A Specialist Referral Could Actually Be a Good-Thing for Your Oral Health

| 7 min read

Wouldn't it be great if your dental health was cut-and-dried? We're talking in the sense of not needing specialized treatment.

There are occasions when you might wonder why your dentist refers you to a dental specialist. A variety of conditions and procedures can actually make a specialist referral the best option for your oral health.

Three reasons why your dentist might refer you to a specialist

1-Specialized training and experience

General dentists have a broad scope of education, ongoing training, and experience. Dental specialists have bumped up their post-graduate education and training a few notches.

Specialists are able to utilize their level of expertise when more complex treatment is necessary.

2-Advanced technology and techniques

A specialist typically has invested in the technology that matches their particular area of emphasis. Advanced tools and equipment enable them to support your dentist's diagnosis and apply the required procedural techniques.

3-Case complexity

Again, there are some dental conditions and treatment that might surpass your dentist's scope of care. A specialist has the precise knowledge and experience to treat a complex diagnosis.

While we're discussing case complexity, let's explore some of the conditions that your dentist could refer to a specialist.

Common procedures your dentist could trust to a specialist

Orthodontic treatment

Many general dentists are trained and skilled in orthodontics. On occasion, some cases that require braces or aligners might best be treated by an orthodontist.

  • Severe jaw and tooth misalignment
  • An advanced need for functional and aesthetic improvement

Endodontic treatment

Advanced tooth decay that causes severe tooth pain could require a root canal. Like other procedures, many general dentists have experience with root canals.

Yet on occasion, the decay and infection on the interior of your tooth will prompt your dentist to refer your root canal to an endodontist.

Endodontic treatment focuses on the occasionally complex root canal procedures and the essential follow-up to the procedure.

Oral surgery

  • Wisdom teeth removal
  • Dental implants
  • Jaw related conditions
  • Facial injuries

These are often best suited to an oral surgeon. They are trained and equipped to handle issues with your jaw and facial area.

Gum disease treatment

Advanced gum disease causes a variety of ongoing dental issues. A periodontist specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease.

Their treatment supports the routine preventive care your dentist provides. A periodontist is equipped to prevent further gum damage and provide supportive treatment to correct gum related issues.

Pediatric dental care

Children have unique dental needs. Plus, they often respond better to someone who is specifically focused on their dental treatment.

Pediatric dentists are trained and equipped to manage children's behavior and attitude about dentistry and create a pleasant environment for their care.

Restorative dental treatment

Many times treatment with a dental crown, a dental bridge, or dentures is best provided by a prosthodontist.

Prosthodontic specialists are skilled at replacing missing or damaged teeth. Their knowledge and techniques align with your dentist's diagnosis and the procedures that will restore your tooth function.

How specialist care is beneficial to your oral health

A dental specialist isn't a replacement for your general dentist. Think of them as a beneficial part of your oral health team.

A specialist referral by your dentist helps ensure that your complex dental issue will be resolved.

Here's what you can expect from a dental specialist:

Focused expertise

Specialists are trained in specific diagnostic and treatment protocols.

Improved treatment outcomes

Specialists partner with your general dentist to help ensure that you experience better longterm treatment outcomes.

Holistic care

Specialists are trusted for their precision scope of care.

The common reasons, procedures, and benefits of a specialist referral help instill confidence in your general dentist. Consider their referral network as an extension of your oral healthcare team.

A necessary connection with a specialist typically follows a diagnostic dental visit. There's a a convenient, easy-to-use solution available to you:

  • Transparent consultations
  • Free scans
  • Convenient, time-saving access to low cost, virtual dental consultations with a licensed dentist
  • Connection to in-person dental care with dentists in your zip code

Take a team approach to your dental care

The Dental.com team of dental professionals are trained to identify, diagnose, and treat any dental condition. From toothaches to second opinions to specialist referrals - you’re covered!

  • Access a 24 hour dentist now from your personal, private, and secure account.
  • Select a reason for your visit using a brief questionnaire.
  • Receive virtual dental care from a licensed dentist when you provide your issue details, any photos, and/or dental/health records.

Discover more about Dental.com on our How it Works page. Or Register Now.