Meramec Family Dentistry

Meramec Family Dentistry


what is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS)?

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are specialists responsible for conducting surgery on the mouth, face, and jaws. These surgeons complete the four traditional years of dental school, followed by an additional 4-7 years of surgical and medical training in a hospital setting. The extensive education required for oral and maxillofacial surgeons prepares them to complete numerous procedures, including surgery of the bones and soft tissues of the face, mouth, and neck.

What is a periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist whose education has prepared them to diagnose and treat periodontal (or gum) disease. Periodontists have extensive training in this area, including two years of study on top of standard dental school. As specialists of the gums, they devote their time, energy, and unique skills to help their patients effectively treat and care for their gums. 

Periodontists are one of the eight dental specialists currently recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). They are typically the best possible resources for treating advanced periodontal disease.


As we’ve mentioned, a periodontist is a gum specialist. If your dentist has determined that your gums require further investigation or special attention, they may refer you to a periodontist. Your dentist and periodontist work as a team to provide you with the best possible care for your gums. This dental team will combine their experience to recommend the best treatments currently available to you while keeping one another apprised of your progress. 

By referring you to a gum specialist, your dentist is demonstrating a continued commitment to your dental health and overall health, as diseases of the gums can negatively impact your general health.

what is an endodontist?

An endodontist is a dental specialist who examines, diagnoses, and treats diseases and destructive processes of the teeth. Endodontist specialties can include tooth injuries and abnormalities and decay of dental pulp. Endodontists will examine patients, and interpret all radiographs and pulp tests conducted on a patient to evaluate the vitality and state of pulp

After the pulp has been evaluated, endodontists examine their findings and develop an effective dental treatment plan (like a root canal) to prevent tooth loss and subsequent dental implants or dentures.

what is a prosthodontist?

A prosthodontist is a dental professional who has completed continuing education courses to become an expert in the structure and function of teeth and the surrounding bone. A prosthodontist is responsible for examining and diagnosing disabilities related to tooth loss and the loss of supporting structures. Prosthodontists are qualified to create and execute treatment plans to construct corrective prostheses. Prosthodontist treatment plans restore effective function and esthetics of the face, mouth, and jaw.

What is a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentists are dental professionals who have completed at least two years of additional training following the completion of dental school. Pediatric dentists typically make visiting the dentist a more relaxing and enjoyable experience for children. 

How is this accomplished? 

A pediatric dentist’s additional training focuses on the management and treatment of developing teeth, childhood behaviors, physical growth and development, and all of the special needs associated with childhood dentistry and oral health. 

Although all dentists can treat children, pediatric hygienists and dentists may be better equipped to grasp the special needs of children. Pediatric dentists, their staff members, and even the office decor are more likely to be geared toward the care and comfort of children. Children with special needs are often better served by pediatric dentists, in part because many pediatric dentists utilize sedation dentistry.

What is an Orthodontist?

Orthodontists are dental professionals who treat the misalignment of your teeth, which can include mouth, teeth, and jaw issues. By utilizing state-of-the-art technology and braces, retainers, and other devices, orthodontists help straighten teeth and correct jaw dysfunction

Orthodontists also treat children for many dental concerns, including crowded or overlapping teeth, or abnormal jaw or tooth development. Tooth decay, premature baby tooth loss, accidents, and thumb sucking have all been attributed to dental concerns treated by orthodontists. Each of these issues can be inherited, making it essential to see an orthodontist should one of these concerns arise.

So why would you go to the orthodontist?

Your dentist might recommend seeing the dentist due to an issue with your teeth or jaws. Parents may also express concern and request an orthodontic referral. Children, teenagers, and adults may request an orthodontic visit in response to a self-perceived issue with the appearance of their teeth.

If you have any additional questions regarding our dental treatment options, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with our office! Our dental office in Arnold, MO is happy to answer any questions or concerns new patients and existing patients might have regarding the different dental specialties recognized by the ADA.

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