How to Differentiate the Members of Your Oral Health Team

oral-hygiene

Whether you’re working within a dentist’s office or a patient curious about the makeup of the team, there’s no harm in being aware of what makes up a successful dental team and how they work together in harmony. 

Prosthodontist

When patients require artificial teeth, such as dentures or crowns, a prosthodontist can be their first port of call. Prosthodontists specialize in natural teeth restoration along with missing teeth replacement. 

Some prosthodontists also focus on artificial replacements for missing parts of faces and jaws to put patients in the best possible position to eat, chew and talk naturally. However, their skill-set is wide-ranging. 

Prosthodontists can help with your bite, worn-down teeth, smile makeovers, teeth whitening, jaw and teeth defects, and more. They can make all the difference to your oral health and confidence to smile. 

General Dentist

A general dentist can often be the first person you see when you make an appointment at a dentist’s office for a check-up or help with tooth pain. They are classed as your primary dental care provider and provide diagnostic, treatment, and care options to suit your oral health needs. 

General dentists also offer a wide range of services such as fillings, periodontal care, root canal surgeries, bridges, crowns, and more. 

Periodontist

Periodontists specialize in diagnosing, treating, and caring for gum inflammation and diseases, like gingivitis and periodontitis. Typically, they perform various procedures like pocket cleanings, crown lengthening, root planing, dental implant placement, and more. 

Their specialized skills also extend to natural and manmade teeth, ensuring they can cater to a wide range of needs. 

Orthodontist

Alongside prosthodontists, periodontists, and other specialty dentists, an orthodontist is responsible for transforming your oral health and giving you the confidence to smile. Their role, in particular, is to diagnose and treat malocclusions, which are often referred to as bad bites. 

Typically, malocclusions are caused by misaligned jaws, missing teeth, excess teeth, or a crowded mouth. Over a series of appointments, they use corrective products like Invisalign, retainers, and braces to straighten teeth and fix smiles. 

Endodontist

Endodontists are dentists like general dentists, but they have undergone further training to become specialists in a particular field. They focus on tooth pain diagnosis and root canal treatment. Essentially, they look at the interior of teeth and make the tough calls about whether endodontic treatment can save diseased teeth. 

Endodontists use cutting-edge technology such as 3D imaging and digital radiographs and perform complex procedures with microscopes to see inside root canals. 

Dental Hygienist

To prevent and treat oral diseases, you would call upon a dental hygienist or assistant. They clean teeth, look for signs of disease and offer education. Typically, they work under the supervision of licensed dentists. 

Dental Assistant

Dental assistants work alongside dentists to provide a high level of care. They can assist with fillings, extractions, and other treatment options to make sure a dentist has everything they need. Dental assistants can also be a form of support for a stressed patient while a dentist is providing treatment. 

The next time you make an appointment with your local dental clinic, take a moment to think about the incredible team at the helm. Many different experts provide a high level of care for the betterment of oral health.

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