The Different Types of Dentists and Their Specialties

There are many different types of dentists. Most people think of the general dentist that they visit for regular oral exams and teeth cleanings, but the field of dentistry expands much further than this.

Dental specialists have additional training and focus on a specific side of the profession. Some of these specialties include: orthodontists, endodontists, periodontists, and oral surgeons.

General Dentists

General dentists (often referred to as family dentists) are the dental professionals most people will think of when they want to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning. These dental professionals are primarily concerned with the health of the mouth and gums and work towards the prevention of future oral health concerns. Expertise dentist directory for the Fishers Indiana area is one of the credible dentist professionals that can help with your dental queries.

This is done through regular appointments where they will clean the teeth, provide fluoride treatment and educate patients on how to practice proper oral hygiene. This can help prevent a wide range of issues that may arise, including tooth decay, gum disease, infections and more.

In addition to their preventative services, general dentists can also offer restorative treatments. This includes fillings which can repair a broken or weakened tooth, and they are also capable of providing dental crowns, veneers, bridges and more. General dentists can also treat a number of other conditions, such as periodontal (gum) disease and tooth pain.

The term “general” in general dentists refers to the fact that they are able to handle most of the patient’s oral care needs. This makes them the ideal option for a patient looking for one person they can go to for all of their routine visits, as well as diagnostic exams and referrals to specialists. This also helps simplify the process for patients, as they do not need to worry about figuring out who to contact and what type of appointment to make. They can just make one call to a general dental office and set up an appointment.


Orthodontists are dental specialists who work to prevent, diagnose and treat facial and jaw irregularities such as crooked teeth or misaligned jaws. They use braces, palatal expanders and other appliances to straighten teeth and align jaws. They also correct malocclusions (bad bites) in order to improve chewing, biting and speaking. Orthodontists used to only be seen by children, but today adults also visit them as orthodontic treatment is becoming more common and accepted.

Endodontists are responsible for maintaining the health of a patient’s teeth through endodontic therapy which is a procedure that involves removing unhealthy pulp at the bottom of a tooth, filling it and sealing it. This can save teeth that would otherwise need to be removed.

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologists are able to identify diseases of the mouth, jaw and salivary glands by studying tissue samples under a microscope or using imaging tests such as CT scans and X-rays. These experts are also able to perform biopsies and can treat cancer of the gums, salivary glands and other diseases in the mouth and face.

General dentists can be found in private practice, clinics and public health organizations. They manage all aspects of oral care from cleanings and examinations to tooth extractions and dental implants. Although they are able to perform all the procedures listed above, they may choose to exclude certain types of procedures from their practice such as wisdom tooth extractions, root canals, periodontal surgery and other complex surgeries as well as those treatments that require extra expertise like treating young children or medically compromised patients. They may also choose to refer these cases to a specialist. Depending on their specialty, some dentists focus on the prevention of serious oral diseases and others are more focused on cosmetic dentistry and restorative procedures.


Most people are familiar with the general dentist, who performs routine oral health checks and cleanings. But did you know there are other kinds of dentists who focus on specific areas of your mouth, teeth and jaw?

An endodontist is a dental specialist who treats problems that affect the nerves of a tooth. They are known for their ability to perform root canals, which are used when there is significant damage or decay around a tooth’s nerve. They are also qualified to perform other significant operations when needed.

Pediatric dentists, also known as pedodontists, are a special type of dental practitioner who focuses on children’s teeth and oral health. They have advanced training in behavior management and sedation techniques, making them well-equipped to handle a child’s unique needs in the dental chair.

Periodontists are a group of dental specialists who look after the tissues and bones surrounding your teeth. They provide preventive and restorative care, such as gum disease treatment and dental implants. They are also qualified to perform more complex procedures, such as gum surgery, bone grafting and periodontal ligament reconstructions.

Oral pathologists and oral surgeons are a subgroup of dentists who specialize in the identification and treatment of diseases that affect the mouth, jaw and neck. They may be required to work closely with ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors in some cases. Common issues they deal with include impacted wisdom teeth, dental trauma, soft tissue biopsies, jaw reconstruction, and surgical removal of tumors and cysts. They are often referred to by general dentists for more serious or complicated dental procedures.


There are many types of dentists out there that specialize in different areas of oral health. While it can be confusing, understanding the difference between these dental specialists will help you know which one to go see with any problems or concerns.

A general dentist is the most common type of dentist and deals with all aspects of your teeth and gums on a regular basis, including teeth cleanings, X-rays, and oral hygiene education. These dentists also perform basic restorative procedures like fillings and repairing cracked, chipped, or missing teeth. However, they may refer you to a specialist when they are not comfortable with performing more complex procedures or treating patients who have specific needs such as young children or those who are medically compromised.

An endodontist focuses on diseases and injuries of the inner tooth tissue (nerve) and blood vessels inside your tooth. These dentists typically perform root canal treatments and other surgical tooth procedures under a microscope to ensure accuracy and prevent complications. They can also treat traumatic tooth injury which includes cracking or chipping.

Periodontists deal with the gum tissues and supporting structures of your natural and artificial teeth. These professionals treat gingivitis, inflammation of the gums, and more serious issues such as periodontitis which can lead to tooth and bone loss. They also deal with dental implants and other cosmetic periodontal surgery.

Prosthodontists are similar to periodontists except they focus more on the replacement of natural and artificial teeth. They may also repair and reshape your mouth’s soft tissue. These dentists hold either a DDS or a DMD degree which means they have completed the same course requirements and are licensed to practice.

Oral Surgeons

Often referred to as oral surgeons, these dental specialists undergo more rigorous training than the general dentist. They are skilled in performing more invasive procedures, including complex tooth extractions, surgical jaw corrections to fix misaligned teeth and bones, removal of cancerous tissue from the mouth or neck, bone grafts for cleft lips and palates, and other surgeries related to the mouth and jaw area. This type of dental specialist is also trained to work closely with ear, nose and throat specialists.

Oral and maxillofacial pathologists study the root causes of diseases that affect the mouth, teeth, jaws, cheeks, and lips, as well as the surrounding areas of the head and neck. They can identify abnormal colorations in the gums, growths on x-rays and other signs of disease. They are also skilled in performing biopsies and other diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the disease.

Pediatric dentists, or pedodontists, are specialized in providing care for infants and children. This is because children’s mouths and jaws are still growing and developing, which requires different treatment than adults. They can provide care for children and teenagers, as well as those with special needs.

Post Author: Steve Gonzalez