Dentist Vs Orthodontist – Which To Choose?
There are many misconceptions between dental specialties as the lines become blurred. Many services that were only done by specialists are now routine in a family dental office. These procedure include dental implants, root canal therapy, and orthodontics. A family dentist vs orthodontist begin with same basic training in dental school and then the paths diverge following graduation from dental school. Read below for further clarification on dentist vs orthodontist.
Dentist Vs Orthodontist Education And Training
Following 4 years of dental school, a dentist has multiple paths to go forward into their future career. They can enter private practice or they can complete a dental residency for advanced training or they can go on to further schooling to specialize in a particular specialty branch of dentistry. These specialties can include oral surgery, periodontics, or orthodontics.
Those who choose to specialize will apply to graduate programs in the field of their choice. Between 6 and 8% of all dental school graduates go on to become orthodontists. Orthodontic training continues from the basics learned in dental school and narrows the focus to a branch of dentistry dealing with irregularities of the teeth (such as malocclusion) and their correction (as by braces). That definition comes directly from Merriam Webster. Both are extremely important to ensure your mouth functions properly when eating and chewing. If your teeth are crooked or your jaws are misaligned this can cause digestive problems and dental hygiene issues, such as gingivitis (gum disease). It can also make it difficult to clean your teeth properly.The extended training takes between 2-3 years and adds about 5,000 hours of orthodontic training. Orthodontists have many techniques and dental materials at their disposal to help them move the teeth and jaws into proper alignment, including traditional braces, lingual braces (attached on inside of teeth) and clear aligners (like Invisalign), among other orthodontic appliances. Because every patient has their own unique alignment issues, orthodontists use X-rays and pictures of the teeth to create personalized treatment plans. These plans can be simple to very extensive depending on the issues with your smile.
Family dentists treat patients’ overall oral and dental health. Through routine checkups, dentists can detect and treat cavities, periodontal disease, and oral hygiene problems, and they can also extract teeth as necessary. Dentists also can improve the function and cosmetic appearance of teeth with the following services: tooth bonding, porcelain or composite veneers or dental crowns to teeth that are broken, chipped, misshapen or have been affected severely by tooth decay. Your dentist will also evaluate the tissues inside your mouth for signs of oral diseases (such as oral cancer) and gives advice on how to maintain your oral health. If your dentist notices a problem beyond the scope of their education, they will refer you to a dental specialist or physician as they see fit. An orthodontist is one of those specialists your dentist may refer you to for further treatment.
Choosing Between Dentist Vs Orthodontist
When choosing dentist vs orthodontist there will be some overlap between dental services offered. Many family dentists will also offer some orthodontic services to their patients. Orthodontists are only able to offer services that fall under their specialty. A dentist can perform orthodontics but an orthodontist cannot treat periodontal disease or fabricate a dental crown. This is a major difference in the dentist vs orthodontist debate.
Dentist Vs Orthodontist Treatments Offered
Family dentist services can include but not limited to the following:
-Treatment and Restoration of Tooth decay
-Root Canal Therapy
-Treatment of Periodontal Disease
-Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges
-Porcelain and Composite Veneers
-Dental Implants (placement and restoration)
Orthodontists provide services related to:
Dentist Vs Orthodontist Conclusion
A dentist should be your go to for all your dental needs. An orthodontist will be necessary when your dentist decides treatment behind their scope is needed. An orthodontist is someone you will see for a fairly short time while a dentist will be someone you will see for a lifetime to maintain healthy teeth and gum tissues. The dentist vs orthodontist question is not a battle but a partnership. They work hand in hand to deliver high quality dental care to their patients.
Dental urgent care is not exactly like it is in medicine. There are not stand alone businesses just to handle a dental emergency. There are however, dental offices in Las Vegas and across America ready and able to handle your dental emergency. What types of issues are considered a dental emergency that you would need dental urgent care? When you experience an abnormal dental issue, sometimes it can be hard to know if it is a true dental emergency in need of dental urgent care. For a general rule dental urgent care is needed if you are experiencing sudden or prolonged extreme pain or profuse bleeding or both, you should seek dental urgent care right away. In some cases where you may be experiencing mild pain you may be able to put off a visit for dental urgent care a few days before visiting your dentist.
Dental Urgent Care Needs
-Broken or Fractured Tooth – This definitely falls in the category when dental urgent care is needed. This type of trauma can become extremely painful in a short amount of time. If the fracture or break causes nerve of the tooth to be exposed just the simple act of breathing will send shock waves through your body. Depending on where the fracture is this can also be considered a cosmetic dentistry emergency. That would be one where the tooth being affected is in a cosmetic area like a front tooth. Unfortunately, broken or fractured teeth cannot be repaired at home and will need immediate attention by dental urgent care. For a tooth in the back of the mouth, your dental urgent care specialist may recommend you place a medicated filling may be placed to cover the exposed nerve and hopefully calm it down until you can come to the office. A product sold over the counter at your local drug store called Dentemp can be mixed and placed by you, to help temporarily cover the hole. Whether or not the tooth can be saved depends on how severe the fracture is. Until you are able to get to dental urgent care, rinse your mouth with warm water, apply a cold compress outside the affected area, and keep the area as clean as possible from debris and foods. You may consider taking an anti-inflammatory medication to keep the swelling down as well as take the edge off the pain before it develops. Aspirin is not suggested to be taken, it will cause difficulties in blood clotting if the tooth needs to be removed at dental urgent care.
-Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) or Jaw Injury - If you believe you may have broken your jaw, apply a cold compress to the area to maintain swelling to the face and immediately go to dental urgent care or to the hospital emergency room. This type of injury would be beyond simple dental urgent care and the hospital would be the better place. If your jaw has become locked or dislocated, you will need to have the jawbone re-positioned back into your Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) socket.
-Swelling With Pain. This is most definitely a true dental emergency and you should call your dental urgent care immediately for advice. Swelling in this area is due to a dental infection called an abscess. This can progress very quickly to an infection that affects your entire body and in rare cases can even lead to death. Tips to attempt to relieve some of the pressure include: apply cold compresses to the area, rinse with saltwater, and try to keep your head elevated. Once a dental infection gets to this point, most over the counter medications will not work very effectively in easing the pain. Antibiotics will be required along with drainage of the infection to relieve pressure and build up. This type of dental emergency will require you to be seen by dental urgent care.
-Biting Lip or Tongue w/ excessive bleeding - Accidentally biting your lip, tongue, or other part in your mouth is something that can happen at any time. It is important clean the area and apply a cold compress to help limit swelling to the area. If the bleeding is extensive, or will not stop quickly (a few minutes is a good guide), call dental urgent care or go to the hospital emergency room.
-Loose Tooth - If one of your teeth begins to become loose, see your dental urgent care right away. Your dentist may be able to save the tooth depending on why it has become loose. Until you are able to get to dental urgent care, take tylenol (ibuprofen) or aleve (sodium naproxen) and apply a cold compress to the affected area to relieve any associated pain or discomfort. If the tooth became loose due to trauma, dental urgent care will most likely recommend splinting the loose tooth (using tooth bonding) to an adjacent tooth or two to allow time for the tooth to re stabilize in the bone. A loose tooth can also be caused by progressive periodontal disease which will develop over a period of years. In the case of periodontal disease causing the loose tooth or teeth, your dental urgent care may not be able to save the tooth and it may be recommended to remove the tooth. A dental implant may placed instead once the area has healed and the periodontal disease has been brought under control. If you have a loose tooth, try to “baby” it…..chew on other side and do not wiggle it with your tongue.
-Pericoronitis. This is a dental infection that generally happens in young adults as your molars erupt into your mouth, a flap of gum tissue will remain over the back of the tooth, becomes irritated and swollen, and can be extremely painful especially upon chewing. If you experience symptoms of pericoronitis, which may include swollen and irritated gums, a bad taste or malodor in your mouth, or you are not able to fully open your mouth, call dental urgent care right away.
-Sudden Onset Toothache. If your tooth begins aching, rinse out your mouth with warm water and gently floss around the tooth to make sure there is nothing lodged between your teeth that could be causing the issue. Call your dental urgent care immediately for an appointment. This could range from simple gum irritation, a full on dental infection.
-Knocked Out Tooth (also called avulsed tooth) - The main tip here is to clean off the tooth immediately to remove any dirt and debris that has gathered when hitting the floor. Do not scrub the tooth clean, just a gentle rinsing is all that is necessary. If the tooth can be re implanted dental urgent care will instruct you to do so. This is may not always possible if there is bleeding and swelling in the area where tooth was displaced. The next best option is to place the tooth in a milk solution. The milk acts as a preservative and can significantly increase the long term chances of a successful re implantation. You should call or see dental urgent care immediately even if you are able to re implant the tooth. The tooth will probably need to be splinted to another tooth (using tooth bonding) while it heals. Dental urgent care will also check that it is in proper alignment with the adjoining teeth. The tooth will also need to be monitored over time to gauge the success of the re implantation as well as any long term affects that might happen due to the trauma. This tooth may still be lost in the future or it may need further treatment like root canal therapy.
-Lost Dental Filling or Dental Crown or Dental Bridge - Unfortunately, this type of dental emergency can happen at any time even with routine dental care. If your dental crown does come off call dental urgent care immediately for detailed instructions. Most local drug stores sell fixodent, or temporary cement to place it back on until you are able to be seen by dental urgent care. This will limit the chances of the development of tooth decay or tooth sensitivity in the interim. The same can be done for a lost filling, most drug stores sell a temporary filling material (mentioned earlier called dentemp) that can be applied at home. Either way, you will need to seek dental care ASAP to prevent any other damage from occurring to your smile.
-Orthodontic (Braces) Damage - If you believe that you have broken your braces in some way, you should call dental urgent care as soon as possible. In most instances, they will want to see you right away (especially if the break is causing pain or discomfort). But in some cases they may recommend waiting until your next dental appointment.
-Food Or Debris Stuck Between Your Teeth - If food or debris gets lodged between your teeth, try to swish aggressively, then attempt to gently remove it with dental floss. Be careful not to cause trauma to the area by being too aggressive. If the object still will not come free, call dental urgent care for more detailed instructions.
Urgent Dental Care Emergency Kit
The following are items to have ready in the house at all times in case a dental urgent care emergency arises:
-Pain Medication. Includes Motrin or Aleve or Tylenol. Just have something on hand to relieve the pain until you can see dental urgent care for more advanced pain relief. Avoid aspirin as this will inhibit blood clotting and have a possible effect on further dental treatment.
-Gauze or Cotton pads. These will be necessary if there is any bleeding from a traumatic injury or even to have the patient bite down on to relieve some of the pressure from a dental infection. It can also be useful if you have tissue irritation from your orthodontic braces, orthodontic appliance, or removable denture. You can place the cotton or gauze in between the appliance and the sore to relive some of the discomfort.
-Dental Wax. This can be used to cover up areas of irritation like orthodontic brackets or broken orthodontic wires.
-Dental Floss. This can come in handy to remove food debris that gets lodged between teeth and beneath the gums that cause pain and discomfort.
-“Save A Tooth” System. This is ideal for transporting avulsed teeth. This system will give you have a better chance for long term survival once re implanted.
-Generic Teabags. These are helpful for stopping bleeding following oral surgery or even a trauma in the mouth. Research suggests that bags containing tea from the plant camellia sinensis is better than herbal tea for this purpose. Tea bags have also been shown to be soothing if you bite your lip, cheek, or tongue.
-Denture Adhesive. This can be handy even if you do not have a denture wearer in the house. In addition to using it to fix dentures in place, it can also be used to temporarily secure a crown or bridge that has fallen out. Fixodent is a good example of a denture adhesive.
-Dentemp or Temporary Filling Material. This is an excellent material to cover up open holes in teeth until you can see dental urgent care.
-Dental Mirror and Flat Spatula. These can usually be found at any drug store or even online. The dental mirror can be used if the dental urgent care emergency is back in the mouth and the spatula will be useful for using temporary filling material in the mouth.
-Topical Anesthetic. This can give temporary relief for denture sores, gum irritation, cold sores, canker sores, or sores from simply biting your lip, tongue, or cheek.
-Packets of Salt. Salt water helps clean and irrigate out wounds.
-Package of Colgate Wisps. These tools acts as a mini toothbrush as well as a toothpick. These can be very helpful removing foreign objects or debris lodged between your teeth.
-Dental Urgent Care Contact Information. Most dentists should be able to be reached after hours using an emergency telephone line.
Dental Urgent Care Conclusion
Dental urgent care is a term used for a dental emergency. As we said earlier there are no “dental urgent care” facilities, just call your dentist as soon as a dental emergency arises. The faster you get in front of a dental issue the easier it will be to treat for you and your dental urgent care Las Vegas team. Remember maintaining good dental health is not just about dental urgent care but should include regular dental visits as well!
If you have a damaged (from tooth decay or even periodontal disease) or traumatized tooth, extraction is not the only option as there is a chance that you can save your natural tooth. Whenever possible, it is always better to save your teeth rather than lose them, as missing teeth have negative effects on confidence, ability to chew, general health and the alignment of the remaining teeth. Here are the alternative procedures to tooth extraction if you would like to keep a beautiful, natural smile.
Save Your Teeth with Root Canal Procedures
Root canal treatment is the most popular alternative to teeth extraction. Endodontic treatment or a root canal treats the living parts found inside the teeth known as the pulp. The pulp consists of the soft tissue inside the teeth made up of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues that nourish the root during the development stage. When the teeth develop fully, it is possible to remove the pulp without affecting the teeth since the supporting tissues provide nourishment.
Tooth decay, repeat dental procedures, cracks, chips, trauma caused by accidents and faulty crowns can trigger infections and inflammation of the pulp. Root canal therapy treats the damaged pulp preventing major pain and abscess. Root canal treatment involves the non-surgical removal of the infected or inflamed pulp. The resulting hollow is cleaned, disinfected, shaped, filled and sealed to prevent further infections. A tooth restoration procedure using a crown or filling follows to restore the tooth to its normal function and structure. After root canal treatment, teeth can last for a lifetime without requiring another root canal treatment or dental procedure.
Save Your Teeth with Endodontic Surgery
Another alternative to losing teeth through extraction is to undergo endodontic surgery. One of the most popular surgeries is apicoectomy or root-end resection done when the inflammation or infection continues spreading to the bony tissue even after root canal treatment. An endodontist removes the infected area and sometimes part of the root and then seals the area. This is a safe procedure made comfortable by the use of local anesthesia. There are no serious complications and the bone heals within a few months.
Another sophisticated endodontic surgery procedure to save the teeth is intentional replantation. This involves the removal of the infected teeth for treatment outside the mouth. After treatment, an endodontist plants the tooth back in its socket and it resumes normal operation without the infection. Other surgery options to save the teeth include separating the tooth into two halves, or surgery to fix or remove an injured root.
Endodontic surgery is beneficial in the following situations:
- For diagnosis and treatment of root infections, minor fractures and tiny canals that do not show on the x-rays; yet there are symptoms of infection.
- For cleaning, treatment and sealing of too narrow canals that root canal treatment instruments cannot penetrate to reach the roots.
- For treatment of teeth that fail to heal after a root canal treatment or develop infections after a root canal procedure.
- For treatment of damaged roots and supporting bone structure of the teeth.
Other Ways to Save Your Damaged or Dying Teeth
Some people take painkillers to eliminate toothache and other symptoms instead of undergoing a tooth extraction immediately. However, this does not deal with the root problem but only eliminates the symptoms. It is possible to treat some infections using antibiotics, however. Still, it’s best to consult your dentist to find out the best solution for your specific needs.
Early Periodontal Disease Treatment
For people with mild gum disease, tooth loss is inevitable if the mild gum disease goes untreated and develops into chronic periodontal inflammation. Early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease is the best way to prevent tooth loss associated with periodontal disease.
Apart from endodontic procedures, maintaining proper dental hygiene is the best way to save your teeth from extraction or any other restorative dental procedure. Proper dental care involves brushing teeth properly at least twice a day, flossing daily, following a healthy diet and visiting the dentist regularly. This prevents damage to the teeth in the first place, thereby eliminating the need to undergo root canal treatment or teeth extraction. This is also the best way to ensure your teeth stay healthy for a long time and delay tooth loss.
If it is too late or impossible to save the teeth and extraction is inevitable, replacing the extracted teeth with dental implants and other structures is the best way to avoid the negative effects of physically visible tooth loss.
It is important to see your dentist regularly for routine dental care and examinations. This will help prevent the issues listed above. Maintaining good dental health will lead to a lifetime of smiles.
Porcelain veneers are often used as part of creating a Hollywood smile. There is a good reason for this as many actors and actresses have abnormally perfect white teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is an art and smiles can be recreated or they can be perfect. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Some like having small gaps between their teeth or a tooth slightly out of alignment. Porcelain veneers work very well when cosmetic changes need to be made without the need for more invasive dental procedures.
Are Porcelain Veneers Right For You?
-Desire For A New, Beautiful Smile. Generally when someone openly wants a change in appearance, especially one requiring a significant financial investment, they are usually more receptive to maintaining it properly. If the porcelain veneers are not cared for they can and will develop tooth decay as well as break down. Routine dental examinations, professional cleanings, and excellent dental hygiene are an integral part of keeping your new smile looking its best.
-Healthy Teeth And Periodontal Tissues. If extensive tooth decay, fractured teeth, or periodontal disease are present, you will not be a good candidate for the porcelain veneer procedure. Good oral health is required for porcelain veneers. The mouth needs to be in a healthy, stable state to allow porcelain veneers to be considered an option. You will need a full dental examination to assess your dental health. If your mouth is not free of the above conditions, it is best to avoid porcelain veneers due to an increased chance of failure.
-Teeth Alignment. Severely misaligned teeth are not good candidates as this will cause issues with preparation of teeth for porcelain veneers. A good cosmetic dentist will try to be quite conservative when removing natural tooth structure. If the teeth are too far out of alignment it means more tooth structure will need to be removed to accomodate the spacing. Removing too much tooth structure can lead to tooth sensitivity and even nerve exposure (requiring possible root canal therapy). For teeth that are severely misaligned, invisalign, 6 month smile orthodontics, or traditional orthodontics may be needed to bring them into proper alignment.
-Sufficient Tooth Enamel Present. Tooth enamel is needed for the porcelain veneers to bond to your teeth. If the tooth is severely worn down or damaged, porcelain veneers will not bond well and may not be a good option for you. In this case a full crown may be a better option.
-Tooth Color. In general, porcelain veneers look best when they are thin and translucent. If you have severely stained teeth (developmental dentin staining, tetracycline staining, root canal therapy staining), it is usually best to undergo teeth whitening prior to veneers. Blockout of underlying staining is possible, but the end result will not look as natural.
-Gum Tissue Alignment. Proper gum tissue contours are necessary to give a natural look. If the gum heights are out of proportion, they will need to be recontoured with a gingivectomy procedure prior to veneer placement.
- Oral Habits: Nail Biting, Teeth Clenching/Teeth Grinding (Bruxism). Severe teeth clenchers or teeth grinders are definitely not good candidates for porcelain veneers. Veneers are not able to withstand the powerful stresses put forth by grinding and clenching. If a patient only grinds their teeth at night then it is possible to still complete porcelain veneers but only with the use of a night guard at night. Other oral habits such as, biting nails, chewing on pens, opening packages with your teeth, etc. will also cause damage to veneers and may cause them to fail.
Porcelain Veneers Conclusion
Porcelain veneers can give the ability to transform an ordinary smile to an extraordinary one. The information above should give everyone some information on what to expect if they are considering making changes to their smile. A natural looking new smile is just a dentist visit away!