June 25

General Dentists versus Specialists

General Dentists versus Specialists

What is the difference between a General Dentist and a Specialist? A General Dentist is the dentist you see for your routine care, check-ups, cleanings, etc. They monitor your mouth for concerns, offer many preventive and restorative procedures, and help maintain your oral health.

If a General Dentist has a concern or sees the need for a more complex treatment, they may refer their patients to a Specialist. There are six dental specialties to be aware of:

  • Endodontists – treatment of pulp/root
  • Oral Surgeons – surgical treatment of hard and soft tissues of mouth
  • Orthodontists – treatment of abnormalities in alignment, function, etc. (think retainers/braces)
  • Pedodontists (aka Pediatric Dentist) – treatment focused on children (infants through adolescence)
  • Periodontists – treatment of tissues surrounding the teeth (gums, etc.)
  • Prosthodontists – treatment and restoration of missing/deficient teeth

Specialists have additional training (often 2-3 years or more) and customized instruments. They have even elected to limit the scope of their practice to their chosen area of emphasis. This focus allows them to successfully treat even the most complex issues. While General Dentists can provide much of the care that you may need, it is not uncommon for them to refer complex treatments to a Specialist. If they refer you out to a Specialist it is to ensure that you receive the best dental care possible.

Dentist Direct offers one of the most recognized professional dental networks in the nation and boasts one of the largest dental networks nationally with a focus on neighborhood dentists. Our members can rest assured that they will have access to the providers that they need, when they need them. You don’t have that assurance with a ‘plan’ offered by your local dental office, or by going without a plan. Put your mind at ease with Direct Access and know that you have a solution for any dental need that may arise for you and your family.

June 25

When Do I Take my Child to the Dentist for the First Time?

When Do I Take my Child to the Dentist for the First Time?

As parents there are many “firsts” to experience during the first year of your child’s life. One of which is your child’s first visit to the dentist. There are many different opinions about when this should happen. Ultimately, you should do what is best for you and your child and follow the recommendations of your pediatrician and dental provider.

The AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommends taking your child to the dentist for the first time when their first tooth appears or near their first birthday, whichever occurs first.* Visiting the dentist early allows your child to get to know the dentist and gives the dentist a chance to follow the progression of your child’s oral development. This first visit is generally very simple. Be prepared to discuss your child’s habits (like pacifiers, thumb-sucking, etc.) You should leave with recommendations about the proper way to clean your child’s teeth and gums, helpful child-specific advice, etc.

If you need help finding a dentist in your area, contact the customer service number listed on the back of your membership card and we would be happy to direct you towards a dentist who will make your child’s first visit a positive experience.

*http://www.aapd.org/resources/frequently_asked_questions/#36