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What are the types of dentists and who should I go to?

Need to see a periodontist or an endodontist or some other 'ist' that you have never heard before?

Written by Dr Anitha Anchan |Updated : June 4, 2015 1:43 PM IST

Have you been told by your general dentist that you need to see a periodontist or an endodontist or some other ist that you have never heard before? .and you thought your general dentist could fix all your dental problems.

When you have problems with your teeth, you see a general dentist who performs a comprehensive dental exam and treats general tooth related issues. But, if you require any specific treatment, you may need any these specialists.

Kids teeth problems - Pedodontist

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Pedodontist/paediatric dentist is the person you go to for all your kid s dental needs. Pedodontists are the paediatricians of dentistry and are committed to attending to their various tooth problems from birth through adolescence. They are skilled in alleviating feelings of anxiety and fear to dental treatment in children, diagnosing tooth disease, filling cavities, extracting a tooth, treating gum disease, preventing further dental problems and maintaining dental health. They are also trained in child psychology and development. (Read: Why you need to take your child s dental problems seriously)

That nasty cavity gives you nightmares - Endodontist

When you have a severe toothache chances are that you will be referred to an endodontist. Endodontists are root canal specialists. They treat the inside of the tooth. Spread of decay to pulp, the innermost layer of the tooth with nerves and blood vessels, causes inflammation of pulp and eventually, death of the tooth.Endodontists remove the infected pulp, clean up the roots using instruments, place some sealant material, rebuilt the tooth using dental material and place a cap over the repaired tooth. They also treat cracked teeth and dislodged or knocked out tooth, and perform endodontic surgery. (Read: 10 signs of dental cavities you didn t know about)

Problem in the gums - Periodontist

Do you have red, swollen, bleeding gums? Are the supporting bone and fibres that hold the teeth in place damaged? Is your tooth mobile? If yes, then periodontist is the person you will be referred to. Periodontists are gum disease treatment specialists. They deal with problems in structures supporting the teeth the periodontium and the bone. Some of the gum treatments they perform are curettage, gingivectomy (gum excision), flap surgery, grafts, guided tissue regeneration, etc. (Read: 5 herbal remedies to prevent gum disease)

Need minor or major surgery - Oral and maxillofacial surgeon

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMFS) specializes in treating many diseases, injuries and defects in the hard and soft tissues of the mouth, jaws and face region. They are trained to perform difficult tooth extractions, surgery to remove impacted teeth, corrective jaw surgery, reconstructive surgery, dental implants, and diagnose and treat cancers of mouth, head and neck, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, cleft lip and palate, fractures of the jaw and face bones, etc.They also perform cosmetic surgery procedures of the head and neck like rhinoplasty (nose job), cheek augmentation, chin augmentation, etc.

Got crooked teeth - Orthodontist

Have crooked and misaligned teeth taken the shine away from your smile? Do they disrupt the way you bite food? It s time to meet an orthodontist and get those braces. Orthodontists are trained about tooth movement and facial development. Age is no bar for moving teeth, and even adults can safely wear braces. However, any correction of the jaws requires surgery. Hence orthodontists may work closely with oral surgeons in such cases.

Replace the lost tooth Prosthodontist

Replacing your lost permanent tooth is important both for better function as well as the form of the face and prosthodontists do the needful. Prosthodontists are restorative specialists. They replace missing teeth and restore damaged teeth. Top options they provide to replace missing teeth are removable partial denture (RPD), complete dentures (CD), fixed partial denture (bridge) and implants. They help save a fractured tooth, tooth with large filling or a root canal treated tooth with dental crowns or caps.

Want a perfect smile - Cosmetic dentist

Do you want that perfect smile you envisioned? A cosmetic dental procedure can help. Cosmetic dentistry encompasses any dental work that helps to improve the appearance. Gaps between the teeth, yellow or stained teeth, crowded teeth, a gummy smile and chipped or cracked teeth can all be corrected to give you a perfect smile. It can be achieved by a single, or a team of dental specialist.

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