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Types of Dentists: You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers

Dentists are trained healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat dental conditions. Regular mouth care helps you maintain healthy teeth, good breath, and a confident smile. Even without dental problems like cavities, spaced teeth, or gum disease, you should visit dentist Palm Beach Gardens once a year for a dental wellness checkup.

If you aren’t well conversant with this field, we will help you understand the types of dentists: you’ve got questions, we have answers.

The Roles of a Dentist

A dentist’s primary role is to promote proper dental hygiene for good health, which helps prevent future complications. They use modern technology, including equipment like lasers, X-ray machines, drills, scalpels, and brushes, among others, to perform various dental procedures. While performing these procedures, they wear protective equipment to prevent germs and bacteria from spreading.

Types of Dentists and What They Do

Proper oral care prevents more severe problems in the future, like heart disease or stroke. When dental problems like cavities, decay, and gum disease arise, dentists help to correct them through several procedures like bridges, fillings, root canals, and crowns. Suppose you have an oral health concern. A dentist is the right healthcare provider to consult, but which specialist is ideal for your dental problem?

Here are the various types of dentists and their roles.

General Dentist

A general dentist gives primary oral health care to patients with different issues. It’s the most common dental practice; they can clean or do routine dental exams. After a dental exam, a general dentist evaluates your teeth, identifies the issues, then conducts treatment where possible or refers you to other specialists. Assuming a general dentist cannot treat you, they recommend you to other specialists for a root canal, extraction, and dental crowns.

Pediatric Dentists

Pediatric dentists provide special dental care to infants and children. They offer a child-friendly approach during routine dental checkups for particular dental issues. A periodontist monitors a child’s oral development and tooth growth, and if they note any issues, they refer them to an orthodontist.


Orthodontists are responsible for jaw alignment, braces, wires, retainers, and more devices to ensure your health. Some of the issues an orthodontist helps correct or manage include an overbite, underbite, misalignment, or crossbite.

Periodontists (Gum Specialists)

Gum or periodontal disease is repaired or treated by Periodontists. A general dentist promotes the prevention of gum disease, whereas a periodontist will treat the problem through minor surgery to repair damaged tissues. Progressive gum disease can damage the jaw bone, leading to the need for dental implants, all of which are corrected by periodontists.

Endodontists (Root Canal Specialists)

Endodontists are dental specialists who deal with nerve issues. Instead of extracting a tooth, they perform a root canal to deal with pain or ache. They perform root canals around a tooth with decay that affects the nerve.

Oral Pathologists and Surgeons

Oral pathologists and oral surgeons provide treatment for oral diseases and the jaw. These conditions include hidden wisdom teeth, misaligned jaws, oral reconstruction, and mouth, head, or neck cancers. They have specialized training for oral surgery and work closely with ear, nose, and throat (ENTs) specialists.


Prosthodontists help restore teeth and jaw bones. Patients with maligned dental appearance perform cosmetic dentistry and treatment to boost their appearance. Some of these treatments include teeth cleaning, whitening, and veneers. They also fit people with crowns, bridges, and dentures to conceal lost teeth.

Why You Need to Visit a Dentist

Sometimes a visit to the dentist can be voluntary or by appointment. The former can be the step towards maintaining healthy oral hygiene every six months or once a year, whereas the latter primarily aims to treat different dental issues. Here are different times when patients visit dentists.

To Get Preventive Care

Preventive care helps keep dental issues at bay by regularly checking for mouth cancer signs, dental decay, cavities, or gum disease. Regular checking of any dental problems helps prevent them from progressing to a more severe health issue which include; cleaning teeth to rid them of tartar, plaque and to prevent future tooth decay or gum disease. Further, they give you tips on the best care for your teeth.

Pain or Discomfort

Pain or discomfort in your teeth or jaws is a red flag that there’s an underlying dental issue, and you must visit a dentist. A swollen and painful neck is another sign that something isn’t right. Moreover, bleeding gums when brushing or you have trouble chewing means you must see a dentist to determine the cause.


People who have been through dental procedures need to visit a dentist often for maintenance to ensure everything is as it should be. In some conditions like pregnancy and active use of tobacco, a dentist can monitor your health like the ordinary healthcare provider or other medical issues.

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