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Types of Dentists: You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers

beautiful dentist standing with crossed arms in dental clinic

Most people see a general dentist whenever they visit their dental clinic, and this kind of dentist will have three or more years of undergraduate studies followed by four years of dental school. A general dentist will have to complete course studies and complete a written and licensing exam to practice dentistry, and it is this kind of dentist who will treat your overall oral health care needs. They will diagnose and treat various problems, including gum disease, root canals, cavities and crowns and help with preventative care so that you do not have to see dental specialists.

Depending on the severity of an oral health condition, some patients will have to see a dental specialist. This is a professional who has completed an additional two to four years of training that is specifically focused on one area of dentistry. There are different types of dental specialists, and the following guide will outline the most common types:


An orthodontist will have to treat misalignment issues with the jaw, or teeth will have to be treated by an orthodontist who will use braces or retainers to fix the problem. These solutions can help treat a variety of problems, including extra teeth, missing teeth and overcrowding and dentists can refer both children and adults to an orthodontist.

Oral Surgeon

This is a professional who specializes in the surgical treatment of injuries, disease and esthetic and functional areas of the mouth. They can remove wisdom teeth and handle dental implants and can also biopsy spots in your mouth that may seem concerning. Additionally, oral surgeons are trained to administer anesthesia to make sure the patient is comfortable if surgery is required.

Pediatric Dentist

These dentists work only with children and are experts when it comes to building and maintaining a positive dental association amongst children and themselves. Their training is based on child psychology, and they will work with kids to teach them the importance of a good oral hygiene routine while performing regular check-ups and monitoring the health of their teeth. Most pediatric dentists also work with patients who have special needs.


This dental specialist focuses on gums and the supporting tissues and structure around your teeth. Most patients who are referred to a periodontist have advanced gum disease, and this specialist can help treat this problem.


This specialist can help address tooth pain and can also save your natural teeth by performing root canal treatments. This procedure can treat infected tissues with a tooth, and an endodontist has special training to address these problems.

This information may seem confusing, but the Forest Hill Family Dental team will take care of all of your dental care needs. We specialize in dental implants, cosmetic dentistry and dentures, so if you are looking for a reputable dentist in the Waterloo or Kitchener areas, contact us today!