HQ: Health questions
The pros behind your pearly whites
Who does what in the world of oral health
General dentists oversee all aspects ofyour oral health, from examining anddiagnosing dental problems or diseasesto recommending and performingtreatment. If the treatment is morecomplex, they may refer you to one of thedental specialists mentioned below.
Endodontists diagnose and treat thenerves and blood supply of the teethwhen they have been injured or diseased;their treatments include root canals.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons
diagnose and treat complex problemsrelated to the jaw and facial structures,including extracting impacted teeth,treating cysts and tumors, jawabnormalities and traumatic facialinjuries.
Orthodontists diagnose and treat poorbite and improperly positioned teethto improve the function and overallappearance of teeth.
Pediatric dentists diagnose and treatdental problems in children.
Periodontists diagnose and treatdiseases of the gums and supportingstructures and tissues, rescuing andmaintaining teeth that would otherwisebe extracted.
Prosthodontists diagnose and repairbadly broken-down teeth, as well asmissing teeth and structures, withcrowns, bridges, dentures and implants.
Part of their expertise is dental cosmetics.
Dental hygienists assess, diagnose,plan, implement and evaluate dentalhygiene care to prevent diseases such ascavities and periodontal (gum, ligamentand bone) disease. They may work withdentists or oral health-care teams, or intheir own practice or community healthsettings.
— Dawna Freeman
if you have a question for our “ask anexpert” column, sent it to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 403-943-2892.
Good oral health is a key part of
healthy living. Proper tooth and
gum care contributes to good
overall health, your personal
appearance, your confidence and your
ability to eat, speak and socialize.
You can reduce the risk of cavities andgum disease by eating a balanced low-sugar diet, avoiding tobacco and drugs,and brushing and flossing every day.
The Alberta Dental Associationand the College of Registered DentalHygienists also recommends an annualdental check-up so problems can becaught early.
My oral health is
important to me,
but I’m not sure if I
need to see a dentist,
a dental hygienist,
an endodontist, an
orthodontist or a