Types of Dentists
Endodontist: Endodontists care for the inner portion of the teeth. They perform root canals and treat diseases of the pulp and nerves inside the tooth.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon: Treat injuries and defects of the mouth and jaw; they often perform complex tooth extractions.
Oral Pathologist: Examine, identify, diagnose and treat diseases of the mouth.
Orthodontist: Design and apply corrective and supportive appliances (braces) to realign crooked teeth.
Pediatric Dentist: Care for infants, children, adolescents and special patients having psychological, physical or emotional problems. Thee practitioners are skilled at handling the first visit to the dentist.
Peridontist: Treat diseases of the soft tissue (gums) and bone that surround and support the teeth.
Prosthodontist: design, construct and fit replacement teeth, such as implants, bridgework and dentures.
Types of Treatments
Beyond the normal cleaning and cavity filling, here are some dental treatments commonly recommended for or sought by adults:
- Adult Braces/Orthrodontics -- to realign teeth, close gaps in teeth or improve bite patterns
- Adult Sealants -- permanent plastic coating added to the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars to reduce the likelihood of cavities in those areas
- Bridges -- replace a missing tooth or teeth and are fixed (permanently cemented into the mouth)
- Dentures -- a full set of artificial teeth, used when all or most of the natural teeth have been lost to decay, disease or injury
- Root Canals -- performed on teeth with diseased or damaged nerves; the pulp is removed, the root preserved and a protective crown put over the top
- Wisdom Teeth Removal -- recommended when the teeth only partially erupt or threaten to crowd other existing teeth
- Whitening -- professional bleaching procedures to whiten teeth
Visiting The Dentist
It's important that you provide your dentist and hygienist with all the information they need to recommend the right treatment and advice during your visit. Here are a few questions you may get and why your dentist needs to know the answers.
What is your current oral hygiene routine?
Your answers to this question help your dentist provide helpful tips or recommend new products to address specific concerns.
What are your lifestyle habits?
Sugary foods and drinks, a poor diet, or smoking can all have an adverse effect on your teeth, gums and breath. Your dentist will want to know about these habits in order to provide recommendations for how to limit their effects on your oral health.
Do you have any medical conditions?
Certain conditions, such as diabetes, can present potential dental health problems, including infections of the mouth, salivary gland dysfunction and tooth decay. It's important that your dentist be aware of these conditions so he or she can be on the look out for potential signs of disease.
What medications are you taking?
Certain medications, such as oral contraceptives, antidepressants and high blood pressure medications can impact your oral health and potentially complicate certain treatments.
Do you have any problems or concerns regarding your oral health?
Your visit to the dentist is your opportunity to talk about any questions or concerns you have. Don't be afraid to ask -- early detection allows most conditions to be treated and reversed.
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