What are the differences Between an Endodontist, Orthodontist, Periodontist and Prosthodontist

Tender Care Dental in (With several locations serving the Portland metropolitan area), provides a comprehensive array of dental services. Those services employ the skills of four main dental specialties: the endodontist, orthodontist, periodontist, and prosthodontist. 

The differences between those specialties are in their definitions.  Each term combines the suffix “-dontist” meaning “dealing with teeth” with different prefixes:

  • The endodontist treats the root or pulp of the tooth. “Endo-“ is a prefix meaning “inner.”
  • The orthodontist concentrates on the formation or growth of teeth. “Ortho-“ is a prefix meaning “straight.” 
  • The periodontist treats the gums, which surround and anchor the tooth. “Perio-“ of course refers to “around.”
  • The prosthodontist specializes in replacement of lost teeth. “Prostho-“ is the prefix meaning “replacement.”

While practitioners of those specialties are dental school graduates, each dental specialty requires a different set of skills and specialized training. Specifically:

Endodontists do root canals

Endodontists treat the soft inner tissue of the teeth—the pulp. These specialists are experts in root canal treatment.  While, as stated previously, all endodontists are dentists, less than three percent of dentists are endodontists. 

At TenderCare we use the latest sedation dentistry for low-stress tooth restoration. The process involves removing the infected nerves or tooth pulp. We offer low-stress sedation surgery and help our patients return to normal quickly.

Orthodontists straighten teeth

Orthodontists receive advanced training in diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities. Those irregularities typically include any growth or formation of the teeth that are not aligned, straight or matched to the shape of the jaw. Crooked and misaligned teeth are prone to decay and gum disease. Orthodontists specialize in realignment by fitting retainers, spacers, headgear and more. 

TenderCare Dental’s orthodontist services include traditional braces and retainers. We also provide the latest Invisalign treatment for gradual and invisible teeth straightening. The Invisalign process has all the effectiveness but none of the inconvenience of traditional metal braces.

Periodontists help anchor teeth

Periodontists fight gum diseases. They remove the plaque that undermines dental health and cause gum disease. They perform gum surgery to fight gum disease and infections, which are a major cause of tooth loss. A tooth can be perfectly healthy, but gum inflammation (gingivitis) and recession can lead to tooth bone loss and erosion of tooth support.  

TenderCare Dental employs a team of dental professionals with an array of treatments to combat periodontal disease. Treatments include scaling and other plaque removal approaches, including regular cleaning by our oral hygienists. 

Prosthodontists restore and replace missing teeth

Prosthodontists craft crowns, bridges, full or partial dentures replace or restore missing teeth. They also employ modern dental implants to permanently anchor single, multiple, or full upper/lower tooth replacements.  Nowadays dentures are more natural looking and far more comfortable than ever. Dental implants have likewise come a long way in making dentures more secure and practical. 

TenderCare Dental’s restorative dental care in Portland, Oregon and surrounding suburbs is state of the art. We do the traditional dental fillings and crown work. We can restore natural color to a damaged tooth through color restoration. We fit and install dental bridges and dentures. Our dental implants provide a permanent alternative to removable dentures and are more affordable than ever.