When you think of your dentist, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Typically, you might think of your annual check-up, a dental cleaning, or getting a crown placed. Your local dentist practice fulfils a number of other functions that you might not be aware of. Due to a high degree of specialization and the way in which dentistry overlaps with the medical field, you might be surprised by the wide range of dental services offered.
Many people have never heard of this field of dentistry. Prosthodontics focuses on the restoration and replacement of teeth. Tooth restoration options may include dental implants, veneers, bridges, crowns, or dentures. Prosthodontists provide a level of precision in tooth restoration that is unmatched by any other specialist in the field, which is why they are also often responsible for coordinating complex treatment plans for dental work that requires multiple specialists. Prosthodontists also provide dental reconstruction after cancer treatment and whole-mouth treatment for dental trauma or worn-out teeth.
Although many people know that periodontics has to do with gum health, you might not have heard of certain periodontal procedures that you may need! Periodontics is especially relevant because 47.2% of Americans (or 64.7 million people) suffer some form of gum disease, ranging from mild to severe. Gum disease can strike at any time of life and has serious consequences, and is the top cause of tooth loss. The disease can affect just one tooth or spread to affect several.
Lesser-known periodontal services at our dentist practice include gum graft surgery (adding gum tissue to exposed teeth caused by gum recession), pocket reduction procedures (to decrease the size of pockets that have developed in the gums from infection), and plastic surgery. Plastic surgery can be a worthwhile option for patients who have an uneven gum line, long, exposed roots, or an indentation in the gums or jawbone due to the absence of a lost tooth.
While the word “endodontics” usually equates to “root canal” in people’s minds, that’s not all an endodontist can do. An endodontist is responsible, first and foremost, for protecting damaged teeth and will consider all possible treatment options. Endodontists frequently treat traumatic dental injuries. With their advanced skills and access to technology, they are often able to save a broken or fractured tooth.
Another service they perform is endodontic retreatment, which involves treating a tooth that has healed improperly after a root canal, or which has been re-exposed to infection. Contrary to popular belief, a root canal is not necessarily more painful than any other dental procedure. The pain typically associated with the root canal comes more from the infection in the tooth itself than the process of treating it.
Many people have heard of the fields discussed above but don’t know the extent to which their dentist can help them achieve their health and cosmetic goals. If you have a concern and you’re not sure which specialist can address them, we encourage you to see one of our general dentists. Penn Dental Family Practice general dentists are highly knowledgeable and can direct you to the right specialist (all under the same roof!) when needed.
At Penn Dental Family Practice (PDFP), you’ll benefit from a streamline system of care in which each dentist or specialist can pick up where the last one left off. Our patients keep coming back to our dentist practice because of the consistently high quality of care they receive. You can get in touch with us today by calling 215-898-7337 (PDFP) to schedule your first appointment!