What is “Specialty” Dentistry?
Unlike general dentistry, specialty dentistry is dentistry that requires specific training and certification beyond general dental needs. There are a variety of specialized dentists, and you’ve probably heard of the most common ones, like orthodontists. But there are also specialized dentists specifically for other common procedures like root canals. Specialists are also general dentists and can perform all procedures, but generally focus on only their specialty.
Premier Dental Care is a multi-specialty practice and we can perform most treatments on site. Our team of specialists can handle a wide array of dental procedures. In addition to our General Dentists, we also have a Periodontist, an Endodontist, an Orthodontist, and a Pediatric Dentist.
What are Common Procedures that Require a Specialty?
- Endodontists perform Root Canals which is treating the “canal” inside of teeth where blood vessels and nerves– also called “pulp” supply blood and sensory feedback. When the pulp becomes inflamed due to caries, cracks, and decay root canal therapy may be indicated. Sometimes pulpitis is reversible, sometimes it is not at which point root canal therapy is required to relieve the symptoms of pain. After having a root canal performed most patients then require restorative procedures as well.
- Periodontists perform surgeries that may be required in gum tissue. Some common periodontal procedures include crown lengthening when there is insufficient tooth structure to place a crown. Osseous surgery may be necessary for patients with advanced periodontal disease, implants, extractions, and tissue grafts.
- Orthodontists specialize in helping patients with the alignment of their teeth, improving their bite, or fitting them for corrective braces and devices. Orthodontists are dentists that specialize in the alignment of teeth and provide services related to misaligned teeth, crowded teeth, overbites, and underbites.
- Pediatric dentists specialize in the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. Pediatric dentists have the experience and qualifications to care for your child’s teeth throughout the various stages of childhood. Pediatric dentists know how to examine and treat children in ways that make them comfortable. In addition, pediatric dentists use specially designed equipment in offices that are arranged and decorated with children in mind. Oral health care provided by Pediatric dentists includes oral exams, preventative care, habit counseling (for example, pacifier use and thumb sucking), early assessment for straightening teeth and correcting an improper bite (orthodontics), as well as others.
There are also a variety of oral surgeries that require a specialized dentist. Some of these procedures can only be done by an oral surgeon at a dedicated oral surgery facility which requires a referral. But other procedures can be performed by a dentist with certain certifications, including tooth extractions.
How Do You Know When You Need a Root Canal?
Sometimes the pulp tissue inside a tooth can become inflamed or infected. This usually results in intense pain. Left untreated, the infection can create an abscess and spread. It’s important to visit a dentist whenever you have severe pain in a tooth so they can diagnose and treat the issue, whether that issue is a root canal infection or not.
How Does a Root Canal Work?
Root canal therapy — more commonly just called a root canal, is a standard procedure at Premier dental care and is not painful.
Like with a filling, the area around the tooth is first numbed with a local anesthetic. The dentist then drills an opening into the tooth to get to the pulp tissue. The infected tissue is cleared away and the canal is cleaned. Then the canal is filled with a temporary filling that is biocompatible with the tooth.
Root Canal Steps
After your root canal therapy, you will need a buildup and a crown to protect it. Your root canal specialist will know if the canal will need to be prepped for the post. The post is part of the structure that holds the crown in place.
How Do You Know When You Need a Tooth Extracted?
In order to know if you need a tooth extraction, you need to be diagnosed by a dentist. They may recommend an extraction if:
- You have teeth blocking the way of adult teeth coming in or need to make room for teeth that will be moved by braces.
- You need your wisdom teeth removed either before they come in to prevent impaction, or after if they become infected.
- If the root of your tooth is cracked or if your tooth is decayed beyond the point of restoration.
Most extractions can be done by a periodontist but some will need to be referred to an oral surgeon. If you need a tooth removed, your dentist will be able to tell you if the extraction can be done in the office, or they can refer you to an oral surgeon.
How Do You Get a Tooth Extracted?
- Simple extraction involves loosening the tooth with a specialized instrument before simply removing it with forceps.
- During a surgical extraction, surrounding tissue may need to be removed along with the tooth. This requires an incision through the gum and possibly even the bone.
- A surgical extraction is usually done by a periodontist. At Premier Dental Care our dental team can perform most extractions, however, depending on the patient and extraction requirements, you may be referred to an oral surgeon.