When most people think of going to the dentist, they think of getting their teeth cleaned or a cavity filled. While those things are definitely a big part of what dentists do, there's actually a lot more to it. Dentistry is a pretty big field with a lot of different specialties and subspecialties. Here's a quick rundown of the different types of dental specialties, from oral surgeons to prosthodontists, and what they do.


The first type of dentist is the one that most people are familiar with, and that's the general dentist. General dentists are the ones who usually perform regular cleanings and examinations, fill cavities, and do other basic procedures. They also often have a good working knowledge of other areas of dentistry, so they can usually provide guidance if you need to see another type of dentist for a more specialized procedure.

Oral Surgeon

An oral surgeon is someone who specializes in surgery involving the mouth and jaws. While your general dentist can perform an extraction, an oral surgeon is needed for more complex procedures. They often perform wisdom tooth extractions, as well as other surgeries such as gum grafts and jaw realignment surgery. Oral surgeons usually have extensive training in anesthesia, so they can perform complex procedures while keeping patients comfortable. Contact a surgical practice like Conestoga Oral Surgery for more information. 


An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating the inside of the tooth or the pulp. This includes procedures such as root canals, treatment for dental trauma, and other procedures designed to try and save a tooth. Endodontists have additional training beyond dental school so that they can effectively treat difficult cases.


A periodontist specializes in treating the gums and supporting tissue around the teeth. They focus specifically on issues such as gum disease, advanced periodontal treatment, and placement of dental implants. They may also do procedures such as crown lengthening to remove excess gum tissue and improve the appearance of a person's smile.


A prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in replacing missing teeth and restoring the function of the mouth, including placing dental implants and fitting a patient for dentures. Prosthodontists generally have extensive experience working with different types of dental prosthetics, so they can help you find the best option to restore your smile.

As you can see, there are a lot of different types of dentists out there, each with its own area of expertise. When you're choosing a dentist, it's important to find one that's well-qualified to handle your specific needs.