What do dentists do?
Dentists can perform more complicated dental procedures as a dental specialist. At present, the American Dental Association recognizes nine dental specialties. Here are the nine dental specialties and their area of concern:
- Endodontics – the dental pulp and its surrounding tissues. Root canal therapy is the most known dental procedure classified as endodontic treatment.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – involved in oral surgeries particularly those which are more complicated. An excellent example of a surgery often performed by an oral surgeon is the removal of an impacted wisdom tooth.
- Pediatric Dentistry – the oral care of children from their first dental visit until they reach adulthood. A pediatric dentist performs the usual dental treatments; however, he has additional training in dealing with children and the development of their teeth.
- Prosthodontics – rehabilitation of the teeth to restore their function through dental implants, dentures, and other biocompatible materials.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology – the pathologies (causes and effects of diseases) of the oral cavity and its related structures.
- Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedic – malocclusion and bite problems as well as the neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities of the orofacial structures.
- Periodontics – the gums and the surrounding and supporting tissues and structures.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology – interpretation of X-ray images in aid of the diagnosis and management of oral-related issues.
- Dental Public Health – prevention and management of dental issues through patient education in communities.
Why visit the dentist every six months?
Visiting a dentist every six months is a vital practice in keeping the oral health in check. A biannual visit allows for an evaluation of the teeth, gums, and other parts of the oral cavity to detect changes in the past months and update the treatment plan and oral care routine as necessary.
A dental visit allows detection of early signs of oral-related problems and performance of immediate treatment before the development of the problem worsens.
For children, a routine check-up is essential for monitoring the growth of their teeth which is crucial for the eruption of the permanent teeth. A child’s primary teeth serve as the foundation for the adult teeth. When the baby teeth fall off earlier than usual, it can lead to problems with the bite and spacing of the permanent teeth, therefore causing malocclusion or crooked teeth. Moreover, a child’s teeth play an essential role in the biting, chewing, and speaking function.
For adults, a routine check-up is also imperative as oral-related problems like gum disease can affect our overall health especially since the condition of the oral health is said to affect the overall well-being and quality of life.
Additionally, as we age, our teeth also do age. Therefore, taking extra care of them will help us save our natural teeth in our later years, keeping the function of our teeth as well.