you be dealing with any of them in the future. You’ll be able to know exactly which part of the tooth they’ve specialized in, as well as whether or not they’re overstepping their boundaries. Dental work is notoriously pricey with some unscrupulous practitioners only in it for the money. As long as you know what kind of specialist you should be referred to and what questions you’ll reasonably be able to ask, your teeth will be in much better hands moving forward than by sticking to as generalized a dental pro as possible. Hopefully, that never becomes necessary, but life can be unpredictable like that at times.