Finding a dentist near you can be as simple as doing an online search, helping you get the closest specialist in your area. While this comes with the ease of a direct connection, you still need to ascertain that your dental specialist will be the right option for your insurance plan. With this in mind, getting the right professional will require you to look at the services offered and whether they fit your needs. Below, we look at the types of services to expect from dental specialists.
Dental restoration deals with tooth replacement when your teeth go missing or need restoration due to fractures or weakening. In addition to this, restorative dentistry also allows an oral specialist to remove decayed teeth to prevent future inconveniences such as painful gums. Among the types of restoration services that you can get include:
- Denture Installation: Dentures come in handy when you have missing teeth and are often a removable option comprising complete dentures or partial dentures. While the former replace all teeth, the latter is used when patients have some remaining teeth, allowing the dentures to be attached to the natural teeth using metal clasps. The most utilized material for dentures includes acrylic resin, which can also be combined with metal attachments.
Dentures also exist in three categories, with the first being an immediate denture. This is removable and inserted on the same day when your teeth are removed. The second is conventional dentures which are removable and inserted once the natural teeth are removed, and the surrounding gum is healed. Last is the overdenture that is inserted when a few of the natural teeth are still in place. This option will either be fitted over your implants, your natural teeth, or the remaining parts of the teeth.
- Implants: Implants comprise metallic anchoring posts that help to fill the bone socket when you have missing teeth. This implant will often require another attachment referred to as an abutment for crown preparation. After this, the crown is placed on your tooth, allowing you to get the proper tooth structure.
- Bridges: Dental bridges fill the gap between missing teeth, acting as a connector when faced with tooth decay or injuries. To keep the bridges from falling, bridges are often supported by crowns, after which they are cemented to either side of the missing tooth. The most common materials for bridges include gold, porcelain, or alloys.
- Crown Restorations: When you get a dental implant or need to restore the appearance or strength of your tooth, a crown restoration will come in handy. The crown is placed over your tooth during this procedure, helping restore it in line with your initial appearance. In some instances, your teeth may need to be reduced to ensure your crown fits perfectly over your tooth, helping you get your desired size and shape.
- Fillings: Fillings take care of teeth cavity problems, where specialists fill the gaps with materials such as tooth-colored plastic, gold, or composite resin fillings made of glass. With fillings in place, biting issues are eliminated, allowing you to also prevent further decay from happening.
Dealing with children’s dental health requires a professional trained to handle child-specific issues, an area that a pedodontist is equipped to handle. If your child suffers from any dental emergencies, you will likely need a children’s dentist who offers the following services:
Oral education deals with child and parent education on the various measures to maintain oral hygiene, allowing children to benefit from better oral hygiene. Some of the areas covered include oral care that details the proper toothpaste to use, how to deal with thumb sucking and the appropriate diet for improved hygiene.
Dental treatment for child care will often involve fluoride and sealant application, acting as preventive measures for avoiding future dental problems. Apart from this, dental specialists can also help treat oral trauma resulting from early teeth loss, where they provide space maintainers to prevent any teeth misalignment from occurring.
Diagnosis and Examination
Another step in diagnosing child dental health will be conducting oral examinations to identify any underlying issues. The most common diagnostic tools for this include computer imaging, dental exams, and x-rays. These tools are crucial in helping a family dentistry expert determine oral problems such as jaw irregularities, underbites, overbites, and teeth grinding.
Common Everyday Emergencies
In addition to the above-listed specialties, pediatric specialists can also help with emergencies that children encounter regularly. Among the most common issues under this include removing teeth, treating broken and sensitive teeth, and filling tooth cavities. When your child’s pain also gets unbearable due to any of these issues, a dental professional will prescribe pain medications to ease discomfort. Additionally, experts in this field will help you get the proper referral when your child’s teeth need corrective treatment, such as teeth straightening.
Cosmetic Dental Needs
If you are looking to improve your dental appearance, a cosmetic dental specialist is what you need. The various procedures for this specialty will generally cater to teeth alignment, teeth size, and color. A cosmetic specialist focuses only on the exterior attributes of your teeth, helping you eliminate any deformities in your teeth’ appearance. Under this, a professional will provide the following services:
- Dental Veneers Filling: Dental veneers are the go-to when you have chipped teeth, get fractures in your front teeth or have stained teeth that cannot be remedied by bleaching. During veneer filling, your dental specialist will fill your enamel with an impression, after which it is sent to a lab for customization. Before it is ready, patients often use temporary veneers, allowing the permanent veneer to get structured to the correct fitting.
- Enamel Bonding: Enamel bonding utilizes moldable material to tackle issues related to chipped and stained teeth. If you struggle with either of these, your specialist will shape the mold to fit your desired tooth shape. However, this procedure is short-term, with the more durable option being the use of dental veneers.
- Invisalign Braces: Patients who have misaligned teeth can benefit from Invisalign braces, ensuring you no longer have to shy away from social interactions. For this procedure, braces are fitted to correct misaligned teeth, helping shape the structure of your teeth. In addition to helping you get a well-aligned dental appearance, these braces are also the key to eliminating problems such as headaches and gum pain brought about by teeth misalignment.
- Teeth Bleaching: Teeth bleaching offers a quick and effective process of teeth whitening, helping you get a brighter smile. Dental specialists use bleach to perform this procedure, which allows you to have whiter teeth. Based on your preference, a cosmetic professional can also offer teeth bleach for home use, cutting out the need for reliance on over-the-counter products that could lead to undesired results.
- Enamel Abrasion: Enamel abrasion deals with discolored teeth and will often utilize pumice attached to a micro-abrasion machine to eliminate external stains. Among the stains that enamel abrasion deals with include stains from coffee, wine, and tobacco products.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
This fourth type of dental service deals with complex procedures that call for sedation, resulting in maxillofacial or oral surgery. Experts who specialize in this area deal with diagnosing and treating dental issues such as defects and injuries that cause trauma to the teeth and gums. In addition to this, they also take care of diseases arising from hard and soft tissue problems in areas such as the mouth, the jaw, neck, and face. A few procedures that dental experts in this area deal with include correcting cleft palates, corrective jaw surgeries, and tooth extractions. If you also have tumors, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon can help with that, along with extracting non-recoverable wisdom teeth.
One of the methods used for surgery includes intraoral imaging. For this, your dental specialist will place an imaging tool inside your mouth to view the underlying problem, allowing them to get a better diagnostic process. Digital x-rays are also used, a method that screens enhanced images for accurate oral treatment.
Rather than let diseases fester in your teeth and oral structures, getting preventive treatment is another service experts in the dental field provide. A family practice specialist can, for instance, offer dental checkups to help you reduce the growth and spread of infections. Examples of preventive procedures you can expect during your visit include X-ray checkups to unearth any danger you may not be aware of and oral hygiene advice entailing the most effective home practices. Examples of these practices include the right toothbrush to use, the proper flossing techniques, and dietary restrictions that may cause dental harm. If you also come across cavities in your teeth, a dental expert will help you treat your tooth decay, with the most common procedures for this being teeth cleaning and filling. Where patients also perform intense activities due to active lifestyles such as contact sports, dental specialists will provide dental gear such as mouth guards to prevent dental injuries.
Another dental professional’s service is periodontal treatment, which deals with diagnosing, preventing, and treating diseases that affect the teeth’ supporting structure. Among the most fundamental supporting structures that will be examined include the periodontal ligament, the alveolar bone, and the gingiva. To prevent and treat problems in this area, an expert will first treat any underlying gum disease while also keeping the health of the listed structures in check. Where severe gum disease results, dental specialists may turn to pocket reduction surgery or gum grafts.
Endodontic treatment refers to root canal treatment. Unlike other preventive oral measures that require a general dental professional to help you with your oral care, an endodontist will come in handy when your tooth becomes infected or diseased. Endodontic treatment will allow your dental specialist to diagnose issues dealing with tooth sensitivity that often affect a tooth’s interior. Root canals will be the likely treatment for this, allowing you to eliminate any future tooth damage.
How to Get the Right Insurance Plan
After finding out the types of dental services that dental experts provide, make it a point to track your insurance cover. A few tips that you can use to help you get the right treatment plan include:
Consider the Waiting Period
While standard procedures such as preventive treatments come with day one insurance benefits, some complex dental procedures often come with waiting periods lasting from several weeks to months. This means that you may have to settle your expenses out of pocket if you need such treatment urgently. To avoid such an inconvenience, check if your coverage comes with waiting periods to allow you to lower your costs when such a need arises.
Check the Type of Dental Services Covered
Some medical plans will only cover a portion of dental treatments, with the others requiring extra coverage, especially when dealing with expensive procedures. Confirm the kind of services you will likely need from your dental specialist by checking the recipients’ age and family history. Based on these, get the right cover to cater to expenses such as root canals, fillings, and dentures where needed.
Look for Dental Specialists in Your Area
Rather than settling for dental specialists out of your reach due to rushed decision-making, try looking for a local dentist within your area who offers services that fit your needs. Ask around your close circle of family and friends, or do online searches to help you trace dental experts within your locale. Make it a point to ask for their reputation or use online review sources to compare the services provided and the customer service offered by each. After identifying your most suitable candidates, make it a point to call the facilities to ask which insurance agencies they work with. Based on your preference, you can then settle for the most suitable choice.
Get Insurance Plans With Incentives
As is often the case, patients rarely require complex procedures and will only utilize their insurance benefits for such treatment when emergencies arise. If you only use your insurance to cover low-cost treatment or barely use your coverage option, ask your provider to carry over your unused benefit for future claims. This will help you increase your maximum benefit, helping you get an increased incentive for future dental treatment.
Whether you require a dental plan to help take care of your child’s oral health or need a professional to tend to dental injuries, knowing the type of services to expect will be the first step in getting the proper care. Familiarize yourself with the above dental services provided by different practices before booking your consultation. Getting the right insurance plan will also come in handy, ensuring you get the best out of every coverage option for your dental needs.