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DDWA Blog

Seeing a Specialist 101

December 16, 2014

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’s a list of common dental specialists you may be referred to:

Endodontists perform root canals. They treat diseases and injuries of the dental pulp or the tooth nerves. After dental school, they have 2 or more years of endodontics training.

Fun fact: On average, endodontists perform nearly 25 root canal treatments a week, while general dentists perform less than 2.

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 4 years.

If you have a bad bite, you’ll likely be referred to an orthodontist. This specialist straightens teeth by 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, gum surgery may be in your future. They specialize in treating your gums (the soft tissues of the mouth) and the supporting bones – your teeth.

If your dentist refers you to a specialist, here’s what you should do:

* 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. Wherever your referral, please check and make sure your specialist is a participating Delta Dental dentist. If not, give us a call at (206) 522-1300. We’ll find one for you!

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