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The Different Types of Dentists

Did you know that there are many different types of dentists? You might have noticed on your last visit that the dentists have their credentials hanging on the wall and the dentist’s name will be followed by three different letters. These letters show what type of dentist they are. So we are going to explain the different types of dentists in this week’s blog.


Two of the most common types of dental credentials are DDS and DMD, and your dentist is most likely one of these. A dentist with a DDS means that they have a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. DMD is a dentist that has earned a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. These both require many years of extra training and school to earn. Both the DDS and DMD are essentially the same degree, but it changes based off of the college they attended. All dentists have to pass a licensing exam in order to practice. A dentist with a DDS or DMD is capable of providing all primary dental care that you will need. This includes treating issues such as gum disease, root canals, crowns, cavities, and preventive care. However, there are specialists within the field of dentistry that are able to help with specific issues or people.


Pediatric Dentist

This is a type of dentist that works with children only. Much of their training is focused on understanding how children think. This allows them to develop good oral health care routines, and take care of children’s teeth very effectively.


Oral Surgeon

This type of dentistry focuses on the surgical treatment of things like injuries, removing wisdom teeth, dental implants, biopsy, and disease treatment. This also includes training in anesthesia, since much of their work is done while the patient is under.



If you visit your dentist and they diagnose issues like crossbite, or that your jaw/teeth are misaligned then you may need either something like Invisalign or in some cases you’ll need braces. An Orthodontist specializes in teeth and bites alignment straightening.



Much of what a periodontist does is able to be performed by most dentists but refers to specialization in gum treatment. If you have severe gum disease then you could be referred to a periodontist.


It is important to always take the recommendation of what you dentist says. If they are able to perform the work then that is your best option since they understand then entire picture and history of your oral health, but sometimes it is necessary to send you to a specialist for some treatments. The need to go to a specialist will be greatly reduced if you are visiting your dentist regularly.