Our Referral Network
Why Do We Refer?
At Woodville & Seaton Dental Clinic we provide a broad range of dental solutions and procedures. Sometimes certain procedures are outside our scope of practice. Some patients may have more complex dental problems, or chronic health problems which with the combination of oral health issues may require specialist treatment. This is where our specialist referrals are important.
A specialist may need to be consulted for problems or issues that require further investigation or in matters that go beyond general practice.
Like medicine, dentistry has a number of specialities that a general dentist can draw upon. Dental specialists are specialised in a particular and specific area of dentistry. That means a specialist has undertaken additional training in a distinct area of dentistry, and are effectively experts in that focus area. General dentists and specialists work as a team to provide individualised and comprehensive care for patients.
A Specialist Network That We Trust
Your dentist will talk to you about whether a specialist referral is needed, and what speciality is appropriate for your problem or condition. If your dental issue is something we believe is best addressed by a specialist, we will discuss your options and help you make the right decision for your circumstances.
For over 20 years we have been working with local oral health specialists who we know and trust. Our trusted network of specialists are here whether you present with a need for advanced care or you simply have a preference for specialised treatment. We will support your decision and assist in making all the necessary arrangements.
There are several types of dental specialists:
Orthodontics | Orthodontist
Orthodontics is the area of specialisation which relates to the movement of teeth. Orthodontics use a variety of devices to reposition your teeth, such as braces, wires or aligners. Reasons why you may need to see a orthodontist include:
- teeth straightening
- general bite problems and alignment
- a deep bite
- a reverse bite
- gaps between teeth
- crowding - such that there is not enough room for your teeth
- impacted teeth
- protruding upper front teeth
An orthodontist provides care in relation to malocclusions or bad bites of teeth and surrounding tooth structures. A malocclusion can arise from a misaligned jaw, excess teeth, crowded teeth or missing teeth. The principal role of the orthodontist is to straighten teeth which means focussing on the alignment of your teeth and bite. This is achieved by using bands and wires, or other corrective devices such as braces, retainers or manufactured devises such as Invisalign.
The orthodontist is the specialist to provide you with advice regarding the best and most suitable orthodontic treatment for your needs.
Endodontics | Endodontist
Mostly associated with root canal treatment, an endodontist is primarily responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of infections and damage to the nerve or pulp of the tooth and tissues that surround the tooth.
You might get a referral to a endodontist when you require treatment for:
- management of a cracked tooth
- dental trauma
- root resorption (to prevent the loss of tooth root)
- injured or diseased tooth pulp
- internal teeth bleaching - for teeth that have already received root canal treatment. The procedure places teeth whitening inside the pulp chamber and bleaches from the inside out.
- root canal for complex teeth
An endodontist diagnoses tooth pain and provides advanced pain management. An endodontist can also diagnose oral and facial pain that is often unexplained or difficult to diagnose. They have sophisticated instruments that are able to negotiate root canals that are not readily accessible by a general dentist.
Prosthodontics | Prosthodontist
A prosthodontist is dedicated to the oral health of the entire mouth and in providing comprehensive dental care. They undertake restorative procedures for the replacement of missing teeth or modification of current teeth to improve you occlusion and the ability to smile and eat.
You might get a referral to a prosthodontist when you require treatment for or need the following restorative procedures:
- oral reconstruction
- porcelain veneers
- treatment of facial injuries
A prosthodontist can treat facial problems, advanced dental diseases and the surrounding jaw structure. They are specialists of TMD/TMJ temporomandibular disorders, jaw pain and sleep disorders.
The focus of the prosthodontist is both functional and visual/aesthetics. Their work is reconstructive for patients with missing or damaged teeth and working with complicated cases. Like other specialists, they work closely with other specialists and the general dentist to achieve the best outcomes for patients.
Periodontics | Periodontist
A periodontist is a gum specialist. They manage and treat teeth's supporting structure. Periodontists treat conditions related to your gums and bones in your mouth - essentially that means the care of gums, tissues and bones that hold and surround your teeth and implants. A periodontist helps to prevent, treat and diagnose gum disease and help in the management of advanced gum problems.
A periodontist treats mild, moderate and advanced gum disease and together with the general dentist, their aim is to prevent gum problems and assist in maintaining teeth that have been compromised because of gum disease. They do this by building up gum tissue and bone because this can allow missing teeth to be replaced.
As a specialisation periodontics is focused on the soft tissues of the mouth. It also concentrates on the underlying jaw bone that supports your teeth and implants. A periodontist has advanced knowledge on the inflammatory disease that erodes the gums. The means a deep understanding of the impact that inflammatory disease may have upon the supporting structure around the teeth.
A periodontist is highly trained and are experts in the provision of the latest techniques and advancements to diagnose and treat periodontal disease. The range of treatments that a periodontist offers include laser treatments, gum graft surgery and other regenerative procedures such as:
- scaling and root planing (clean infected root surfaces)
- regenerative procedures (reversing lost bone and tissue)
- root surface debridement (removing damaged tissue)
- placement of implants
Periodontists can also place, maintain and repair dental implants and perform surgical procedures in patients that present with severe gum disease. A periodontist can effectively deal with periodontitis by using ultrasonic technology and advanced dental apparatus. Through deep cleaning of the gums pockets and crevices and teeth, damaged or compromised gums can be repaired.
These highly trained specialists are expert in the provision of the latest techniques and advancements to diagnose and treat periodontal disease.
A paediatric dentist has specialised in the management and treatment of children's oral health. This may range from infant oral care, paediatric restorative dentistry and preventative care. Their expertise extends across the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of dental diseases among children.
Dental diseases that may impact children can range from mild to severe disease. The severity of the issue can also be quite diverse from painless to a dental traumas. The aim of paediatric dentists is also in the prevention of oral disease in children. They provide comprehensive care to children, and are especially sought after regarding acquired or inherited developmental conditions and medically compromised children, and early childhood caries.
Paediatric dentists have extensive knowledge and experience in the care of children's teeth, gums and mouth. They have the latest equipment and techniques for the treatment of children.
Certain circumstances arise where it may be necessary to seek the care of a paediatric dentist such as:
- injuries to mouth or teeth and other dental trauma such as broken or lost teeth
- overcrowding of teeth
- problem with taking care of dental hygiene at home
- toothache or cavities
- preventing decay
- treating children and adolescents for same day emergency care
- detection of periodontal disease and risk factors
- intervention for children/adolescents at higher risk of dental caries
- craniofacial development and disturbances of dental development
- special needs children
- childhood to adolescence changes in oral health
A paediatric dentist works in collaboration with a general dentist and other dental specialists. Their advanced understanding of behavioural issues and ability to establish and maintain trust in child focussed, calm and friendly environments is especially advantageous in regards to children who suffer from anxiety and have behavioural problems.
Oral surgeons have advanced training in oral pathology. They are also trained in the surgical management of teeth and bone structures of the face and neck. Their expertise extends to the advanced training of medically compromised patients.