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Dental Specialists - What do the Titles Mean?

By HERWriter
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Periodontal treatment can involve soft tissue grafting and bone grafting, along with bacteria-killing protocols to help stabilize bacterial growth in the mouth that is causing the gum disease and associated tooth and bone loss.

Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) An Ear, Nose and Throat specialist or ENT specializes in otolaryngology...which is a fancy way of saying they treat and investigate issues that affect the ear, nose and throat. In some situations, there is a connection between the things happening in the ears, nose and throat. Sinus infections, ear infections and bad breath (halitosis) are all examples of things that can affect the ears, nose and throat.

Oral Surgeons - Oral surgeons specialize in oral surgery. The difference between them and a general dentist is their training and more extensive skills in dealing with deeper and more complicated structural issues. Oral surgeons, as a rule, do not do root canals, but they do extract wisdom teeth (especially if the teeth are impacted or are close to the inferior alveolar nerve), perform jaw repositioning surgery (major jaw or orthognathic surgery), and help treat TMJ issues. Wisdom tooth extraction and orthognathic surgery are often done in conjunction with orthodontics to ensure optimal results.

Prosthodontist - A prosthodontist is a specialist in dental prosthodontics. He or she makes dentures, bridges and other tooth restorations.

Denturist - A denturist also specializes in dentures, bridges and other tooth restorations, but don't always have the extensive training, skills and equipment that a prosthodontist has. Often used as a cheaper alternative.

Hygienist - Dental hygienists are usually the ones in a dental office that perform the dental cleanings and scalings. Some dental hygienists have branched out on their own to form their own cleaning services independent of the normal dental office, often at a fraction of the cost of a general dentist.

Add a Comment3 Comments


I never thought it would be illegal. It's perfectly legal in Canada. Perhaps our regulations are different.

October 31, 2009 - 4:57am

It should be noted that a "denturist" is not a dentist and there are only 6 States in which denturism is legal.

October 31, 2009 - 4:40am


It's a small thing, I suppose, but this was so helpful! I often see dental specialists' names on the outsides of their buildings with an assortment of initials after their names, and have had no idea in the past what most of those abbreviations meant. Thank you!

October 30, 2009 - 10:09am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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