Did you know that there are several different types of dentist specializations? Each specialization focuses on a different area of dental care, and if you understand them it will make it easier to identify the type that you need.

The more common types of dentist specializations that you should know a bit about are:

General dentists

Essentially a general dentist should be the primary dental care provider that you visit regularly for checkups. Their role will be to diagnose any common issues, perform cleanings, and help deal with minor issues such as cracked, chipped, or missing teeth.

In most cases a general dentist should be your first port of call, and they will be able to recommend that you visit a specialist if you require it.

Orthodontist

An orthodontist is basically a specialist that focuses on teeth alignment issues – which is why their most common role is installing braces. Aside from misaligned teeth they also deal with misaligned jaws, and fix issues involving overbite, underbite, or crossbite.

To sum it up, if your teeth are crooked or out of place you should look for an orthodontist somewhere near you.

Periodontist

Unlike other dentists, periodontists focus on the gums instead of the teeth. Mainly their role is to prevent, diagnose, and treat various conditions such as gum inflammation and gum disease.

On top of that periodontists also are required to install dental implants or various other minor dental surgeries involving the gums.

Pediatric dentist

A pediatric dentist is someone who specializes in oral healthcare for children. Not only are they trained to provide dental examinations for children, but they are also tasked with improving bad dental habits early on.

Suffice to say a pediatric dentist can take the place of a general dentist for children, and will recommend other specialists if required.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon

Technically this role can be considered more of a surgeon than a dentist, but it is one that specializes in surgery involving the mouth, jaw, or face. In most cases they are not required for minor dental surgery, but may be necessary for complex tooth extractions, corrective jaw surgeries, or the placement of posts for dental implants.

Simply put, oral and maxillofacial surgeons deal with more invasive dental surgery.

Prosthodontist

The role of a prosthodontist is to provide oral prosthesis that can replace damaged or lost teeth. The prosthesis that are most common nowadays include crowns, bridges, dentures, tooth implants, and veneers.

Depending on the case, prosthodontists may work with other dental specialists such as orthodontists, periodontists, or oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

Endodontists

If you require a root canal, it is likely that you will need to visit an endodontist. It is a type of dentist that focuses on performing root canals, removing infected tissue from teeth, and refilling teeth if necessary.

Considering root canals are one of the more common types of dental surgery, it is safe to say that you may require an endodontist at some point or other.

As you can see each type of dental specialization is unique in its own way, and focuses on a very specific type of dental treatments. However it is always a good idea to first visit a general dentists in Bristol or someplace close to you, before deciding whether or not you need to visit a specialist.

Now that you understand the different types of dental specializations, it should be easier for you to appreciate what they do, and why they are important. Make no mistake there are other dental specializations as well – however the ones listed above are the most common.