Your Guide to the Different Dentist Types

Dentist Types

You can find over 201,000 dentists in this country, but they’re not all the same type. Dentists typically specialize in a specific field, and you might want to learn about the different types of dentists you can find.

Learning about the different dentist types is vital if you need dental work, as you’ll need to know how to choose the right kind.

Here is an explanation of the most common types of dentists you can find and information about what each type does.

Family Dentist

The most common type of dentist you can find is a family dentist. You might also hear people call them general dentists. Both are the same thing.

A family dentist is a dentist that offers general dentistry services for the entire family. They treat children, teens, adults, and seniors, and people like these dentists because they can all go to one dentistry clinic for services.

General dentists offer basic dentistry services that fall into two main categories:

Preventative Services

Most people visit family dentists regularly for preventative services. These services include teeth-cleaning services, x-rays, and examinations.

Visiting a family dentist twice a year for these services is the best way to prevent oral issues. You can prevent cavities, gum disease, and other problems by caring properly for your teeth and visiting a dentist regularly.

Restorative Services

Family dentists also offer some restorative services for teeth and gums. The main restorative procedure is dental fillings. They provide these when people have decay on their teeth.

Most family dentists also offer tooth extraction services, crowns, and other basic oral services.

Pediatric Dentist

While you can take children to general dentists, some parents prefer taking their kids to a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist has dentist training in treating children.

Pediatric dentists only offer services for children, and most stop taking kids once they reach the age of 18. There are multiple benefits of taking young kids to pediatric dentists.

The first benefit is that these dentists have special training in treating kids. Therefore, they are experts with oral health prevention and treatments for kids.

Secondly, children love going to pediatric clinics because kids feel comfortable going there. The offices are kid-friendly and designed for this purpose.

Finally, a pediatric dentist offers excellent care for kids. They know the best ways to prevent cavities and issues, and they offer treatment options ideal for children.

Cosmetic Dentist

Of all the different kinds of dentists, you might experience the need to visit a cosmetic dentist at some point in your life. A cosmetic dentist has one main goal – to provide services that improve the looks of a person’s teeth. An example of cosmetic dentistry is if you’ve lost a tooth, make sure to go for a dental check up for dental implants in chattanooga.

If you’re unhappy with the way your teeth look, you can change it by visiting a cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentists offer all kinds of services to help people achieve nicer smiles. Here are some of the services they offer:

Teeth-Whitening Services

If you desire whiter teeth, you might want to talk to a cosmetic dentist about teeth-whitening services. You can instantly have whiter, brighter teeth through professional treatment options.

Crowns and Veneers

You can also get crowns and veneers through a cosmetic dentist. These are teeth coverings that improve the looks of teeth. You can get them for many reasons, and they can drastically change the way your smile looks.

Treatment Options for Closing Gaps

If you struggle with gaps between your teeth, a cosmetic dentist can provide options for this issue. One option is composite bonding, while another option is dental veneers.

Smile Makeovers

Some people visit cosmetic dentists for smile makeovers. A smile makeover involves many oral procedures that drastically change a person’s teeth.


One form of specialized dentistry is called endodontics. An endodontist is a dentist that offers root canal services.

If you ever encounter a time when you get a bad toothache, you might need a root canal. While some general dentists offer root canals, many refer their patients to endodontists.

A root canal procedure is usually a two-step procedure. The first step is accessing the tooth to clean out the infected roots. The second step is filling the roots with a material that hardens.

After getting a root canal, you might need to go to your family dentist to get a crown to cover the tooth. A root canal saves a tooth that a dentist might otherwise be unable to save.


The next type of dentist is called an orthodontist. Orthodontists specialize in two main things.

The first thing they do is offer treatment options to straighten teeth. Traditional braces are the most common option for this purpose, but many orthodontists offer other options, too, such as Invisalign.

Secondly, orthodontists specialize in correcting bite problems. If you have an underbite or an overbite, you can fix it through orthodontics. You might have to wear braces to fix this issue, or there might be other treatment options.


One last common type of dentist is a periodontist. This type of dentist focuses primarily on conditions related to the gums.

Your gums are a vital component of your teeth. They cover the jawbone and help hold your teeth in place. The gums can wear away, though, and become infected.

If you develop gum disease, your family dentist might refer you to a periodontist for treatment. A periodontist will determine several things, including the following:

  • The stage of gum disease that you have
  • The best treatment for the issue
  • Preventative measures you can take to stop the disease from worsening

You can avoid gum disease by caring for your teeth and visiting a general dentist on a regular basis.

Learn the Dentist Types to Choose the Right One

Dentists come in many kinds and types, and learning them is vital for choosing the right one. After learning these common dentist types, do you know which kind you need? If so, you can find one in your area.

If you enjoyed this article, check out the rest of our site for more informative and interesting articles.

Your Guide to the Different Dentist Types

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