Demystifying dentistry: All about the different roles

Do you know the difference between a dentist and dental hygienist ? Find out today!

While they all help care for our teeth, the variety of professionals within the dental industry do so in different ways.

From hygienists to surgeons, dentists to orthodontists, it's important to understand what they all do so you know exactly where to go in the event of an oral issue.

Dentist

Dentists are general, non-specialised dental practitioners who diagnose and treat problems in relation to the teeth, gums and other parts of the mouth. They also give advice on maintaining a healthy smile and administer care to help prevent future problems.

Duties

  • Repair fractured or cracked teeth.
  • Remove decay from teeth.
  • Fill cavities.
  • Examine X-rays of the teeth, jaw and gums to diagnose problems.
  • Administer anaesthetics and write prescriptions.
  • Place sealants and whitening agents on teeth.
  • Perform surgical procedures on teeth, bone and soft tissue to treat oral issues.
  • Measure and make models for dentures to replace missing teeth.
  • Teach patients about oral health and disease prevention.
  • Assess whether a patient needs further dental care by another industry professional.
Discover the different roles within the dental industry today. It's important to know each of the roles within the dental industry so you know exactly who to call in the event of an oral issue.

Dental hygienist

Through a thorough cleaning process, a dental hygienist will work to prevent the problems a dentist would otherwise have to treat. They work closely with the dentist to find the best solution for your oral issues.

Duties

  • Removing plaque and other deposits from the teeth.
  • Treat and prevent gum disease.
  • Create a personalised oral care regime to reduce the risk of gingivitis.
  • Remove external stains from the tooth's surface.
  • Taking and developing dental radiographs. 

Orthodontist

Orthodontists are dental professionals who specialise in providing braces or Invisalign to patients living with crooked or non-aligned teeth. 

Duties

  • Discover the position of the patient's teeth through the use of X-rays or plaster moulds. 
  • Fit dental appliances such as braces, Invisalign or retainers into patients' mouths to realign teeth and correct bite.
  • Create tailor-made treatment plans to ensure the teeth don't move back.

Oral surgeon

Otherwise known as maxillofacial surgeons, this type of dental professional performs surgery on hard and soft tissue within the oral area. These surgeries usually require anaesthesia and can range from wisdom tooth extraction to cosmetic enhancements. 

Duties

  • Administer general and local anaesthetics.
  • Remove impacted and damaged teeth, along with tumours and growths of the oral area.
  • Treat acute infections and medical emergencies.
  • Prepare oral spaces ready for dental implants.
  • Perform minor cosmetic procedures to the oral region. 

If you're experiencing problems with your teeth, don't delay. Call the team at City Dentists today so we can arrange the best possible treatment to prevent the issue from worsening.