How to Choose a Dentist 

Choosing a dentist can prove to be a challenging feat, especially if you are new in the area. After all, you’re putting the health, functionality, and aesthetics of your teeth, and overall health, into one person’s hands. Luckily, we’re here to make the whole ordeal a little bit easier. We’ll go over different types of dentist options available out there, consisting of various types of dental specialists and the fields of dentistry they specialize in. 

If you are in Skokie, IL, and need a good dentist, be sure to check out the Dental Matters dental office down on Skokie Blvd. And, without further ado, let’s get into discussing the various types of dentists for your specific needs. 

General Dentist

Firstly let’s start with the most common type of dentists you’ll run into — a general dentist. Now, a general dentist deals with many different treatment options and procedures that allow your oral health to stay in top shape. And exactly as the title implies, a general dentist covers general issues. These general issues involve the following things: 

  • Dental exams
  • Cavity fillings
  • Restorative dentistry procedures (dentures, dental implants, dental bridges, etc.)
  • Dental cleanings
  • Fluoride treatment
  • Tooth extractions
  • Wisdom tooth removals
  • Cosmetic dentistry procedures

The chances are your dental problems can probably be covered by your local general dentist, and if not, they will usually refer you to a specialist.

Family Dentist

Family dentistry is pretty much the same as general dentistry. However, while a general dentist will mostly handle adults, a family dentist treats people of all different ages. While this differentiation might seem unnecessary, it’s there for a reason. As children grow, their teeth change as well, and the care and treatments they require differ from those of adults. Additionally, having a separate dentist can be a bit of a hassle for a family, so finding family dental care in your area can be a really practical choice.

Pediatric Dentist

A family dentist is a good solution for the whole family, but sometimes it’s not the right choice for people who want to prioritize their children’s oral health. So, in that case, the ideal solution is to look for a pediatric dentist. This type of dental specialist can monitor the child’s oral health changes as they grow. And, of course, they are also there to treat any problems that might occur as this process goes on. Some of the things a pediatric dentist will provide include:

  • Oral health examinations
  • Preventive dental care treatments
  • Dental injuries
  • Cavity repairs
  • Orthodontic treatments and procedures
  • Gum disease treatments and management
  • Habit counseling

Cosmetic Dentist

While other types of dentistry mainly handle matters of functionality, cosmetic dentistry has time to shine when it comes to improving aesthetics. These specialists can help you achieve that desired smile, which can greatly improve a person’s self-confidence.

Additionally, many general dentists also work as cosmetic dentists and vice versa. However, to become a cosmetic dentist, you will need some extra qualifications. A cosmetic dentist can give you a perfect smile with one of the following procedures:

  • Dental braces
  • Dental veneers
  • Dental implants
  • Gum contouring
  • Various teeth whitening treatments 

Emergency Dentist

You’ve guessed it — emergency dentist visits are reserved for emergencies. Generally, an emergency dentist will deal with more serious issues such as a dislocated jaw, fractured teeth, or any sort of dental injury. So if you’re dealing with dental trauma or are experiencing intense pain, you should contact an emergency dentist.

Periodontist

Periodontal dentistry deals with the soft tissues surrounding the teeth in the mandible and maxilla. A periodontist can diagnose, treat, and prevent conditions and diseases that affect these tissues. From functionality to aesthetics, a periodontist can handle it all. Here are the most commonly performed procedures when it comes to periodontics. 

  • Non-surgical periodontal treatments
  • Scaling and root planing
  • Regeneration
  • Dental implants
  • Soft tissue grafting
  • Gingivectomy

Orthodontist

Orthodontists deal with treating malocclusions, such as the ones that might cause biting problems, for example, an overbite or an underbite. The treatments these specialists offer mainly consist of realigning and correcting teeth that might be misaligned. Some of the most common treatments provided by orthodontists include the following.

  • Retainers
  • Braces
  • Clear aligners
  • Palate expanders
  • Space maintainers

Endodontist

Endodontists specialize in dealing with periradicular tissues and dental pulp and any problems that might arise when it comes to these things. Now, periradicular tissues include several different things, blood vessels, nerves, as well as tissues that all surround your teeth. Procedures that you’ll find endodontists performing include ones such as:

  • Endodontic treatments
  • Endodontic surgery
  • Root canal treatments
  • Dental injuries
  • Dental implants

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon 

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons take care of your maxillofacial area, which includes the mouth, face, both jaws, as well as your neck area. They are also responsible for the quality of your oral health. 

This type of specialist must go through rigorous training. Not only must they be trained in dental studies, but they also must practice in hospitals as well. That is because oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform invasive surgeries that are often very complex and require extensive knowledge and training. 

In addition, these surgeries can greatly improve a person’s quality of life, which means that this type of work is a matter of great responsibility. These specialists treat many different problems and can handle matters such as:

  • Injuries
  • Trauma
  • Deformities 
  • Diseases
  • Dental caries
  • Periodontal problems
  • Tooth loss

Prosthodontist

What a prosthodontist does is deal with missing or damaged oral tissues. That, of course, includes restoring the functions of these tissues and providing restorations to missing, damaged, or decaying teeth. Prosthodontic dentistry is, in part, cosmetic dentistry, but it is also responsible for returning functionality in cases of traumatic injuries. Some of the things a prosthodontist can provide for you are:

  • Dental crowns
  • Dental bridges
  • Dentures
  • Veneers
  • Tooth implants