If Dr. Lewis determines that your oral care requires special attention, he might refer you to a dental specialist with the unique expertise to help you. The American Dental Association recognizes eight different dental specialties. The specialist and Dr. Lewis will work together to provide you with the highest level of care: combining their experience, offering the best treatment available to you, and keeping each other informed about your progress.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dentists specializing in surgery of the mouth, face, and jaws. After four years of dental school, surgeons receive four to seven years of hospital-based surgical and medical training, preparing them to do a wide range of procedures, including all types of surgery of both the bones and soft tissues of the face, mouth and neck.
Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. They have had extensive training, with two additional years of study after dental school. As specialists they devote their time, energy and skill to helping patients care for their gums.
An endodontist examines, diagnoses and treats diseases and destructive processes of teeth. These include injuries and abnormalities of dental pulp— the soft tissue that forms the inner structure of a tooth—and of periapical tissue, which surrounds the bottom of the root of a tooth.
Endodontists examine patients and interpret radiographs and pulp tests to determine pulp vitality and periapical tissue condition. They evaluate their findings and prescribe a method of treatment to prevent loss of teeth.
A pediatric dentist has at least two additional years of training beyond dental school. The additional training focuses on management and treatment of a child’s developing teeth, child behavior, physical growth and development, and the special needs of children’s dentistry. While Dr. Lewis is capable of addressing your child’s oral health care needs, a pediatric dentist, his or her staff, and even the office environment are all especially geared to care for children and to put them at ease. If your child has unusual dental needs, Dr. Lewis and you might consider the special care of a pediatric dentist.
An orthodontist prevents and treats mouth, teeth and jaw problems. Using braces, retainers, and other devices, an orthodontist helps to straighten a person's teeth and to correct the way the jaws line up.
Orthodontists treat adults and children for many problems, including crowded or overlapping teeth and concerns with jaw growth and tooth development. These problems may be caused by tooth decay, losing baby teeth too soon, accidents, or habits like thumb sucking. These problems can also be genetic.
Dr. Lewis might recommend that a patient with any of these teeth or jaw issues visit an orthodontist, or a patient who doesn't like the way his or her teeth look might ask to see an orthodontist.