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Dental Specialists: More Than Periodontists and Endodontists

Posted on: January 27th, 2023 | Categories: Endodontics, Periodontics

At Worcester Periodontics you may have become familiar with our periodontic and endodontic dental specialists, but the ADA actually recognizes twelve different specialties. Let’s have a closer look at each specialty and see what they do.

This specialty should be familiar to most people who visited Worcester Periodontics. Anyone looking for gum disease treatment, dental implants, or other surgeries related to the gums will likely end up seeing a periodontist. A periodontist is someone who specializes in the gums and bone that supports the teeth (or their replacements, like dental implants). In addition to going to dental school, periodontists need an additional three years of schooling for their specialty.

The intimate knowledge that periodontists have of the anatomy of the gums and the bone beneath it makes them uniquely equipped for not only treating gum disease and doing surgery on gums, but also for placing dental implants. With specialized knowledge of the gum and bone, periodontists know what is needed for optimal dental implant placement and integration of the implant with the bone.

Another specialty you would find at Worcester Periodontics is an endodontist. The endodontist specializes in the tissue and structures inside the tooth. Inside each tooth there is soft tissue called pulp that contains blood vessels and nerves. If someone ever gets an infection inside the tooth they will likely get root canal therapy done by an endodontist. During a root canal, the endodontist will clean out the inner space of a tooth and fill it with a bio-compatible material so that patients can keep their natural tooth and not require and extraction.

The endodontist has an additional 2-3 years of schooling, in addition to going to dental school, and often have specialized equipment like microscopes that help them clean out teeth thoroughly. This additional training gives endodotists extensive knowledge of the anatomy of the tooth interior, including all the different types of canals and structures they may find inside a tooth and how to clean them.

If you need a root canal, it’s probably best to go to an endodontist since they specialize in them. Studies have found a higher success rate in root canals done by endodontists compared to root canals done by general dentists.

Dental Anesthesiology
These specialists provide dental sedation for anxious patients who need sedation to get any dental work done. They also provide general anesthesia for more invasive surgeries like placing multiple dental implants for hybrid dentures for older patients that may have health issues.

Dental Public Health
This specialty is for dentists that want to make an impact in the field of dentistry on a larger scale. These dentists do research and are involved in organizing public dental care programs for communities that need them.

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
This speciality is about diagnosing and managing diseases that happen in the mouth or maxillofacial region, which extends beyond just the teeth to include the whole mouth and jaw area. Often these specialists are called upon to diagnose if someone has oral cancer.

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
These dentists specialize in taking and interpreting x-rays and other types of imagery such as CBCT and MRI scans of the mouth and jaw region. They have specialized knowledge of the technology that’s available and the physics of how the technology interacts with the human anatomy.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Theses dental specialists need an additional 4-6 years of schooling since this speciality is so complex. These dentists do surgery on the whole mouth and jaw region, which can include surgeries such as cleft palates, reconstructive surgeries after accidents, as well as dental implant placement and tooth extraction.

Oral Medicine
This is the newest specialty recognized by the ADA. These dentists work on diagnosing diseases in the mouth and jaw area, but unlike pathologists, their work is a lot more clinical. These dentist might do minor excisions, or collect biopsies, or prescribe medication for conditions.

Orofacial Pain
These dentists specialize in pain in the mouth and jaw region. If someone has TMJ, this type of specialists would be the most trained to handle their situation.

This specialty is related to the movement of teeth in order to ensure patients have a healthy bite. Even if someone’s bite is healthy enough but they want teeth moved for cosmetic reasons the orthodontist would specialize in this.

Pediatric Dentistry
These dentists specialize in treating children and understanding the oral anatomy of children. In addition to clinical training, these specialists need to know how to create a welcoming atmosphere that will promote a healthy relationship between the child and dentistry. The dentist is also responsible for providing good dental education to children to ensure their dental care is continued in the home.

A prosthodontist is dentist that specializes in replacing missing teeth. These dentists have a very holistic view of the mouth and make sure that teeth being replaced or restored work in the context of the rest of the mouth. As part of the process of replacing teeth, these dentists often train in dental implant placement.

We hope this list was informative and that if you ever need the services of a periodontist or endodontist near Worcester that you would consider Worcester Periodontics.

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