Definitions of Specialties
is a dentist that strictly deals with the nerve of the tooth. They may perform simple to difficult root canal treatments as well as surgical root procedures. They may perform an apicoectomy (surgically removing the tip of the root) or a root amputation (removing a root on a multi-rooted tooth), also. They have usually 2 or more years of continuing education after graduating dental school, and most limit their practice to only endodontics.
is a dentist that performs many aspects of surgery in and about the head area. They can perform simple to extremely difficult (Completely-Bony Impacted Third Molars (Wisdom teeth)) extractions. They also perform biopsies and removal of tumors in the head and neck region. Most place implants in the jaw for future restorations and do complex jaw realignment surgeries. They have usually 4 or more years of continuing education after graduating dental school, and most limit their practice to only oral surgery.
is a dentist that straightens teeth. They analyze a mouth and surrounding bone structures and determine where the teeth should be. If there is enough room they will manipulate the teeth and bone through the use of bands, wires, elastics, headgears and other appliances to achieve a harmonius balance between facial muscles and teeth. If there is not enough room teeth may have to be extracted to achieve the desired results. They treat children as well as adults, so don’t be afraid you are too old to have braces. They have usually 2 or more years of continuing education after graduating dental school, and most limit their practice to only orthodontics.
is a pediatric dentist. They focus their dentistry to treating the younger patients. They will usually treat children from as little as 1 year old to early adulthood. They can perform all aspects of dentistry on this crowd. They can detect early on if there are problems with decayed, missing, crowded or malpositioned teeth and correct them as well as spot signs of child abuse. They have usually 2 or more years of continuing education after graduating dental school, and most limit their practice to only pedodontics.
is a dentist that deals with the supporting structures of the teeth. They diagnosis and treat gingivitis (Inflammation of the gum tissue) as well as periodontitis (Gum Disease). They may perform simple cleanings to complicated bone surgeries. They perform bone grafting where indicated and do soft tissue grafts to treat gum recession. Most also place implants in the jaw for future restoration. They have usually 3 or more years of continuing education after graduating dental school, and most limit their practice to only periodontics.
is a dentist that deals with simple to complicated full mouth restorations. They may be crowns, fixed bridges, dentures, implant cases, or mixed implant and fixed bridge cases. They sometimes encompass the majority of the patients remaining teeth. They also perform needed restorative procedures, such as obturators, after removal of cancerous portions of the mouth.They have usually 3 or more years of continuing education after graduating dental school, and most limit their practice to only prosthodontics.
These are the only official specialties in the field of dentistry. Cosmetic, aesthetic, geriatric or implantology are not recognized specialties, yet!
infection caused by severe decay, trauma, or gum disease. You may have pain and swelling.
Typical silver colored filling made of mix of silver, tin, mercury, and some other trace elements like copper. Advantages- placement easier than other materials, cost. Disadvantage- color, breaks down 10-20 years.
The covering of a tooth surface to correct stained or damaged teeth, by painting a layer of plastic on the tooth.
One or more artifical teeth attached, usually on both sides, by crowns to adjacent teeth. It is used to maintain space and function for missing teeth. May be made of gold or porcelain on gold.
Tooth grinding, often caused by stress or improper bite position. Most often done unconsciously at night.
The portion of the tooth that is closest to your cheeks.
Tooth colored resin filling materials. Main advantages- color, adhesives available to strengthen rather than weaken tooth. Disadvantages- They have shrinkage, stain and wear problems, very technique sensitive.
A crown or a cap is a cover for a decayed or damaged tooth made of porcelain and/or metal.
The portion of the tooth that is farthest from the mid line of the mouth.
The removal of teeth – may be simple or surgical.
A bump or boil on the gum tissue, which is a tract, in which an abscessed tooth can drain.
Inflammation of the gum tissue caused by plaque and or tarter build-up. Precurser to periodontitis if not treated.
Usually associated with a wisdom tooth, it is a tooth that is submerged under the gum tissue. It may be malpositioned, and may never erupt.
A titanium cage or screw placed in the bone to replace a lost tooth or teeth. A crown, bridge, or bar and denture can be fixed to the implant(s).
A gold, porcelain, or composite custom-made filling cemented into the tooth. If it covers the tips of the teeth or otherwise supports the tips it is called an onlay.
The portion of the tooth that is closest to your tongue. Used for teeth on the lower arch.
The portion of the tooth that is closest to the mid line of the mouth.
A plastic mouthpiece to prevent damage from grinding teeth at night.
The portion of the tooth that you chew with. The biting surface of the tooth.
The portion of the tooth that is closest to the palate or roof of the mouth. Used for teeth on the upper arch.
Advanced gum disease; inflamation of gum tissue which causes bone loss resulting in tooth loss if untreated.
porcelain laminate veneer
A thin porcelain shell bonded to the tooth to correct imperfections in shape and color.
Simple cleaning of teeth with rubber wheel and dental toothpaste.
root canal therapy
Cleaning out the inside nerve of the tooth to preserve the tooth.
The removal of hard deposits, with metal scalers, on the root surface and smoothing the root surface to allow for reattachment of the gums to the tooth and ultimately pocket reduction.
Plastic coating applied to grooves of teeth to prevent decay.