Who Should I See? A General Dentist or Specialist?

Who Should I See? A General Dentist or Specialist?

Oct 01, 2022

When you have a dental problem like oral infection, impacted wisdom tooth, dental injuries, and severe gum disease, you might be confused about whether to see a general dentist or a specialist. This guide explains what to do if you have a dental problem.

What is a General Dentist?

A general dentist is the main dental care provider. They take care of all your oral health needs and perform standard preventive, restorative, and cosmetic procedures. A general dentist diagnoses and can treat dental problems such as periodontal treatment, root canals treatment, tooth extractions, dental crowns, dental bridges, tooth white fillings, and dental veneers.

Commonly, a general dentist only performs minor to moderate dental treatments. They will likely refer you to a specialist if specialized care is required. Contact our general dentist near for general dentistry in Randolph, MA.

What is a Dental Specialist?

A specialist is a general dentist with additional post-graduate training. After dental school, a specialist completes 2 – 3 years of extensive training in a specific field. They, therefore, offer specialized care in specific procedures in their field of specialization.

Types of Dental Specialists

The specific type of specialist you should see depends on your specific condition. Below are different types of dental specialists and their fields of specialization.


Dental specialists diagnose, prevent, and treat a tooth’s innermost structure or pulp problems. The pulp contains the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves. Endodontists have specialized training and expertise in performing endodontic treatments like root canal therapy. They can refer you to an endodontist if you have severe tooth decay.

Pediatric Specialists

After dental school, pediatric dentists have two years of additional training in managing the oral health of children, infants, teens, and individuals with special needs. Unlike general dentists, pediatric dentists have unique training to keep children calm and comfortable during dental treatments. They also monitor and treat dental problems relating to children’s bites, teeth, and gums. The pediatric dentist can offer dental exams, preventive care, fillings, tooth extractions, and more.


After dental school, orthodontists complete 2-3 years of additional residency training in preventing, diagnosing, and correcting irregularities of the jaws, bite, teeth, and face. They can refer you to an endodontist if you have crooked, improperly gapped, or overcrowded teeth. They offer orthodontic treatments like braces and Invisalign.

Oral Surgeons

After dental school, oral and maxillofacial surgeons complete four years of additional residency training in surgical treatments. They have specialized training and expertise to diagnose and treat oral defects, injuries, and diseases of the mouth, teeth, neck, gums, jaw, and other soft tissues of the head. Commonly, oral surgeons perform procedures like dental implant surgery, wisdom tooth extraction, removal of tumors and cysts, and reconstructive surgeries for aesthetic or trauma reasons.


Prosthodontists have additional training and expertise in restoring and replacing damaged teeth with dental crowns, dentures, and bridges. They also specialize in developing artificial substitutes for impaired oral and maxillofacial tissues. Prosthodontists also care for jaw joint problems, snoring and sleeping disorders, traumatic injuries of the mouth, and post-oral cancer reconstruction.


They have specialized training in the prevention, diagnosis, and correction of diseases and irregularities of the supporting tissues of the teeth. Periodontists treat and diagnose gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis). They perform routine dental exams and cleanings, scaling and root planing, implant placement, gum contouring, gum flap surgery, and soft tissue grafts.

General Dentist or Specialist? Which will be a good choice

Since it can be challenging to diagnose the specific problem you have and the severity of the problem, it’s always advisable to see a general dentist first. The general dentist will diagnose your problem, and if they don’t have the expertise to help, they will guide you to the right specialist.

Schedule an Appointment Today with our Dentist in Randolph, MA

Do you need Specialty Dental Care in Randolph, MA? Contact Randolph Dental Group to book your dentist appointment today.

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