Most people are familiar with what a dentist generally does, as we have all probably been to a regular dentist for treatment at some time during our lives. Dentists provide general dental health practices, treatment and advice in the maintenance of our teeth and gums. They give us checkups and correct cavities and fill them so that the cavities do not grow bigger.
Orthodontics involves the straightening of crooked or misaligned teeth due to genetics or injury. Traditionally, metal bands are cemented to each individual tooth and with each band having an attachment device where a wire can be fasted from the back teeth on one side of the mouth, across the front, connecting to each band to the other side of the mouth.
This procedure is done on the upper and lower teeth if necessary, and over a time frame of 12 to 24 months the bands are gradually tightened so that the teeth actually move into their proper position in the jaw.
A newer procedure called Invisalign, uses clear plastic sleeves that fit over the top of the teeth and are periodically changed in size to accomplish the same result. Since orthodontics is a dental specialty, a dental degree is required with additional training of 2 to 3 years. If you are looking for an Orthodontist to do your braces make sure they have at least several years experience so that you are not one of their first patients. It’s fairly easy to find local Orthodontists online as well as read some of their patient reviews and learn more about them.
Endodontics is a specialty field that requires two more years of study beyond that of general dentistry and this specialty is concerned with the study and the treatment of the dental pulp of our teeth. Endodontists perform dental procedures such as root canal therapy, the treatment of teeth that are cracked, and they perform treatment to alleviate dental trauma.
When the dental pulp which contains nerves, venules, arterioles, and lymphatic tissue gets injured or diseased, in order to save the tooth, Endodontic treatment is required. In essence, a root canal replaces the infected or injured pulp and it is replaced with an epoxy resin, then capped with a crown.
Periodontics is a specialty that involves the treatment and restoration of the structures that support the teeth, as well as treating the diseases and injuries that affect these structures. The supporting tissues are the gums, the jaw and the periodontal ligament.
Most periodontal disease is the result of accumulated plaque that hardens into a substance called tartar and compromises the gum line allowing bacteria and infection to spread into and below the gum line, thus exposing the stability of the teeth themselves.
In addition, the spread of gum disease to the periodontal stages also compromises the general overall health of the individual, as the bacterial becomes exposed to the general circulation of the body and can affect other organs such as the heart, kidneys and the brain.
If teeth are lost because of periodontal disease, it can be possible to use prosthetics such as implants and false teeth, but if the jaw itself is compromised, it can shrink or be very sensitive to such treatment. Since Periodontics is a specialist degree it requires another three years of schooling beyond a dental degree.