Everyone should try to visit their dentist at least once a year. Without regular dental visits, a person may suffer severe periodontal disease. Attacking either the gum or tooth structures, periodontal disease can be a silent killer. According to the CDC, 8,000 people died because they did not get regular dental visits. Their situation started off very basic; they had cavities, bleeding gums or other issues that could be treated with simple care. However, because their problems progressed into something greater, they suffered diseases that were beyond their control. Fortunately, such scenarios can be prevented with basic knowledge of how dentistry works. By knowing the different types of dentistry, patients can determine which specialist is best for their needs.
A basic dentist falls under the umbrella of family orthodontics. In other words, children are the main focus. This is important, especially considering that 16.2 percent of American kids have undiagnosed cavities. As a family dentist, the main responsibility centers on not only restoring a child’s appearance but also making sure there are no difficulties with the eruption of their adult teeth. When these teeth come in incorrectly, children may experience a variety of symptoms ranging from pain to improper occlusions. Should there be an issue with the child’s occlusion, braces would be needed to correctly position the teeth.
The adult dentist shares a similar concern for his or her patients. The only difference is that their clientele is between the ages of 18 and 67. At these stages of life, there is a drop in regular dental visits. There are many reasons why. Sometimes people do not have enough money for their checkups; in other situations, they are simply too afraid to get diagnosed. Neither of these should be a concern when visiting an adult dentist. Most will accept a variety of payment plans. As far as the actual diagnoses, the services offered by an adult dentist are not too extreme. What matters is that the teeth get thoroughly cleaned. Assuming patients visit their dentist once a year, it is unlikely that there would be a worse progression.
When an adult dentist discovers a more serious problem, he or she may have to refer their patient to a dental surgeon. Dental surgery covers many different fields. They are as follows:
1) Endodontics: This specialty covers periodontal disease. Specifically, endodontists have to analyse gum tissues, blood vessels and any other cellular structure from within the tooth. When the systems inside of the tooth go awry, the endodontist must perform a root canal. As a basic surgical procedure, the root canal requires removing infected tissues and then replacing them with healthy nerve cells.
2) Maxillofacial Surgery: A dentist at this level is responsible for extracting teeth. They may also treat other problems related to the mouth. For example, if a patient gets in an accident and breaks their jaw, the maxillofacial surgeon ensures everything gets put back into place. Without their help, patients may not be able to eat.
3) Prosthodontics: The dentist that gets involved with prosthodontics helps to restore the basic oral function of the mouth. When teeth fall out, they replace them with dentures or partials. The most basic partial is the false tooth. False teeth can be used for aesthetics or dental healing. In the case of the latter, the false tooth protects a rotting or loose tooth from further decay. Should the tooth properly set, the partial gets removed. At that point, the tooth should be strong enough to stay in a patient’s mouth for an indefinite period of time.
4) Maxillofacial Radiology: At this specialty, the dentist is responsible for fighting cancer and other very serious oral diseases. They use a variety of ultrasounds and other scans to determine if there is a problem. Afterward, the appropriate treatment is given. Depending on the disease, chemotherapy and surgery may be needed to remove the disease.
5) Maxillofacial Surgery: When a dentist explores maxillofacial surgery, they are responsible for treating birth defects and injuries to the facial region. They must be skilled at both dentistry and reconstructive surgery. Sometimes this may even include plastic surgery.
For patients that would prefer to avoid surgery or cleaning, there is the option of visiting a dentist that specialises in holistic treatment. This type of dentist may not have ADA qualifications, but for those that think outside of the box, they serve as an excellent alternative for exploring internal health. The strategies that are explored are either based on the consumption of supplements and herbs or spiritual remedies. Sometimes the dentist may combine these approaches, especially if they are taking an Eastern approach to medicine.
In summary, choosing a dentist does not have to be difficult. As long as you have basic knowledge of their specialties, you will be on your way towards achieving good health. Remember, your teeth represent you. When there is something wrong with your teeth, chances are you need to explore what else is going on in your body.