Types of Services That Dental Practices Provide
When you think about the services that dentists provide, tooth cleaning and extraction are probably on top of your mind. And you’re right! However, aside from these, there are other different types of dental services you might not be aware of. Let’s take a look at these services in detail:
- Cosmetic Dentistry Services
Also known as aesthetic dentistry, cosmetic dentistry is a dental procedure designed to improve the appearance of your teeth or smile. If you have gaps between your teeth or a gummy smile, then aesthetic dentistry is what you need.
Other cosmetic dentistry procedures include teeth lightening, reshaping, straightening, and repairing or replacing. Tooth whitening, tooth bonding, tooth-colored fillings, jackets, crowns, veneers, and implants are also aesthetic treatments.
- Diagnostic and Preventative Services
These services are designed to preserve oral health and prevent the occurrence of dental issues. Examples of these are cavities, enamel wear, and gum disease.
Diagnostic services may include oral cancer examination and screening, review and update of medical history, evaluation of gum tissue, and treatment planning. Checking of biting, chewing, and swallowing patterns, X-rays, examination of teeth to detect decay, as well as referral to specialists for specific treatments are also considered diagnostic services.
Preventative services include plaque, tartar, and stain removal. Fluoride application, sealants, and polishing of fillings or crowns are also part of preventative dentistry.
- Endodontic Procedures
“Endodontic” comes from the Greek prefix “endo,” which means “within,” and the Greek word “odont,” which means “tooth.” Every treatment that involves the interior of the teeth (pulp or nerve) is considered an endodontic procedure. Root canal treatment and apicoectomy or surgical endodontics are some of the most common endodontic procedures.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
An oral or maxillofacial surgeon specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, injuries, or defects that affect the mouth, jaw, neck, and face. Examples of procedures that oral surgeons perform include corrective jaw surgery and tooth extractions. Correcting cleft palates, removing tumors, and extracting impacted wisdom teeth are also part of an oral surgeon’s job.
- Pediatric Dentistry
A pediatric dentist is dedicated to taking care of the oral health of infants, children, and teenagers. Some of the comprehensive oral health care that a pediatric dentist offers include infant oral health exams, risk assessment for caries in mother and child, habit counseling, repair of tooth cavities or decay, care for dental injuries, and management of gum diseases.
Pediatric dentists also offer preventative dental care, which includes teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, nutrition, and diet recommendations. They monitor the development of a child’s teeth and take care of conditions like teething problems, malocclusion or misaligned teeth, dental caries, and tooth decay.
- Periodontal Treatments
This treatment includes both surgical and non-surgical procedures for restoring the health of the tissues (alveolar bone, cementum, gingiva, and periodontal ligament) that support the teeth. Examples of these procedures are crown lengthening surgery, gum grafting, periodontal laser treatment, periodontal plastic surgery, and scaling and root planing.
- Prosthodontic Services
These services are designed for the restoration and replacement of damaged or missing teeth. Examples of these services include bridges, dentures, dental implants, and reconstructive surgery.
So, if you have oral cancer, gum disease, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or jaw issues, and snoring and sleep disorders, prosthodontic services are for you. In case you need crowns and veneers, prosthodontists can also help you since they are often highly trained in cosmetic dentistry as well.
Choose the Right Dentist for You!
Now that you are familiar with the different types of dental services, you should be more careful when choosing a dentist. Like lawyers, dentists have different areas of expertise too. Most of them specialize in either one of the services listed above.
It would be best to look for a dental clinic that has different dentists who specialize in each type of service mentioned above. This way, you can ensure that you and your family can get the help you need with whatever oral problems you may have. If you have children, for example, you should choose a clinic with pediatric dentists.
In case you need more information about the different types of services that dentists provide, feel free to ask your dentist. You may also research online, but make sure to look at legitimate sources.