There are different tooth doctors here in Australia and many parts of the world. They are the ones who studied and practiced for years to help us care for our oral and dental health. Let us know the types of dentists, who they are, and what specialties they know and perform. Armed with the following information, we would know who to consult in times of dental problems in the future.
Dentistry: The definition
According to the Dental Board of Australia, dentistry is the science of assessing, preventing, diagnosing, and treating any injury, disease, deficiency, or deformity of the teeth and its surrounding structures. Dentists are professionals who have studied dentistry for a minimum of 4 years approved by the National Board. For dentists to be called dental specialists, they should practice general dentistry for at least two years and undertake additional education and training based on the specialty they want to pursue.
Types of dentists:
There are 13 types of dentists with different specialisations. These are:
- Dento-maxillofacial radiology
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery
- Oral medicine
- Oral pathology
- Oral surgery
- Paediatric dentistry
- Public health dentistry (community dentistry)
- Special needs dentistry, and
- Forensic odontology.
Of the 13 specialised types of dentists, let’s learn about the six most common types of dentists we encounter.
Types of dentists: Pediatric dentist
These dental specialists are the ones in charge of taking care of our children’s smile. They specialise in handling a child’s teeth from infancy to early teenage years. Their profession, since they are working closely with children, is also in partnership with paediatricians and other specialists in maintaining the overall health of their little patients.
Types of dentists: Endodontist
They are dental specialists who are experts in taking care of the insides of our teeth, called pulp. They are the ones who specialise in performing root canal therapy (RCT), a dental procedure that carefully removes the pulp of the tooth. They will then clean, disinfect, and shape the root canals, then place a dental filling and seal the space where the pulp was. This method solves any inflammation or infection a patient may have that causes pain and discomfort.
Types of dentists: Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dental specialists who focus on treatment of problems related to the hard and soft tissues of the face, mouth, and jaws (or maxilla). They are actually considered as orthopaedic surgeons because their specialisation includes training alongside medical practitioners for emergency medicine, surgery, and anaesthesiology. They are the ones who your general dentists refer you to for complex tooth extractions, or your orthodontists when they want to confirm and address the misalignment of your jaws.
Types of dentists: Orthodontist
The orthodontist is one of the types of dentists whose primary focus is the correction and alignment of your teeth and bite. They are the experts at performing orthodontic procedures like using dental braces and dental aligners to gradually and systematically correct the positioning of your teeth.
Types of dentists: Periodontist
If your problem involves your gums, a periodontist is the specialised type of dentist for you. They are the dental specialists who are responsible for preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases of the surrounding tissues of the teeth. Performing their role well will ensure the maintenance of the health, function, and aesthetics of gums and the structures it supports and protects.
Types of dentists: Prosthodontist
These dental specialists have had additional training and certification in restoring and replacing broken teeth with crowns, bridges, or removable prosthetics (dentures). They understand the role of preserving a healthy smile using tooth replacements.
With this information, we now know some of the different specialisation our dentists undergo and learn to help us maintain our oral and dental health. Regular consultation with these types of dentists will ensure the lifelong preservation of our smiles.