What Is Specialty Dentistry?

There are three different branches of specialty dentistry that a dentist can be specially trained in.

  • Endodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics

What Is Endodontics?

Endodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases or injury to the dental pulp of a tooth.

Natural teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and with good daily oral health habits and regular dental exams this is the goal. Years ago diseased or injured teeth were often extracted, but nowadays every effort is made to save the tooth.

When the pulp is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, it loses its strength. The most common causes of the pulp dying are a deep cavity, a cracked tooth, or a traumatic injury to the tooth, which causes bacteria to enter the pulp. If this is not removed, the tissues surrounding the tooth can become infected and cause pain and swelling.

Root canal treatment involves one or more visits, to remove the infected pulp in the root of the tooth. Once the root canal procedure is completed, a crown is necessary to restore the tooth and prevent the tooth from fracturing.

What Is Periodontics?

Periodontics is the dental specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the gums and related tissues that surround and support the teeth. Degeneration or inflammation of these tissues can be caused by various systemic or local diseases or by poor oral hygiene. Most commonly, periodontal diseases are caused by hardened bacteria, called bacterial plaque, which adheres to teeth and destroys periodontal tissue. The most prevalent periodontal disease is periodontitis, inflammation of the periodontium. The first non-surgical step involves a special cleaning called scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar deposits.

If scaling and root planning does not solve the problem, surgery may be required. Periodontal surgery removes inflamed tissues surrounding the tooth and reduces the damage to the bone that has formed around the teeth. Surgery allows the dentist to access hard-to-reach areas under the gum and along the roots where tartar and plaque have accumulated. In addition, bone surgery, or bone grafts, may be recommended to rebuild or reshape bone that is destroyed by periodontal disease.

Good oral hygiene is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, and keeping periodontal disease from occurring or becoming more serious.

What Is Prosthodontics?

Prosthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the replacement of missing teeth and related mouth or jaw structures. Prosthodontic procedures include bridges, crowns, dentures, and dental implants, as well as other cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Varinos is a specialist in prosthodontics and a member of the American College of Prosthodontics.

As a prosthodontist, Dr. Varinos:

  • received two years of additional training after dental school
  • specializes in the esthetic restoration and replacement of teeth
  • specializes in restoring optimum appearance and function and health to your smile

For information or to schedule an appointment, call (978) 535-3800, or request an appointment online by clicking here.