Why is my dentist is referring me to a dental specialist?
Although a general practitioners may recommend various treatment options for the care of your teeth and supporting structures and perform many different types of treatment, sometimes they may refer your care to a dentist who has received extensive training in a particular area of dentistry that is specific to your circumstance.
“Your general dentist is your primary care provider who monitors your overall oral health on a regular basis.”
There are many branches of dental specialization and becoming a dental specialist requires additional formal education after graduating and receiving an initial dental degree. From performing complicated oral surgery to realigning crooked teeth, dental specialists each have a particular area of expertise and are a vital source of care when diagnosis or treatment becomes more involved or complicated.
Pediatric Dentistry – Treatment and management of children
Endodontics – Endo mean inside and this is a specialty cares for the inside, vital part of the tooth called the pulp chamber or commonly referred to as root canal. They also work in and around the root area as these canals branch out and open along the root surface.
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology – Dental x-rays/images of the head, neck and mouth area, their diagnosis and interpretation.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – A large branch of dentistry dealing with issues of the head, neck, jaws, and teeth. Care can range from complicated tooth extraction to surgical improvements to major reconstruction.
Dental Public Health – Promotes oral health and deals with the community at large, especially the marginalized or disadvantaged, through awareness, policy, programs, research, and screening of dental health issues.
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology – Concerns itself with the study and diagnosis of the causes and effects of diseases associated with the oral cavity and surrounding areas.
Prosthodontics – Creates and fits artificial replacements for the teeth, mouth, and other parts of the face and head that are missing naturally or due to trauma or disease.
Orthodontics – Deals with the diagnosing, prevention and correction of misaligned teeth and jaws.
Periodontics – Cares for the diseased supporting structures of the teeth such as gums and bones through prevention, diagnosing, and treatment.
Your general dentist is your primary care provider who sees you on a regular basis to ensure your overall oral health is monitored and cared for as needed. There are many general dentists who are also capable of treating many complicated conditions and may even have further training or significant experience in providing treatment that may be considered a specialty service. There are times, however, when they may determine that your oral issue bears extenuating risks or involves a degree of complication that obligate them to transition your care to a specialist.
Under most circumstances, a patient can not seek the care of a specialists on their own. Referral is only provided after a general dentist has made a preliminary diagnosis and then decides that consultation with a specialist is necessary.
At Your Smile Dental Care, we recommend that everyone should see their general dentist regularly for examinations. How often depends on the state of your personal oral health. Twice a year is advised for most healthy mouths, whereas, if you are at risk or have a history of decay and disease, more frequents exams and cleaning will be recommended. Patients who make oral care a priority, are more likely to enjoy a lifetime of good oral health.