Why You Were Referred to a Dental Specialist

Your Mesa, AZ general dentist is much like your primary medical physician.  You see them twice per year for cleanings and check-ups. General dentists have the knowledge, skills, and capabilities to take care of the majority of your dental needs.  However, just like with regular doctors, your general dentist may need the assistance of a dental specialist from time to time.

Dental specialists are dentists who continue their education after dental school.  They focused on one area of dentistry in order to become a specialist in that field.

If you require the care of a dental specialist, they will work together with your general dentist to ensure that you receive exceptional treatment.

From time to time, you may be referred to one or more of the following types of dental specialists: 


Most people know that an orthodontist is the go-to person for straight teeth. While your dentist can perform some teeth straightening procedures like Invisalign, orthodontists can treat more complex issues with braces and special hardware.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons specialize in treating the hard and soft tissues of the gums, cheeks, lips, hard palate, soft palate, tongue, and face.

Known as an oral surgeon for short, the most common reason why you would be referred here is to have your wisdom teeth removed.  While a general dentist can extract some of these third molars, their roots are often crooked, or too close to nerve tissue for a general dentist to be comfortable removing them.

Oral surgeons can also perform jaw surgeries, reconstructive surgeries, cleft palate or cleft lip surgeries, tissue biopsies, and removal of cancerous tissue.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are unique in the fact that they are the only dental specialist that has the capability to provide you with a deep level of sedation (anesthesia.)


Endodontist (Root Canal Specialist)

Each tooth in your mouth has its own nerve tissue inside of it. An endodontist is a tooth nerve specialist who has the advanced education and training needed to perform difficult nerve treatments that other dentists may find challenging.

For example, an endodontist can perform root canal therapy, retreat teeth that have had previous nerve treatments that have failed, and a variety of other nerve-related procedures.

Another reason you might get sent to an endodontist is for a second opinion. If you have a cracked tooth or your dentist suspects that doing a root canal may not be a successful treatment, he may refer you for further evaluation. Endodontists often have microscopes that they use to get a close-up look at your tooth, which helps in both the planning and treatment process. 


A periodontist focuses on gum health. Most commonly, they treat gum disease. If you suffer from this condition and the treatments that are offered by your general dentist aren’t getting the desired results, you may be referred to a periodontist for gum surgery.

A periodontist also places dental implants (but not the restorative crown that fits over it) and performs gum tissue grafts.


In some cases where a smile makeover is being done, or facial reconstruction is needed, your dentist may refer you to a prosthodontist, or tooth replacement specialist.

Prosthodontists have the unique understanding and ability needed to provide you with both a cosmetically pleasing and functional smile. They do this by replacing your teeth with a variety of prosthetics including crowns, bridges, dentures, dental implants, and veneers.

Pedodontist (Pediatric Dentist)

A pedodontist is where your child will be most comfortable receiving their dental care. These dentists specialize in the oral development and care of children from infancy through their teenage years. Pedodontists can provide routine exams and cleanings, as well as performing procedures like filling cavities, tooth extractions, dental crowns, and pulpotomies (nerve tissue treatment) amongst others. Although children are welcome at your family dentist’s office, they may be referred to a pedodontist if there are special needs or multiple treatments needed.

Which Dentist Is Right for You?

Since your dental needs will change from time to time, there’s no need to worry about which dental specialist is right for you.  Our Mesa, AZ family dentist will have the majority of your dental services available.  If a condition arises when Dr. Vinh Huynh, DMD needs assistance in order to keep providing you with the best oral care possible, he won’t hesitate to consult a specialist. Your health is our number one priority.

If you’ve been looking for a family or general dentist, then call Eastport Dental today.  We look forward to meeting you and establishing a relationship that will last for years to come

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