Dental Insurance Information
General dentists, also known as family dentists, are trained to provide most dental procedures for patients. A general dentist’s services may include:
- routine checkups
- teeth cleanings
- gum disease screening and treatment
- crowns and bridges
- cosmetic dentistry
- root canal therapy
- pediatric dentistry
- tobacco cessation
- home-care instructions
- dentures and partial dentures
- mouth guards
After your dentist has determined your oral health status and your likely risk of future disease, you should visit your dentist as often as he or she recommends. Regular visits enable your dentist to become familiar with your dental and medical history and to coordinate your dental care. This practice can help prevent dental disease before it requires involved care, such as a root canal or periodontal (gum) surgery.
If your general dentist determines you have a problem requiring special skills, knowledge or equipment, he or she will refer you to a specialist. Your general dentist will explain to you why the referral is recommended, and an appointment may be scheduled before you leave. He or she should share your dental records, X-rays and any relevant dental and general health information with the specialty dentist.
A specialty dentist typically has completed an extra two to six years of education in a specific area of dentistry. After a dentist has successfully completed additional programs and training, he or she may elect to take a specialty examination.
Some specialists you may be referred to during the course of your dental treatment include:
- Endodontists care for the inner portion of the teeth. They perform root canals and treat diseases of the pulp and nerves inside the tooth.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons treat injuries and defects of the mouth and jaw; they also often perform complex tooth extractions.
- Oral pathologists examine, identify, diagnose and treat diseases of the mouth.
- Orthodontists design and apply corrective and supportive appliances (braces) to realign crooked teeth.
- Pediatric dentists care for infants, children, adolescents and special patients having psychological, physical or emotional problems. These practitioners are skilled at handling the first visits to the dentist.
- Periodontists treat diseases of the soft tissues (gums) and bone that surround and support the teeth.
- Prosthodontists design, construct and fit replacement teeth, such as implants, bridgework and dentures.
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