Your general dentist is a highly trained oral health care provider who can work wonders on your smile – performing a variety of restorative and preventive procedures, from fillings, crowns, implants, and extractions to bridges, bonding, caps, and veneers.
Types of Dental Specialists
However, there are times when a patient requires more complex dental care. That’s when even the most skilled general dentist may refer you to a dental specialist, such as:
- An orthodontist who specializes in the prevention and treatment of malocclusion (bad bite) resulting from crowded, missing, or extra teeth that are out of alignment.
- An endodontist who focuses on the treatment of diseases or injuries of the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth, performing root canal treatments or other kinds of surgical root procedures.
- A prosthodontist whose specialty is the repair of natural teeth and the replacement of missing teeth on a greater scale than your general dentist.
- An oral pathologist who uses biopsy results to provide diagnosis of diseases that affect or alter oral structures.
- A periodontist who specializes in the treatment and prevention of diseases related to the gums and bones of the teeth, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. A periodontist performs deep pocket cleanings, root planing, crown lengthening, soft tissue and bone grafting, soft tissue recontouring (gingivoplasty) or removal (gingivectomy), and implant placement.
- An oral surgeon who performs many types of surgical procedures in and around the face, mouth and jaw area, typically for accident victims and patients with tumors and cysts of the jaw.
The Referral Process and Coordination of Care
While your general dentist plays an important role as your first point of contact for general oral care and selective restorative and emergency procedures, general dentists can only provide quality dental care within the scope of their expertise. For specialized care, they will coordinate therapy among these other experts in specific fields of dental medicine to ensure the best results for their patients.
Most general dentists have a network of dental colleagues with whom they have good relationships, so they can refer patients confidently when necessary. This collaboration between general dentists and specialists makes it easier for you, as a patient, to receive the care you need.
Before you are sent to a specialist, your dentist will explain why you are being referred and what you can expect from the process. When referring you to a specialist, your dentist will transfer records and submit an initial referral report that provides information about your condition. This enables the specialist to design the best treatment plan for your specific needs.
The dentist will also maintain communication with you and the specialist during your treatment to ensure that the referral process is done in a timely manner and to simplify the process for an effective outcome. Following your treatment, your dentist will be furnished with a final report containing any suggestions for maintenance or follow-up treatment. Following this protocol, the entire process is coordinated to avoid any duplication of procedures.
Comprehensive Dental Care in Nevada
In addition to our family dentistry specialty in diagnosing and treating conditions affecting your oral health, Dedicated Dental in Henderson, Nevada, has established solid relationships with some of the best oral care providers in the area.
If you need to be referred to a specialist, we will coordinate the process to ensure that you receive only optimal quality care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment by calling (702) 566-5509, or fill out our appointment request form.