Arthur Street Dental | Coffs Harbour, NSW
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The connection between dentists and dental specialists

June 28, 2018
Posted By: Dr. Justin Ward
Group of Doctors | Coffs Harbour Dentist

Patients are referred by dentists to the appropriate dental specialist when more challenging procedures need specialist care. I know it would be great if your dentist could fix everything, but sometimes it just isn't possible. A dental specialist is trained to focus on a particular area of dentistry and oral health.

More than one type of dental specialist exists

Think of it as going to see a mechanic. After considering the problem, the mechanic may send you off to a gearbox mechanic to get your gearbox fixed. They wont do everything themselves. They're called specialists because they offer specialised services. If you're wondering if one dental specialist is the most common, truth is most dental specialists are probably used as frequently as the next. Possible dental surgeons you could be referred to include an orthodontist, an oral surgeon, an endodontist, and a periodontist.

Reasons you might need to see a specialist

Challenging and complex are terms you're likely to hear when dentists describe a dental condition that calls for referral. A challenging root canal is one example of when specialist care might be needed. Sometimes the anatomy is not as easy in a patients teeth; this calls for an endodontist. An endodontist addresses root canals and the more challenging root canal anatomy that requires specialist treatment.

With regards to oral surgery, if more complex procedures are required—possibly in a hospital setting—you'll need an oral surgeon. They may be called upon for a challenging tooth extraction, or if rare sorts of pathologies are needed. More challenging orthodontics cases may also require a specialist. Sometimes orthodontic work is more complex, and these complex treatment cases need a specialist orthodontist. Periodontal disease is quite prevalent, and some of the more advanced cases need to see a periodontist. Again, they've just got specialised services they can offer.

Listen to your dentists advice

If you do need to see a specialist, Ill always explain why, and there is rarely a problem with this. Once an issue is clearly explained, most patients are pretty accepting of why they need to go. And if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask. The expense can be a bit intimidating. Truthfully, seeing a specialist will cost: their work does come at a price. However, the alternative is we lose a tooth or whatnot. Looking at it that way, its clear seeking treatment with a dental specialist is the right choice for long-term dental health.

Don’t worry, you're in good hands

Find the idea of seeing a specialist a bit stressful? No need to be nervous; I have an array of dental specialists I regularly recommend. This includes a regular oral surgeon, orthodontist, endodontist, and periodontist. I know their work, their quality, and I've got a great working relationship with them. I trust my patients will be in good hands when they go and see these people.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.