Difference between General Dentist and Specialist Dentist

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When most people go for physical check-ups, they tend to ignore dental care. However, taking care of your teeth is as important as taking care of the rest of your body. Dental care is often neglected, which can result in cavities and root canals, leading to painful and expensive procedures to correct this. Therefore, it is important to schedule a visit to the dentist once every six months, and to listen to their opinions, especially if they recommend you to a specialist.

A general dentist is a licensed doctor of oral health and ensures that your mouth is clean and healthy. Your dentist doesn’t just take care of your teeth and gums; they also ensure if your head, jaw muscles, tongue, and salivary glands are in good condition. A dentist is the one who comes up with initial diagnoses, prescribes medication, and guides you through your treatment plan. Because a dentist is able to prescribe medication and ensures the health of your mouth, a dentist must finish 4 years of college, along with 4 years at an accredited dental school, and must pass a national dental board exam to be able to apply for a state license.

A specialized dentist, on the other hand, will have gone for further education and clinical training. Specialty programs often include an additional two to four years of stud and will focus on a more specific area of dental health. There are 9 types of specialists in the dental field.
An endodontist works to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases of tooth pulp and surrounding tissues. If you have a root canal your dentist may recommend you go to an endodontist for the procedure.
An orthodontist works to diagnose and correct dental irregularities – this can include braces and retainers to straighten and correct the teeth.


A pediatric dentist is a dentist that specifically works with children, and will work towards diagnosing and treating the oral health needs of children.
A periodontist works towards diagnosing and treating diseases of gum tissue, and of the bones that support the teeth – the jaw bones.
A prosthodontist is a dentist that will help restore your teeth, or will provide substitutes for missing teeth – with a filling that is later capped.
Finally, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a dentist that provides surgical treatment to diseases and injuries of the mouth and surrounding areas. For example, if it is necessary for you to have your jaw removed – as it is for certain cancer patients – then you would be asked to consult a maxillofacial surgeon.

Arcadia Dental is located in Franklin, MA, and is staffed with highly trained dentists that strive to ensure your mouth is clean and healthy. With friendly and welcoming staff, you can ensure that the dentists at Arcadia Dental work towards providing excellent, personalized care so that you feel as safe and as comfortable as possible. By upholding golden standards of practice, and by being insurance-friendly, Arcadia Dental is open for all those who require dental care, and will allow you to be able to stick to your budget.

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