Dental Specialties

What is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS)?

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are dentists specializing in surgery of the mouth, teeth, gums, jaws and related facial structures. Beyond their education in dental school, surgeons receive another four to seven years of hospital-based surgical and medical training. This provides them with the experience necessary to perform a wide variety of procedures that involve the bones and soft tissues of the face, mouth and neck.

What is a Periodontist?

Periodontics is a specialty branch of dentistry that is formally recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). Periodontists have three additional years of education beyond dental school, and they are concerned with keeping the gums and bone around your teeth healthy. This involves the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal, or gum, disease. Periodontists can perform a range of health-related and cosmetic periodontal procedures.

Why is your dentist referring you to a Periodontist?

If your dentist determines that you are displaying signs of gum disease, you will be referred to a periodontist. The periodontist and dentist will take a team approach to ensure that you receive the highest level of care. They will work together to produce and execute a treatment plan for you and confer about your progress. By referring you to a specialist, your dentist is protecting your dental health.

What is an Endodontist?

Endodontics is a dental specialty concerned with treating the inside of the tooth. The endodontist receives additional training after dental school to become an expert on dental pulp and periapical tissues of the teeth. He or she can diagnose and treat infection, damage and disease within the tooth’s internal structures.

Endodontists provide a thorough dental examination that may include measuring tooth sensitivity, pulp testing and diagnostic imaging. This allows for a determination of the overall condition of the pulp and periapical tissue. The endodontist evaluates the results and determines the best method of treatment to alleviate the problem and prevent tooth loss.

What is a Prosthodontist?

The Prosthodontist, who has completed three years of additional training through a hospital or university-based program after dental school, corrects issues with oral function, comfort and appearance that stem from missing or deficient teeth. Using a series of procedures such as dental veneers, crowns, implants and dentures, a skilled prosthodontist can improve a patient’s oral health and function as well as their appearance.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

A Pediatric Dentist has at least two years of further training after completing dental school. This training focuses on child psychology, management and treatment of a child’s developing teeth, physical growth and developmental needs. A pediatric dentist and the members of the dental staff are all well versed in handling anxious or uncomfortable children. Many pediatric dental offices provide games and other distractions to help young patients. Special needs children may have particular dental needs or issues, and a pediatric dentist can provide the effective all-around care needed.

What is an Orthodontist?

An Orthodontist adjusts misaligned teeth and treats related problems of the mouth, teeth and jaws. With an arsenal of tools that includes braces, retainers and many other devices, an orthodontist develops and implements a plan for straightening the teeth and correcting the way the jaws fit together.

Orthodontists treat children for many different problems, such as crowded or misplaced teeth, difficulty biting or chewing, speech issues and teeth that meet in an irregular way. These tooth and jaw problems may be caused by adverse habits like thumb sucking, disharmonies of growth between the upper and lower jaws or an overbite, underbite or crossbite.

Why visit the orthodontist?

Your dentist may recommend it because they notice a problem with the alignment of your teeth or jaws. If you are unhappy with the way your teeth look, a consultation with an orthodontist might be worthwhile to explore possible treatment options.