Taking Care of Oral Health

Essentially, a dentist (popularly referred to as a general dentist or family dentist) is one health care professionalwho diagnoses and treats oral health conditions. He is the one who helps keep your teeth and gums healthy with regular dental check-ups and cleanings.

As a doctor, they also perform a variety of oral health treatments, including dental fillings, crowns and bridges.

A doctor of medicine

Dentist Rocksberg is certainly doctors because they undergo extensive medical training. In the United States, a person who wants to become a dentist must receive an undergraduate degree and complete four years of focused training in an accredited dental school.

This same training is similar in many other countries, as well (even if the titles are called differently). 

In the U.S., there are two different titles following a dentist’s name:

    DDS: Doctor of Dental Surgery.

    DMD: Doctor of Dental Medicine (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry)

If they use either of these titles, it means that your doctor graduated from an accredited dental school. A DDS and DMD receive the same amount of training and can perform the same dental procedures.


Dentists care trained to treat a wide range of conditions affecting your teeth, gums, jaws and other areas of your mouth. They offer treatments in preventive dentistry, restorative dentistry and emergency dental care.

In preventive dentistry, dentists offer preventive dentistry to protect your teeth and gums from disease-causing bacteria, stopping issues before they start.

These preventive treatments include dental exams, X-rays, cleanings, sealants, and fluoride treatments.

In restorative dentistry, they also perform restorative procedures to repair or replace damaged or missing teeth. These restorative dentistry treatments include fillings, crowns, bridges, an dental implants.

In their emergency dental care, the treatments include tooth extraction, root canals and treating knocked-out (avulsed) teeth.

Frequency of dental visits

For dental exams and cleanings, which are routine work, you should schedule visits at intervals recommended by your dentist. Most people can maintain optimal oral health with proper at-home oral hygiene and professional cleanings every six months. 

However, if you’re prone to cavities or gum disease, you may benefit from more frequent visits. Ask your dentist about a cleaning schedule that works best for you.


A professional dentist helps you maintain the health of your teeth and gums. But there are also dental specialists who focus on treating very specific issues. 

After graduating from a four-year dental school, these dental specialists undergo two to three more years of additional education and training in their field of choice.There are many areas of focus that a dentist may choose to pursue and the specialty field is very wide.

Pedodontics/ orthodontics/ endodontics

Since they treat mostly children, or sometimes called pediatric dentistry, pedodontics focuses on treating children, adolescents and teens.

Orthodontics: This is a branch of dentistry focusing on realigning your bite and straightening your teeth for optimal health and function. Orthodontists offer braces, clear aligners, retainers and other custom-made appliances.

An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in performing root canal therapy. Many general dentists perform root canals, too. However, a dentist might refer you to an endodontist for complex cases.

Periodontics/prosthodontics/oral and maxillofacial surgery

A periodontist diagnoses and treats gum disease and other conditions affecting the tissues around your teeth. On the other hand, a prosthodontist specializes in creating natural-looking dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges and dentures.

In a more specialized field, oral surgeons treat diseases, defects and injuries of your jaws and other orofacial (mouth and face) structures. They perform wisdom teeth removals, but also offer several other procedures.

Oral and maxillofacial pathology/Oral and maxillofacial radiology 

Oral pathologists ae the specialist dentists who study the causes and effects of oral disease and provide diagnoses for complex cases.

Oral and maxillofacial radiologists specialize in the interpretation of dental X-rays, CT (computed tomography) scans and other dental imaging tests.

Public health dentists strive to improve oral health within communities by designing programs geared toward disease prevention.

A dental anesthesiologist, on the other hand, offers advanced pain management services for people undergoing dental or oral surgery procedures.

In oral medicine, the dentists in this specialty focus on the diagnosis and treatment of people with chronic medical issues.

More dental specialties

Dentists who specialize in orofacial pain managementfocus on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pain in your teeth, jaws, head and face.

The cosmetic dentists mainly focus on improving the appearance of your smile. Treatments include teeth whitening, porcelain veneers and gum contouring. Many cosmetic dentists offer preventive and restorative treatments, too. 

Implant dentists place dental implants, a popular, long-term teeth replacement option. Specialists, such as periodontists and oral surgeons, often place implants. But many general dentists do as well.

Some dentists focus on full mouth reconstruction or rehabilitation. This involves treating people who have extensive cavities or gum disease. 

The treatment often includes extensive procedures and it may take several appointments to achieve the desired outcome.

Finally, forensic dentists examine teeth and interpret dental records for legal purposes. For example, when law enforcement finds human remains, a forensic dentist can evaluate teeth and jaw bones to identify the victim.

Dental benefits

The body is an interconnected system. That which enters the bloodstream in the mouth through your lips or gums, will reach your other organs too. 

When let loose or dislodged, harmful bacteria from your mouth can have effects on joints, your heart, gut health, and interfere with your brain’s ability to function properly. 

Studies show the conditions in your mouth can create or exacerbate health issues throughout the body such as heart disease, diabetes, and the microbiome in your gut. 

Inversely, diseases affecting other body parts can also express themselves in the mouth, such as bleeding gums from pregnancy-related gingivitis or the imbalance of bacteria in the stomach and intestinal tract leading to bad breath. 

Orthopedic surgeons and dentists know that dislodging bacteria during normal cleanings can overwhelm and attack repaired joints and/or medical-grade materials inside the body.  So much so that typically, antibiotics are prescribed for dental work following orthopedic surgeries for the rest of a patient’s life, illustrating the powerful connection between mouth and body.    

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