Types of Dentists

General Dentists and Dentists in General — Who Are They?

General dentists provide services to keep the teeth and gums clean and healthy. These primary physicians offer restorative (repairing tooth decay), preventative, and basic cosmetic (beauty) care to patients of all ages. Their purpose is to evaluate and improve the overall appearance and condition of the mouth. 

It’s customary to have a family or local dentist seen regularly for years. They are the most common practitioners, making up about 85 percent of all dental care providers. More complicated and invasive operations are handled by specialists, often referred to based on need. Consistent visits once every six months are recommended to maintain optimal hygiene. So, make your next appointment with one of the best dentists in Wheeling, IL. Exceptional services are offered by Wheeling dentists either during the week or by Saturday dentists for your convenience.  

Routine Services Done by Different Type of Dentists

All dentists must earn a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree, which requires undergraduate education plus four years of dental school. There are several types of dental specialists. Each must complete additional post-graduate training to master their focus in the field as well. So, the range of their services is wide and include, but are not limited to:

  • Basic exams and teeth cleanings
  • X-rays
  • Cavity fillings
  • Tooth sealants
  • Extractions
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Teeth whitenings
  • Gum care
  • Crowns
  • Veneers
  • Bridges


A pedodontist, widely known as a pediatric dentist, specializes in children’s dental care. They provide therapeutic and preventive oral care for infants and adolescents or persons under the age of 19. 

The anxiety that comes with visiting a dental office can terrify even adults. These doctors perform the duties of a general dentist, except they have the expertise in other areas like Psychology and Development to encourage young people to feel at ease. This includes training dealing with trauma and individuals with special needs.

Pedodontists deal with dental issues that are most frequent at an early age, like caries or cavities (holes in the teeth) and injuries like fractured, displaced, knocked-out, or broken teeth. They can also detect a short frenulum and mucoceles. 

This stage is a key time to fortify excellent dental habits. After the initial tooth emerges around six months of age, this is when a baby should first be seen by a pedodontist. Without proper dental care, children face possible complications that can lead to adulthood problems. 

Toddlers have fragile teeth and fickle diets. This can lead to a predisposition for tooth decay. Pediatric dentists are important to providing preventative care while educating parents and kids on habit counseling, proper brushing and flossing techniques, as well as nutrition recommendations.

Early intervention reduces the risk of more severe dental diseases. Diagnosis of oral conditions associated with diabetes, congenital heart defect, asthma, hay fever, and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are also vital to overall well-being. Ensure your child gets a cleaning at least twice a year or more, depending on the necessity to prevent plaque buildup and gum disease.


An orthodontist is a dentist trained to diagnose, prevent, and correct teeth and jaw irregularities. They correct severe malocclusion (teeth misalignment) by using appliances like retainers and bands, as well as surgery to properly arrange all parts of the mouth. 

They structurally and cosmetically treat crooked teeth, an overbite/underbite/crossbite, crowded or overly spaced teeth, jaw misalignments, and other dental abnormalities. Asymmetries can affect eating, speaking, breathing and comfort, and self-esteem. 

Two main appliances are used by orthodontists. Traditional metal brackets attached to the teeth, connected with wires that are tightened periodically. For individuals that do not want to don a visible set, they can choose the Invisalign Treatment, a series of clear, plastic aligners custom-made to make dental corrections.


A periodontist specializes in inflammatory disease due to plaque buildup that affects the gingiva or gum tissue. Work is done to help limit the space around the root where bacteria can form. They heal advanced gingivitis and are responsible for placing dental implants as well. 

Periodontists will examine your gums for any recession, estimate how your teeth come into contact when you bite, check for any looseness, bleeding, or discomfort, etc. There will be a review of your complete medical and dental histories, as well as any medications you are or were recently taking for any known condition.

Also, using X-rays and placing a probe to measure the space between your teeth and gums (periodontal pockets), they will determine if the root is exposed and see what the repair options are. 


Endodontists focus on pain, disease, and infection. They are trained to rescue your natural teeth by treating problems of the pulp, the innermost layer of the tooth that houses the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. Infection can arise due to deep tooth decay, traumatic injury, and repeated dental work. These specialists will attempt to fix your smile with no or limited extractions. 

Root canals, although often performed by general dentists, are usually left to an endodontist. Sick or damaged areas of the inner tooth are cleaned and refilled to keep it from dying. These professionals can reset and stabilize fractured or knocked-out teeth so they can heal back in place. Most endodontic treatments are outpatient procedures completed in the dentist office (you go home soon after) with slight discomfort. 

Oral Pathologists

Oral pathology is a specialty of dentistry that focuses on all areas of management for the research, examination, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. These surgeons study the ailments of the mouth, including teeth, gums, bones, joints, glands, and skin. A full histopathological review of each of our patient’s biopsies is conducted. Once all information is gathered, surgeons will develop a comprehensive treatment plan to combat any malady.


Prosthodontists specialize in the field of aesthetic restoration. These dentists have extensive maxillofacial knowledge to treat complex dental and facial disfigurement. Missing or damaged teeth are replaced with dentures due to accidents, congenital (birth-related) conditions, or cosmetic requests. Advanced prosthodontists work with people with head and neck deformities. Replacement of missing parts of the jaw and face are completed using dental implants, caps, or crowns, dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures.

People that suffer issues of the temporomandibular area, muscles, and joints around the jaw, might experience problems yawning, chewing, or sleeping and would be referred to a prosthodontist.  A prosthodontist can also remove any growth and perform reconstructive surgery after invasive cancer operations.

To keep a healthy smile, make an appointment with the top professionals in Wheeling dental care. Contact us for the finest dental options. 

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