There are several different types of dental and oral health professionals. Your dentist might refer you to a specialist based on the focus of their practice or their area of expertise.
A dental hygienist is the person you tend to see the most at your six month dental checkup. This person cleans your teeth, removes plaque and tartar buildup and conducts a cursory inspection, looking for signs of tooth decay.
A dentist in many ways is a general practitioner of oral health. They have a wide spectrum of focus that is related to teeth, gums and other aspects of oral health. This includes dealing with tooth decay, preparing crowns and bridges, basic gum health, oral cancer screenings and much more.
An orthodontist is a dental professional that focuses on correcting problems with the bite. In most cases, if you or your child needs braces, your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist.
A periodontist focuses their area of expertise on the gums and other soft tissues of the mouth. Your dentist might refer you to a periodontist if you are struggling with periodontitis or other advanced forms of gum disease. Some periodontists also specialize in dental implant procedures.
An endodontist is a type of dentist that focuses their area of expertise on the roots of the teeth and their structure. If you need a root canal or multiple root canals, your dentist might refer you to an endodontist.
If you have any questions about what dental professional you should see for any upcoming procedures, please feel free to call us at 313-562-5610 to schedule an appointment.