Dentistry is a vast field, much like the medical field. There is more to it than just general dentistry, tooth extraction, replacements, and even the occasional teeth whitening.
The responsibilities of a dentist are more or less common knowledge, primarily because the everyday person comes into contact with one every once in several months for regular dental checkups. But within the dentistry field are different specialisations, and it is significant that we are able to differentiate one from the other instead of lumping it all together.
One such specialisation is that of an oral surgeon’s – something that may sound complicated in the first instance. But oral surgeons carry out plenty of procedures and surgeries that we ought to know about, so as to better understand dentistry as a whole, and the kinds of problems to look out for when it comes to our own overall oral health. But before that, we need to understand exactly what oral surgeons do and specialise in.
In this article, we will address the key differences between dentists and oral surgeons and list out each specialisation’s area of expertise.
What do dentists do?
A person will see a dentist primarily for oral hygiene purposes or tooth extraction. This is the first touchpoint for anyone looking to keep track of their oral health, and will often seek out a dentist regularly to ensure everything is in tip-top condition. And while dentists do carry out surgeries, it is important to note that these surgeries are not as major as the kind oral surgeons execute.
Dentists carry out the following procedures on a day-to-day basis:
What do oral surgeons do?
As the title already suggests, oral surgeons carry out surgeries related to oral or facial injuries, and even illnesses or disease. This includes operating on a patient’s jaws, teeth, lips, and other surrounding facial structures. Oral surgeons are also the professionals who diagnose patients for the following issues: misaligned jaws, obstructive sleep apnea, or even mouth cancer.
As such, oral surgeons are a more specialised branch in dentistry and carry great importance when it comes to a person’s oral and facial functionality and overall health. They do not monitor tooth growth, but rather address more serious concerns when it comes to oral health and disease.
Here are some procedures that oral surgeons carry out:
As you can see, dentists and oral surgeons may reside in the same field, but have vastly different functions. A dentist will not be able to help realign your jaw to adjust for structure, but an oral surgeon will be more than qualified. In that vein, an oral surgeon does not offer services for minor issues related to oral health and hygiene, as general dentists are able to do just that.
via Omni Dental Center https://www.omnidental.com.sg/articles/difference-between-dentist-and-oral-surgeon/
When it comes to oral care and dentistry, there are various fields that different dentists specialise in. Two such fields are cosmetic and restorative dentistry, with vast differences that set each specialty apart.
Cosmetic Dentistry: What is it?
For the case of cosmetic dentistry, its name should be indicative of what it involves: improving the appearance or aesthetics of teeth, gums, and overall smiles. More often than not, cosmetic dentistry does not include dental work that fixes or improves upon oral functions, and is largely superficial.
To get a better idea of what cosmetic dentistry involves, here are some typical procedures that cosmetic dentists carry out for their patients:
Restorative Dentistry: What is it?
Unlike cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry deals in dental work relating to the diagnosis, management, and treatment of diseases of teeth and their supporting structures. In this case, both oral hygiene and function are severely affected, often by diseases that bring about decay that may spread throughout a person’s whole mouth if left unchecked.
Restorative dentistry procedures include the following:
Differences between Cosmetic and Restorative: A Summary
It should be clear by now that cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry function for different reasons, and do not often overlap. Key differences between these two dentistry fields can be summarised as such:
Cosmetic dentistry is not concerned with rehabilitation or restoration of teeth or its supporting structures as a result of disease as opposed to restorative dentistry. Cosmetic work only improves upon existing appearances of various oral features, such as whitening teeth or reshaping them.
Restorative dentistry works primarily to prevent decay or the spread of disease, and involves intervention and reparation. It is not concerned with oral appearance or aesthetics.
It is important to know the difference between these two fields of dentistry. After all, if one suffers from imminent tooth decay or a disease that threatens the integrity and health of one’s oral support structures, it would be unwise to approach a cosmetic dentist to try and reverse these conditions.
In the same way, restorative dentistry will not help to straighten your teeth or whiten discoloured teeth, and should not be considered if one’s oral aesthetics merely need a bit of adjustments.
via Omni Dental Center https://www.omnidental.com.sg/articles/difference-between-cosmetic-dentistry-and-restorative-dentistry/
We are familiar with our dentist – the good-natured, friendly figure that is here to conduct yet another routine check on our teeth and oral hygiene. But even in the field of dentistry, specialties are vast. One such variation within the dental field is the prosthodontist.
Just as there are various types of doctors in the extensive medical field landscape, so it is the same for the school of dentistry. There are generalists, and there are specialists – such as doctors who only carry out heart surgeries, or doctors who are proficient in the mental health field.
As intimidating as the term might seem, prosthodontists engage in a subset of dental specialty that deals, specifically, with oral function, tooth replacement, and also restoration. Quite literally, “prostho” translates to replacement, while “dontist” refers to dealing with teeth. Thus, they are not to be confused with general dentists as they have very specific functions within the field of dentistry.
How does one tell the difference between someone who is a general dentist, and someone who is actually a prosthodontist? It may not be that difficult, even if both professions deal in similar departments when it comes to oral health and function.
The key differences between prosthodontists and general dentists are:
1. General dentists handle routine dental care and minor procedures like fillings. Prosthodontists are ultimately specialists, and carry out more extensive surgeries depending on patient needs. These include:
2. General dentists take care of the basics, but prosthodontists are concerned with overall oral health and function.
3. Prosthodontists typically have undergone advanced training (in Singapore, three years more than the general dentist) in teeth replacement and restoration, and are a key part of any dental treatment plan.
They often are the leaders in dental teams, supervising general dentists and specialists as they craft and provide solutions to patients regarding oral care and restoration, due to their superior knowledge and further training.
4. Prosthodontists are often proficient with state-of-the-art technology and treatment methods when it comes to dealing with a missing tooth, or problems concerning all the teeth in your mouth – and even your gums. If a patient faces an issue that severely affects oral function, a prosthodontist is the one who will aid in restoring optimal oral function.
So while prosthodontists and general dentists fall under the same umbrella category of dental care, a prosthodontist is far more extensively trained. Where dentists maintain the health of your teeth, prosthodontists ensure your entire mouth is kept functional and healthy.
However, it does not mean it is a better idea to bypass general dentists and go straight to a prosthodontist for hygiene and general dental issues. Specialists exist for specific reasons, so be sure to remember where the expertise of a prosthodontist lies before approaching one for your dental issues and concerns.
via Omni Dental Center https://www.omnidental.com.sg/articles/prosthodontists/
Established in 1997, Omni Dental Centre has a 21-year history of serving generations of patient families at the Heeren, Orchard Road. You don’t have to be born with a beautiful smile to have one.
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#08-05 The Heeren, 260 Orchard Road,
Phone: +65 6737 7375
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