types of dentist in south melbourne

Dentistry – What Are the Different Types of Dentists?

When most people think about a dentist from south Melbourne, they immediately  think about the general family dentist that they go to for their regular check-ups and for the dreaded fillings or extractions, but there are many arms to dentistry and many different types of dental practitioners – all can be found in (for info about a general dentist in south Melbourne click here).

general dentist
general dentist

Dentists take care of the oral health their patients and their expertise extends beyond the simple check-up and occasional fillings that most of us are used to. They also take care of general oral health, carry out reconstructive surgery, and undertake cosmetic dental procedures. The family dentist that all of us are familiar with is just one branch of dentistry. Some dentists choose to specialise.

With names like prosthodontist, endodontist, and orthodontist, it can be difficult to know which type of dentist is a general dentist and which type of dentist carries out cosmetic dentistry, so here are the main dental specialities and an explanation of what each one of them does.

Family Dentist – the dentis nearby (click here to find a dentist near you.)

Also known as an Emergency Dentist – or a General Dentist

The family dentist, or general dentist, is the dentist that you visit for your regular check-ups.  The role of a general dentist is primarily a preventive one. They will examine a patient’s teeth, carry out dental cleaning, check the general oral health of a patient and provide advice on oral hygiene.

General dentists will carry out treatments such as repairing damaged teeth, treating tooth decay with fillings, and treating gum disease. A general dentist will have the expertise to treat most dental problems, but they may refer you to a specialist dentist for some treatments. One of the most common complaints resolved by a general dentist is – tooth sensitivity – this can be resolved by a procedure like Sensobond.

Cosmetic Dentist

A cosmetic dentist click here to learn more, is much the same as your run of the mill dentist, with the exception – based on their skill and duration of practice – a Cosmetic dentist has generally been honing their skillset for over 20 years, and therefore have an eye for the beautiful. The resulting procedure is aesthetically fantastic and these dentists are sought after by celebrity and high income clients the world around.

They provide services like cosmetic cleaning, ceramic implants, lumineers, veneers and clear orthodontic treatments like invisalign.

If you would like to learn more about Invisalign, click here.

They are not cheap, but you get what you pay for.


A periodontist’s area of dental expertise is the gums. They will be called upon when treatment of extreme gum conditions, including the treatment of severe gum disease, which is called periodontal disease, and some invasive surgical procedures. It will also be a periodontist who installs dental implants and performs cosmetic skin grafting of the gums.

Periodontists are sometimes referred to as the plastic surgeons of dentistry; because they will be the dental specialists that take on reconstructive work on the soft tissue of the gums or on the bones of the jaw.

Because gum disease is the biggest cause of adult tooth loss, much of the focus of a periodontist will be on preventing and treating gum disease. They are often called in by general dentists for advice and assistance in this area.


Most people will straight away think of braces when they hear the word orthodontist, but an orthodontist does a lot more than installing braces on children’s teeth. Orthodontics is a practice that deals with misaligned teeth and jaws, both for practical reasons and for cosmetic ones. You might be referred to an orthodontist by your family dentist if your teeth are crooked or misaligned, or if you are experiencing difficulties chewing and biting.

To correct crooked and misaligned teeth, an orthodontist will use appliances, such as braces, palatal expanders and tooth aligners, all of which apply gentle pressure on the teeth over a period of time. An orthodontist’s job is a very hands-on job that requires a lot of patience. Treatments can last between and 18 to 30 months, and will include regular adjustments to the fitted appliances throughout the course of a treatment.


An endodontist’s area of speciality is the soft, inner part of the tooth, which is known as the pulp. The pulp is soft, living tissue that lies beneath the gum line and is protected by the tooth’s enamel and dentine, but it can be damaged through decay or through injury. Lumineers can hide minor cracks in teeth
lumineers.store Infection or damage to the pulp can be extremely painful. If an infection cannot be treated by other means, it will be an endodontist who will often perform root canal treatment to remove the pulp from within the tooth.

As with all of these dental specialisations, a general dentist may have the expertise to carry out a root canal. They may only refer a patient to an endodontist in particularly complicated or severe cases.


The job of a prosthodontist is to provide the oral prostheses that are used to replace missing teeth or to repair damaged teeth. That includes dentures, implants, veneers, crowns and bridges. Oral prostheses are used in both general dentistry and in cosmetic dentistry, and they can be essential for some people, in order that they can eat and speak properly.

As well as essential reconstructive dentistry, a prosthodontist also carries out cosmetic procedures, such “smile makeovers”. A prosthodontist will often work closely with dental laboratories to ensure that oral prostheses fit a patient perfectly and provide the desired results.


Oral and maxillofacial surgeon

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are hospital trained in surgery as well as in general dentistry. They focus on the tissues in and around the mouth, including the hard palate, soft palate, gums, cheeks, facial tissues and the tongue. see southmelbournedentist.info for more info

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons will conduct the more invasive surgeries, such as complicated extractions, jaw corrections, and smoothing the jaw in preparation for false teeth, which is known as alveoloplasty. It is also oral and maxillofacial surgeons who will perform reconstructive surgery, such as surgery to correct cleft lips and palates. or Clear Orthodontics Oral maxillofacial surgeons will often operate on a patient in preparation or the dental work that will follow, which will be carried out by another dental specialist. Clarendon St Dentists

Many general dentists will be able to carry out the common types of dental surgery, but a patient might be referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for complex procedures and for procedures that will require deep levels of sedation.

How to become a dentist

The route to becoming a dentist will vary from country to country, but is very similar throughout the world. The most common path to become a qualified dental practitioner is to take a related degree first and then attend a degree course in dentistry. There are also requirements that dentists be registered with and licensed the relevant dentistry governing body, such as the General Dental Council in the UK or the Australian Dental Council in Australia. A dentist who wants to specialise in one of the specialist areas mentioned above will need to continue their studies further in their chosen discipline before they can be licensed to practice in that discipline.