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Seeing a Specialist 101

By Jill Hamilton on December 18, 2014 in Dental Health


Dentist and assistant in exam room with man in chair smiling

Are you anxious your dentist will give you the dreaded referral slip at your next check-up? Well, don't fear. Your dental benefits work with a specialist too.

Here are the next steps if you're referred to a specialist:

  • First, research the specialist you were referred to by your dentist.
  • Next, make sure they're a participating Delta Dental dentist, and in the same network as your general dentist. You can look that up here.
  • Finally, call and make an appointment.

Want to know more? Below is a list of common dental specialists:

Endodontists perform root canals. They treat diseases and injuries of the dental pulp or the tooth nerves. After dental school, they have two or more years of endodontic-specific training.

Fun fact: On average, endodontists perform nearly 25 root canal treatments a week, while general dentists perform fewer than two.

Do you need oral surgery? Then you'll be seeing an Oral and maxillofacial surgeon. They treat patients for a variety of reasons, including wisdom teeth removal, tumors and cysts in jaws, and facial injuries. Oral surgeons are trained in a hospital-based residency program for a minimum of four years.

If you have a bad bite or teeth that are misaligned, you'll likely be referred to an orthodontist. This specialist straightens teeth with the use of bands, wires, braces and other corrective appliances. Check your plan to make sure orthodontia is covered.

If you were referred to a periodontist, specialized gum treatments or the placement of a dental implant may be in your future. They specialize in treating your gums (the soft tissues of the mouth) and the supporting bone structure.

Wherever your referral, please check and make sure your specialist is a participating Delta Dental dentist. If not, give us a call at 1-800-544-0718. We'll make sure to find one for you!