The Four Major Forms Of Dentistry

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The term dentist can be interpreted in quite a few different ways. Dentistry is an umbrella that covers dozens of different specialties. The problem is that many people do not know the differences between these different forms of dentistry. This article will cover the four major forms of dentistry and what they entail. 

General Dentist

A general dentist is the most common form of dentistry. In general when someone refers you to a "dentist" they mean a general dentistry office like Family First Dentistry LLC. A general dentist office is the place where you get regular check ups and cleaning. They offer services such as cavity fillings and crown placements. If they get diagnoses that they cannot fix themselves they will refer you to a more specialized dentistry office. If you have an oral health issue, the first person you should go to is a general dentist. 


An orthodontist is a specialized form of dentist that focuses on the physical structure of your mouth. In more simple terms, they focus on aligning your teeth and fixing your bite. If the general dentist is for the internal health of your teeth then an orthodontist is for the cosmetics of your teeth.

An orthodontist usually uses methods that take a long time and work slowly, unlike other forms of dentistry that try to fix problems with surgery. Orthodontists do this through the use of bands, braces, and wires. They also offer remediation devices after treatment, such as retainers, spacers, and permanent retainers.


A periodontist is the type of dentist that focuses on oral diseases. A periodontist can prevent and treat diseases of the gums and teeth. The most common reason someone visits a periodontist is for gum issues such as inflation and bleeding. 

Oral Surgeon

An oral surgeon performs complex surgeries that less qualified dentists cannot perform. Common procedures include root canals, wisdom teeth removal, dental implant surgery, and jaw realignment surgery. Oral surgeons often have a partnership with a general dentist so that the general dentist has a surgeon to refer to when suggesting complex surgeries. An oral surgeon is almost never the first person to go to when encountering dental problems. 

These four major forms of dentistry cover almost all forms of oral health issues. Although there are more specialized forms, most just branch out from these four types. You can count on a general dentist for most problem, but now you know what they others are there for.