Dr. Judith Y. Ko

Dr. Judith Y. Ko
Hemet Valley Dental Care

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Why Choose A Dental Specialist To Help You?

Your general dentist has been trained in a variety of procedures and does a little bit of everything -the key words there are a ‘little bit.’ But when it comes to things like root canals, surgically treating periodontal disease, placing implants, extracting wisdom teeth or doing orthodontics, your general dentist might not be the one to see.

Just like any patient considering heart surgery, you would like the physician who has performed the surgery a number of times, having a dental specialist caring for you generally results in a better outcome for the patient. “You may find a general dentist that has a significant interest in one area, but even so, they probably do not have the same experience treating patients as a specialist,” says Dr. Judith Ko from her Hemet Valley Cosmetic Dental Practice.

The dental specialties are:

1. Endodontics: Endodontists treat patients with infected teeth requiring root canals.

2. Periodontists: Periodontists are dentists who specialize in gum issues: surgically treating periodontal disease and gum contouring for cosmetic reasons. Many times periodontists also place implants and do bone and tissue grafting after extractions.

3. Oral Surgeons: Oral Surgeons are dentists who focus on extractions – especially wisdom teeth and other treatment when a general anesthetic is wanted. They also place implants and do bone grafting.

4. Orthodontists: Are the tooth alignment specialists. They move teeth to improve bite and straighten the teeth.

5. Prosthodontists: Dentists who specialize in full mouth dentures and reconstruction.

You may also find dentists who specialize in the following areas
- sleep medicine: these dentists will recommend appliance for sleep apnea.
- TMJ: these dentists work to reduce joint pain.

If your general dentist recommends you see a specialist, listen carefully to the reason for the referral and make sure to keep your appointment. Education is your key to tooth and overall health.

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