Getting the care you need to get the smile you deserve is important, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Sometimes even knowing which specialist to see can be a bit confusing. One of the more common problems patients have is knowing whether they should visit an oral surgeon or an orthodontist.
An orthodontist specializes in straightening teeth, while an oral surgeon deals more with treatment below the gumline as well as surgical extractions. While certain treatments—like seeing an orthodontist for braces—are fairly straightforward, more complicated procedures may not be, or may require both doctors.
For instance, facial reconstruction can be performed by an oral surgeon. Certain procedures are right in this doctor’s wheelhouse, but if in addition to getting implants, for instance, a patient also wants their natural teeth to have a better bite, or if room needs to be made for the implant, an orthodontist will be needed to ensure proper alignment occurs.
Whatever your treatment plan may be, however, you don’t need to worry. Your primary dentist is a great resource & will go over in detail what specialist to see & what to expect during your visit.
While each specialist’s focus can look very different, there are many things about these doctors that are similar. Both spend four years of post graduate training to receive their license, as well as a general residency. This ensures you will be in good hands that are already experienced, even if it is the doctor’s first year in practice. Both professions also undergo continuous education throughout their careers. These courses help them learn more nuanced advancements, learn new ways of better working with patients & even better understand the insurance industry to help keep their patients’ costs low. You can be sure that no matter their specialty, your dentists are always working to improve their work.
There are also a few other dental specialists that many aren’t even sure what their specialty is based on the name. These include:
Endodontists: These dentists specialize in repairing tissue inside the mouth. Saving natural teeth is their specialty & root canals are probably their most recognized procedure.
Periodontist: Specializes in treating gum disease & can also work with dental implants.
Prosthodontist: Specializes in making prosthetics, such as implants & dentures.