Why would I need to see a specialist?

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General Dental Care
BSc, DDS (Melb)

Collins Street Specialist Centre towerAll dentists fall into one of two groups: general dentists and dental specialists.

General dentists have a university degree in the general aspects of dentistry, enabling them to provide a broad range of dental care.

Dental specialists, on the other hand, have both a general dental degree and a further postgraduate university degree of at least three years’ duration in a particular field of dentistry. For example, a specialist paedodontist provides care only to children, while an orthodontist solely treats matters concerning the alignment of teeth and bite.

With significantly more training in a focused field of dentistry, specialists are experts in treating complex conditions. General dentists will readily refer to specialists in cases where a patient has a difficult dental situation or in cases where a patient may be seeking a second opinion. For example, a patient might see a specialist endodontist when they have a new infection in a tooth that has previously had root canal treatment because this is considered to be a complex dental condition.

It is important to determine that your dental specialist is, in fact, registered as a specialist with the Dental Board of Australia, as distinct from a general dentist with a “special interest” in a particular field. The terms used by various clinicians can be confusing but a practitioner’s true qualifications are easily checked on the website of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

General dentists and specialists work together as a team to provide comprehensive and tailored care for each patient. However, they usually practise at different locations, which means you need to travel between the two for separate appointments.

Smile Solutions is both a general practice and a dental specialist clinic: all of our general and specialist dentists work together in the same comfortable CBD location at Collins Street Specialist Centre, not only for the convenience of the patient but also to ensure the highest level of integrated clinical care.

Feel free to call our dental specialist clinic, no matter­ whether your needs are straightforward or complex. We will put you in the caring, qualified hands of a suitable practitioner.

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