Most of us know that properly looking after our mouths and maintaining good oral hygiene at home is critical for our overall health and well-being. Therefore, routine visits to the general dentist and hygienist (preferably every 6 to 9 months) play a fundamental role in achieving this goal.
However, there are certain situations when a person may require specialized dental treatment for a specific oral issue beyond what a general dentist can address. In these situations, dental specialists come in to provide patients with expert oral care pertaining to these alternative and specific areas of dentistry.
Dental specialists are dental professionals who have undergone additional training and completed further education in a specific area of dentistry.
Different dental specialist types are available to patients to assist with their non-general dental needs. These include periodontists, orthodontists, anesthesiologists, endodontists, and oral surgeons.
In this article, we will focus on the latter three specialist types. Our Hamilton clinic offers these unique services for patients needing specialized dental care.
Anesthesiologists (specializing in dental anesthesia)
Dental anesthesiologists specialize in the administration of anesthesia and the application of sedation techniques to assist in dental procedures, namely for patients who are particularly anxious and/or require particularly extensive or complex dental treatment.
These specialists generally will have completed a four-year dental degree and an anesthesiology residency. As part of their education, they are trained to safely and effectively administer various types and levels of anesthesia.
They also monitor their patients during procedures and manage any potential complications that may arise during treatment.
At Downtown Sleep Dentistry and Oral Surgery, our dental anesthesiologist specialists in Hamilton offer several levels of in-office sedation and anesthesia options to assist in everything from routine dental procedures such as cleanings and restorative dental care to major dental procedures such as crowns, bridges and implants.
These options include nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, deep sedation and general anesthesia.
Endodontists (specializing in endodontic or root canal therapy)
Endodontics specialists (root canal specialist) such as our experienced endodontist Dr. Peter Bellingham pertain specifically to issues affecting the root and nerve of a tooth, along with the infection and pain accompanying it.
These specialists are certified to perform root canal therapy procedures that may be required if it is established that a patient’s infected or injured tooth cannot be saved with a cavity filling, inlay or onlay, or another type of restorative procedure due to its extension into the tooth’s root.
During a typical root canal procedure, the endodontist will clean out the infected tissue (referred to as the dental pulp) from the tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals. After removing the infection, the roots will be shaped and filled with a special filling material called “gutta percha.”
As part of the final restoration, your dentist will then place a dental crown (tooth cap) to restore strength to the tooth and protect it from future damage.
Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons – Oral Surgeons
Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons specialize in extractions, dental implants, oral pathology and surgical procedures.
These specialists must have four to six years of further education beyond dental school, which includes a hospital-based surgical residency following the attainment of either their Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD).
Additionally, these specialists are required to take a National Board Exam to receive official recognition as certified specialists in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
At Downtown Sleep Dentistry and Oral Surgery, our oral surgeon Dr. Karl Cuddy BSC, DDS, MD, MSC, FRCD(C) Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Specialist provides a high standard of in-office oral surgery in Hamilton, Ontario.
Some of the in-office procedures offered by Dr. Cuddy at Downtown Sleep Dentistry and Oral Surgery include wisdom teeth extraction, dental implant surgery, bone grafting, exposure of impacted teeth and oral pathology (biopsy).
Suppose you’re experiencing a particular dental concern. In that case, your general dentist or even your general practitioner will refer you to a specialist pertaining to the area of dentistry you require treatment for.
The bottom line is that it’s essential to visit your general dentist and hygienist every 6 to 9 months for a professional teeth cleaning and a thorough mouth examination. By scheduling routine examinations, it will go a long way in helping to prevent serious oral health problems, many of which may require a specialist to treat.
Visit Downtown Sleep Dentistry and Oral Surgery Today
To learn about our dental services and sedation options, or to schedule an appointment with our dental care specialists in Hamilton, call Downtown Sleep Dentistry and Oral Surgery at 289-272-8696 or contact us here.