The Different Types of Dentists

Dentists In Las Vegas specialize in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of oral diseases, injuries and conditions. They are often part of interprofessional health care teams.

They are doctors – a dentist holds a doctorate degree called either a DMD or a DDS, depending on the university they attended. The rigorous academic standards of dental schools are comparable to those of medical schools.

What's the Difference Between a Dentist and a Hygienist?, Serenity Dental,  TX

Dental hygienists clean teeth, remove stains and plaque, apply dental sealants to prevent tooth decay, take and develop X-rays of the mouth, and educate patients on good oral hygiene techniques. They often work with dentists to help diagnose and treat diseases, such as gum disease, oral cancer, or bone loss.

To become a dental hygienist, you’ll need to attend an accredited program. These are typically found at community colleges and some universities. Most programs offer an associate degree, but bachelor’s degrees are also available through some schools.

Most states require that you pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination after graduation. Some states also have clinical exams that test your skills, either using real patients or manikins. You may also be able to find degree-completion programs that allow you to earn your bachelor’s in less time because you’ll already have the hands-on experience from your associate’s program. These types of programs are often offered completely online.

Oral Pathology

Although preventing dental problems is the best way to keep your smile healthy, sometimes things happen that can’t be prevented. Whether it’s an oral disease or a growth, it’s important that any abnormality is diagnosed quickly and accurately so treatment can begin as soon as possible.

This is why we enlist the help of an expert in oral pathology. An oral pathologist is a specialist who can examine any suspicious growths or conditions in your mouth and determine the underlying cause, such as oral cancer.

An oral pathologist can use a variety of tools to test tissue samples for diseases and growths, including staining and direct immunofluorescence. They can also use fine-needle aspiration cytology to examine lymph nodes and other soft tissues in the head and neck area. In addition, an oral pathologist can also provide diagnostic modalities such as routine hematology and biochemistry. Combined with the expertise of our dentists, this allows us to treat any issue that arises in the best possible way. This prevents the condition from worsening or spreading to other areas of the body.

Restorative Dentistry

Everyone needs restorative dentistry at some point, as teeth get damaged or broken. It is important to have these procedures done early to avoid future complications. The main aim of this type of dentistry is to restore and maintain healthy and functional smiles. Restorative treatments include fillings, dental bridges, crowns, and implants. These can be performed by general dentists.

Dental fillings are typically used to repair cavities in the teeth, which are a result of bacteria eroding tooth enamel. The procedure involves the injection of local anaesthesia to prevent pain as the dentist removes decayed material from the tooth. Once the hole is filled, a composite resin is applied to seal the tooth. This type of treatment does not require much recovery time and the patient can resume normal activities immediately.

Dental crowns and implants are used to replace missing teeth. The latter is considered the gold standard of tooth replacement because it does not involve altering natural teeth. Dental implants are anchored to the jawbone, which offers more stability than traditional dentures. However, you may need other restorative dental treatments before getting this treatment. For instance, gum disease or traumatic injuries may cause tooth loss, and these must be treated first.


The term endodontics comes from the Greek words “endo” (inside) and “odont” (tooth). Endodontists are highly skilled at maintaining teeth through procedures that involve a tooth’s inner pulp tissue. Their expertise includes root canal therapy and diagnosing tooth pain, but they also address other issues involving the inside of a patient’s teeth.

For example, a blow to the mouth can cause damage that causes a tooth’s pulp to become inflamed or infected. In this case, an endodontic procedure called a root canal can be performed to save the tooth.

Once the endodontist has removed the infected or inflamed pulp tissue, he or she cleans and shapes the inside of the tooth to help prevent re-infection. Then, the root canal is filled with a biocompatible material and sealed against re-infection. Next, the dentist will place a crown or other restoration on top of the tooth to protect and restore its full function.

Endodontists are skilled at saving severely damaged or decayed teeth and can even replant teeth that have been knocked out of their sockets. A dental implant can replace a lost tooth with an artificial one that looks, feels and functions just like a natural tooth.


Periodontics is the area of dentistry that focuses on the gum tissue and bone levels that support the teeth. This includes diagnosing and treating periodontal disease (a chronic inflammatory gum condition also known as gum disease) and the placement of dental implants. Periodontists have advanced training that requires at least three additional years of education beyond dental school, making them experts in preventing and treating these conditions.

Gingivitis and other mild forms of gum disease can be treated with a procedure called scaling and root planing. This involves numbing the gums and scraping away bacteria that collect under the gum line and on the surface of the tooth roots. This can prevent further gum disease, and it is often recommended for patients who show signs of early gum disease.

A periodontist can also perform cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of a patient’s smile. This can include crown lengthening, in which the specialist reshapes excess gum tissue to expose more of the tooth’s surface. This can help make a smile appear healthier and more balanced. They can also use soft tissue grafts to cover exposed tooth roots or thinning gum areas.

Implant Dentistry

Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. They are usually made of titanium, which fuses to the bone. Unlike bridges, which require adjacent teeth to be sacrificed for support, an implant replaces just the missing tooth. It also avoids splinting of adjacent healthy teeth, which can decrease their longevity and increase plaque retention.

Your dentist will start the process by doing a comprehensive evaluation of your mouth and jaw to ensure you are an ideal candidate. This will include X-rays and models of your teeth and jaw, as well as highlighting any medical conditions or medications that could interfere with the surgery.

The procedure involves inserting a metal screw-like titanium implant into the jawbone where your missing tooth root sat, and leaving it to heal for a period of time. This is done under local anesthetic and typically requires no more than half an hour. Once the implant has healed, the dentist will install a connector called an abutment on the post portion of the implant, which is then used to hold the replacement tooth, known as a crown.


Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry focused on diagnosing and treating irregularities in the teeth and jaws. It uses different appliances to place gentle pressure on the teeth, which gradually shift them into alignment. These appliances include braces, aligners and auxiliary devices such as expanders, spacers, headgear and retainers.

X-rays, photographs and impressions are taken of the mouth to help the orthodontist determine what type of treatment you need. In some cases, orthodontists will perform jaw surgery, called orthognathic surgery, to correct severe overbites or underbites.

Straight teeth are easier to keep clean, which can reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. They also function better in biting, chewing and speaking than crooked teeth. In addition, orthodontic treatments can prevent headaches, shoulder and back pain and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems.

The orthodontist will create a personalized treatment plan to ensure your smile reaches its optimal potential. It is important that patients cooperate with their orthodontist by keeping appointments and adhering to oral hygiene instructions throughout treatment. This can speed up the process and lead to a shorter treatment time.


Glands in the endocrine system secrete hormones, which act as messengers from one organ to another. They include the hypothalamus, pineal body, pituitary gland, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, adrenal glands and ovaries. Hormones affect metabolism, reproduction, growth and development and water and mineral balance. They also influence cholesterol levels, blood pressure and the heart rate.

Your endocrinologist in the Sutter Health network will review your symptoms, medications and family history of hormonal disorders. They will then conduct tests and prescribe treatments, such as daily hormone pills or surgery.

The goal is to restore the body’s normal function. If the glands don’t produce enough of a particular hormone, you may experience symptoms such as hair loss, fatigue, irritability or infertility. If you have too much of a hormone, the opposite effect can occur, such as weight gain, anxiety, high blood pressure, a rapid pulse, heart palpitations or irregular menstrual periods. These conditions can be managed with medication, diet and lifestyle changes. Some will require more complex treatment, including surgery. The endocrine system includes the pituitary gland, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, ovaries and testicles.