Posted on 2/27/2018 by Renée,
|When it comes to the health of your teeth, you want the best care possible. But there are so many different types of dentists out there.
There are general dentists, but there are also a wide assortment of specialists - orthodontists, prosthodontists, oral surgeons, endodontists, periodontists and pediatric dentists. The question is, is visiting a general dentist best, or should you seek specialized care?
What's the Difference?
All dentists undergo three or more years of undergraduate schooling followed by four years of dental school. General dentists stop there. Specialty dentists continue on after dental school to complete several more years of postgraduate schooling.
Why Go to a General Dentist?
A general dentist acts as your primary care dentist. This is the dentist you visit for your regular checkups. A general dentist cleans your teeth and checks them for signs of decay.
He will also check your gums for gum disease as well as the rest of your mouth, and even your face and neck for any indications of other problems. He can answer any questions you may have about your oral health and give you advice on how to keep your mouth healthy between visits.
So, Why Would You Need a Specialist?
If a general dentist can help you keep your mouth healthy, why would you need a specialist? A general dentist can diagnose any issues you may have, but he may not be equipped to fix them.
The additional schooling that specialists receive allows them the knowledge and practice to fix specific problems.
For example, orthodontists can fix misaligned teeth, prosthodontists can help with restorative needs and pediatric dentists can take care of the special requirements of children.
Visiting the dentist is important to the health of your teeth. Who you visit depends on your specific needs. The general dentist provides you with the preventative care you need to do so.
But if you have a specific issue - perhaps you need an extraction, dental implants or you have an advanced stage of gum disease - a specialist will be your best option.