Dentists Have Many Specialties

Dentistry is a field of medicine that is vital to good overall health care. General dentists within the field of dentistry have learned the techniques and procedures to keep the oral cavity healthy, and most patients will only deal with these dentists for twice yearly checkups. However, for more complicated procedures and care, a patient might visit any one of the dentists with extensive training in a dentistry field.


There are nine specialties recognized by the board that licenses Dentists Naperville IL. All fields of dentistry must first receive education in an accredited dental school, which covers general dentistry techniques and readies students for the licensing exam to practice independently. Upon graduation, a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree is awarded, which allows the student to practice general dentistry. For those looking to pursue a specialty, an additional two to three years of coursework is required. General dentists do not fall within any of these categories because their main focus is the maintenance, prevention, and education of caring for the oral cavity, which they have learned through four years of dental school. Health care providers recommend that patients see a general practitioner at least twice a year for a thorough teeth cleaning and examination. They can also perform common dental procedures including filling cavities, extracting teeth, and sometimes root canals for the general adult population. When the patient requires something beyond the general practitioner's skill set, the dentist will recommend them to a specialist. Pediatric and Geriatric dentists carry out these duties for children and elderly patients, respectively. However, these patients need a different regimen of care that requires special training and therefore, these dentists are considered specialists.


Besides geriatric and pediatric dentists, the most common dental specialties are orthodontics, peridontics, and maxillofacial surgeons. Orthodontists specialize in dentofacial orthopedics, this includes tooth irregularities and a disproportionate jaw. Typically, this type of dental work is for cosmetic purposes and uses a number of orthopedic appliances to reposition the jaw or straighten crooked teeth. Periodontists specialize in treating the supporting structures and tissues around the teeth. Although many general practitioners can perform a root canal, periodontist are specially trained in this procedure, especially in harder to reach areas such as the back of the mouth. Additionally, a general dentist will refer their patient to a periodontist to diagnose the cause of a tooth ache, or bleeding gums. A DDS can also perform general oral surgery, however, a maxillofacial surgeon is trained in more complex oral surgeries involving the jaw or neck.


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