Dentistry has many disciplines, from pediatric dentistry to endodontics, periodontics, oral surgery and prosthodontics. For most of us general dentists we limit our practice to what we feel comfortable performing. As an example, I like doing root canals for patients because I want to relieve them of their pain and/or I want to make their tooth last longer in their mouth. There are certain teeth I prefer to treat and the teeth that I think will be more difficult, I refer to a specialist.

Why do I refer? Because sometimes the treatment plan needs extra eyes to help guide it and also the situation may call for more expertise so as to not harm the patient. There is a reason I refer impacted 3rd molars because oral surgeons are better trained at performing the surgery and I want to limit the discomfort a patient can feel during the procedure.

But it’s more expensive to see a specialist. Yes it is but it’s also better for your overall health and treatment in the long run. Most specialists take dental insurance and will work with the patient in terms of payment plans.

Why can’t I just go to a general dentist that will do specialty work? You can but in a lot of cases the work has be redone by a specialist. Again in the long run seeing a specialist is better for treatment and overall health.

Click here to see a list of recognized American Dental Association dental specialties.

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