When it comes to maintaining optimal oral health, dentistry plays an extremely vital role. But, dentistry is a diverse field that encompasses various branches, each specializing in different aspects of dental care. As a patient, it can be difficult to know which specialist to see for which issues you may be experiencing. Luckily, the team at Lakewood Dental Group (a trusted general and family dentistry clinic) is here to help you explore the wonderful world of dentistry!
Whether you need an exam, cleaning, or something more complex, Lakewood Dental Group is your premier location for all things oral health. Getting started with our crew is easy–just give our dental clinic in Dallas, TX, a ring at (214) 827-1885 to schedule your appointment now. We look forward to meeting you soon!
Dentistry offers a remarkably wide range of specialized treatments. From addressing dental issues in children to focusing on the health of gums and supporting structures, there is a dental specialist for you. In this blog post, we explore the different branches of dentistry, including family dentistry, pediatric dentistry, endodontics, periodontics, orthodontics, and more. Let’s dive in and discover the fascinating world of dental care!
Family dentistry forms the foundation of oral health care. The term ‘family dentistry’ is often used interchangeably with ‘general dentistry.’ However, some general dentists may not see children under a certain age. For example, here at Lakewood Dental Group, we accept patients aged 13 and older. This allows us to administer the highest level of care with minimal distractions or complications. Always be sure to ask if a general or family dentistry center has age restrictions on new patients.
A family dentist provides comprehensive dental services, usually for patients of all ages. They focus on a number of treatments, including:
- Preventive care
- Routine check-ups
- Dental cleanings
- Restorative treatments such as fillings, crowns, and bridges
Family dentists are experts in detecting and treating dental problems in their early stages, saving you from more complicated issues in the future. They also play a crucial role in educating patients about good oral hygiene practices. It is for this reason that medical professionals recommend that children begin visiting a dentist no later than 12 months of age.
Pediatric dentistry specializes in the oral health of infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatric dentists undergo additional training to understand the unique needs of young patients. They create a comfortable and friendly environment to ensure positive dental experiences for children.
So, if you are looking for a dentist who specializes in little smiles, begin the search for a pediatric dentist. While some family dentists treat children of all ages, many do not. Pediatric dentists, however, can feasibly see patients from infancy into their adulthood.
Pediatric dentists offer traditional dental services, such as:
- Dental exams
- Professional cleanings
- Fluoride treatments
- Guidance on oral habits
A pediatric dentist’s goal is to establish a strong foundation for a lifetime of good oral health.
Endodontics focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of dental pulp and root canal-related issues. Endodontists specialize in performing root canal therapy, which involves removing infected or damaged pulp from the tooth’s interior. An endodontist can also treat dental trauma, cracked teeth, and perform endodontic surgery when necessary.
In many cases, an endodontist may be the only dental professional who can save a severely damaged tooth from extraction. By preserving natural teeth through root canal therapy and other endodontic procedures, endodontists can help patients maintain their oral and overall health.
Periodontics specializes in the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases that affect the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Periodontists deal with conditions like gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease, while periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease.
No matter what stage of gum disease a patient may have, it can lead to:
- Gum recession
- Tooth loss
- Halitosis (chronic bad breath)
- Other oral health problems
- Systemic health issues, like high blood pressure
Periodontists conduct deep cleanings (commonly called scaling and root planing) to remove problematic plaque around the gumline. They also perform various surgical procedures to treat gum disease and enhance the health and aesthetics of the gums.
Orthodontics focuses on the pinpointing, prevention, and remediation of misaligned teeth and jaws. Orthodontists use devices such as braces, aligners, and retainers to gradually move teeth into optimal alignment, creating a balanced bite and a beautiful smile.
Orthodontists can address several issues, including:
- Jaw misalignment
- Orofacial myofunctional disorders
This means that orthodontists not only improve the appearance of teeth but also enhance oral functionality and long-term dental health. It is for this reason that medical professionals recommend early orthodontic intervention for children as young as seven years of age.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral and maxillofacial surgery involves the recognition and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries, and defects of the face, jaws, mouth, and teeth. Oral surgeons perform complex procedures such as:
- Tooth extractions
- Dental implants
- Corrective jaw surgery
- Facial trauma reconstruction
They work closely with other dental specialists and medical professionals to ensure comprehensive care for patients requiring surgical interventions.
Prosthodontics specializes in the restoration and replacement of missing teeth and oral structures. Prosthodontists focus on the design, fabrication, and fitting of dental prostheses, including:
- Dental implants
By utilizing advanced techniques and materials, prosthodontists aim to restore oral function and improve one’s oral and overall aesthetics. A happy by-product of prosthodontic care is that it can significantly enhance the quality of life for patients with missing teeth or significant dental issues.
Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of smiles. This can include treatments to both the teeth and gums, such as:
- Teeth whitening
- Dental bonding
- Porcelain veneers
- Gum reshaping (often called gum contouring)
Cosmetic dentists strive to create beautiful smiles that boost one’s self-confidence and contribute to their overall well-being. While cosmetic dentistry primarily focuses on aesthetics, it often can improve one’s oral health as well.
Family Dentistry in Dallas, TX
The field of dentistry encompasses a wide range of branches, each dedicated to addressing specific dental needs. Dental professionals play critical roles in promoting oral health, restoring smiles, and improving overall well-being.
If you don’t know which professional to turn to, a general and family dentistry center is always a great place to start. So, don’t wait–contact Lakewood Dental Group today! We can handle most of your oral care needs under one roof. Request your appointment here, or give us a call at (214) 827-1885 to get started now!