While regular dental visits are extremely important, sometimes your dentist may notice something that needs special attention. In this case, your dentist would refer you to one of the following dental specialists. Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris of Mansfield Dental Associates explain the different types of dental specialties below.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (OMS)
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform surgeries of the mouth, face, and jaw. Post-dental school, these specialists undergo four to seven years of medical and surgical training.
Periodontal is defined as surrounding or encasing a tooth and can refer to all of the structures that support the teeth, including the gums, cementum, periodontal ligaments, and jawbone. Thus, periodontists diagnose and treat gum disease. For example, if your gums had dramatically receded in a certain area, you may be referred to a periodontist for a graft. This is a procedure in which the missing gum tissue is replaced in order to prevent future tooth loss and uncomfortable sensitivity.
Have you ever had a root canal? If so, you may have gone to an endodontist, a dental specialist who treats abnormalities of dental pulp, which is the soft, nerve-filled tissue in the center of the tooth, and periapical tissues, which are found in the apex, or tip, of the tooth’s root where it meets the jawbone.
The job of an orthodontist is to prevent mouth, teeth, and jaw problems from becoming worse by ensuring that the teeth stay straight and the jaws line up correctly. Orthodontists correct misaligned teeth and jaws by fitting their patients with helpful devices such as braces and retainers.
Prosthodontics is the practice of restoring damaged or missing teeth by the use of prostheses in order to promote full oral function. Examples of tooth replacement options include bridges, dentures, and dental implants.
If your child’s teeth need special care, a pediatric dentist is the best choice. Not only do they specialize in the treatment of developing teeth, but they will also do their absolute best to make your child as comfortable as possible with everything from fun posters on the wall to toys in the office.
If you feel that you would benefit from a visit to one of the above dental specialists, Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris would be happy to refer you to an esteemed colleague in the Mansfield area. Visit their office in Mansfield, Texas or call (817) 259-1357.