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Depending on the patient’s age and the state of their oral health, the type of dentist they should see will vary. Because everyone has different dental needs, the various dentistry types include general dentistry, family dentistry, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and specialty dentistry. While this variety may seem overwhelming, a short read about each type of dentist can put your mind at ease and one step closer to receiving the most effective care.

General Dentistry

This type of dentistry is so common that out of all dental practitioners, 80% of them are general dentists. Instead of specializing in one specific area of dentistry, general dentists concern themselves with their patients’ overall oral hygiene and teeth health. Some of the procedures general dentists are knowledgeable in include restorative dentistry, cavity fillings, routine teeth cleanings, wisdom teeth removal, dental x-rays, fluoride treatment, tooth extractions, and even cosmetic dentistry.

Family Dentistry

Like general dentistry, family dentistry focuses on the overall health and oral hygiene of one’s teeth. This type of dentistry’s unique characteristic is that family dentists are equipped to care for their patients’ dental care at every age. Because our dental needs change throughout our lives, family dentists are the most knowledgeable in treating a great variety of dental issues. The most common treatments and procedures for this dentistry type include teeth cleanings, cavity fillings, sealants, and gum disease treatment.

Pediatric Dentistry

Just as the name suggests, pediatric dentists focus their dental treatment on infants and children throughout their adolescence. Even more, they can treat patients who may have mental or physical challenges and require a specific skill set that pediatric dentists can provide.


Malocclusion is a condition patients face in which their teeth aren’t positioned correctly in either the upper or lower jaws. This condition can often lead to overbites or underbites, as well as a misalignment of teeth. Because this is a more specific dental issue, orthodontists are trained to correct a patient’s bite and teeth alignment. In doing so, orthodontists often prescribe treatments, including braces, retainers, clear aligners, space maintainers, and palate extenders.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentists focus on procedures that improve oral aesthetics, including a patient’s smile and general self-image. While many general dentists can perform cosmetic procedures, they must first become certified by going through additional training. This certification ensures a more specialized body of knowledge. Some standard cosmetic procedures include veneers, teeth whitening, gum contouring, and braces.

Specialty Dentistry

While general and family dentists provide a wide variety of treatments and procedures, dental specialists become experts in their chosen dentistry field. The types of dental specialists include:

  • Periodontists

These dental specialists focus on the periodontium, the soft tissues surrounding the teeth in the lower (mandibular) and upper (upper) jawbones. In practice, periodontists make sure they can prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases affecting these tissues.

  • Prosthodontists

This specialty focuses on the diagnosis and restoration of missing or damaged oral tissues to bring them back to proper function. Prosthodontists specialize in restoring their patient’s missing, decayed, or damaged teeth.

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Dentists focused on surgically treating the oral and maxillofacial region’s aesthetic and functional features of a patient are known as oral surgeons. These surgeries are most commonly needed when there is an accidental injury, disease, trauma, periodontal issues, deformities, dental caries, or tooth loss.

  • Endodontists

These dental specialists handle the blood vessels, tissues, and nerves (dental pulp and periradicular tissues) surrounding a tooth’s root. The most common treatments performed by endodontists are root canals and surgeries involving dental pulp diseases.

To learn more about your local dental professionals, give Douglas Family Dentistry a call!

Located at 10630 North Scottsdale Road, Douglas Family Dentistry serves families in Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Glendale, and surrounding Arizona communities.  To schedule an appointment to discuss the dental procedures and services we offer, call our office today at 480-948-3680.