When you visit your dentist for a regular check-up, you will likely see a dentist that is either a DDS and DMD. However, this dentist may refer you to a dental specialist, such as an orthodontist or endodontist. What do these mean and how are they different from your general dentist? Continue reading to learn more about your general dentist and four types of dental specialists!
DDS vs. DMD
As mentioned above, you often see a general dentist who is either a DDS or DMD. These acronyms refer to the level of degree the dentist has- either a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree or a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry/Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. Both degrees mean that the dentist has three or more years of undergraduate studies along with four years of dental school. The only difference is due to the university they attended and how that university recognized the dental profession.
Occasionally, your general dentist will refer to a dental specialist for an oral health problem. For example, it is common to visit the orthodontist, as they deal with misalignments with the jaw or teeth. The orthodontist deals with adults as well as kids as early as the age of seven, and help treat patients with solutions like braces, retainers, or Invisalign.
The endodontist is a root canal specialist, as they have received specific training in the procedure. A root canal procedure treats the infected tissues within a tooth, and an endodontist will address the tooth pain while saving a patient’s natural teeth.
A periodontist focuses on caring for gums and the supporting tissues around the teeth. If your general dentist notices any issues with your gums, such as gum disease, they will refer you to a periodontist for treatment.
A pediatric dentist works exclusively with children, as they have training that focuses on building a positive association between kids and their dentist. Most kids are afraid of the dentist, especially at their first visit, so it is helpful to have a pediatric dentist or pedodontist that has expertise in helping young kids feel comfortable.
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook and Twitter.