Dental Guides

Five Popular Types of Dentists in San Luis Obispo

How familiar are you with dental specialties? Although most people see a general dentist when suffering from a dental issue, not all issues can be treated by these practitioners. Sometimes, the problem is more complex and requires visiting a special type of dentist.

There are various types of dentists in San Luis Obispo, such as periodontists, endodontists, cosmetic dentists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, etc. Each professional specializes in his/her corresponding field of dentistry and provides special services to patients.

Have a detailed look at the most popular types of dentists in San Luis Obispo.

General dentists

General dentists are the most prevalent type of dental professionals in San Luis Obispo. Once they graduate from dental school, these practitioners dedicate their careers to restorative dentistry and oral hygiene care. Their job involves repairing decayed and broken teeth, providing gum treatments, implanting porcelain crowns, conducting oral cancer screenings, performing dental cleanings and teeth-whitening treatments, etc. Visit this page to learn what happens during teeth cleaning.

Moreover, family dentistry is almost identical to general dentistry. The focus of the former is on the oral health of patients throughout every stage of life. People require different types of dental care at different ages. Consequently, these practitioners provide special dental care for children, pregnant women, teens, young adults, adults, and seniors.


Another popular type of dentist in San Luis Obispo is a periodontist. These dental specialists place their focus on the diagnosis, treatment, and repression of gum issues along with the diseases that affect the supporting bones of the teeth. Periodontists are experts in the treatment of gingivitis and periodontitis. The former is known as gum inflammation, while the latter refers to gum and bone disease.

Besides these treatments, periodontists perform a large number of other procedures, such as pocket cleanings, soft tissue grafting, bone grafting, gingival procedures, placement of dental implants, etc. When these practitioners identify signs of bone loss in patients, they recommend a deep cleaning to restore gum health. They also provide helpful tips to patients to maintain gum health at home.

Cosmetic dentists

Cosmetic dentistry has gained incredible popularity in recent times due to its ability to improve the smile and self-confidence of patients. After graduating from dental school, these dentists must undergo additional training to become experts in cosmetic dentistry. The most common procedures performed by a cosmetic dentist include teeth whitening, dental veneers, composite fillings, and Invisalign. For instance, dental veneers are thin shells made of porcelain secured to the front surface of the teeth.

In order for dental veneers to be installed, the enamel is gently removed, after which an impression of the tooth is taken. While permanent veneers are made in a dental lab based on the impression, temporary veneers are fitted to patients. This cosmetic procedure is ideal for patients coping with severe staining when bleaching doesn’t seem to do the trick. Also, fractured and chipped front teeth can look as good as new by using dental veneers.

Enamel abrasion is another popular cosmetic dental procedure effective in the stain-removal process. A micro-abrasion machine is used by cosmetic dentists to remove the stains on the surface of teeth, such as those caused by wine, soda, tobacco, coffee, etc. Anyhow, this procedure isn’t effective in the removal of intrinsic stains.


Root canal specialists, also known under the name endodontists, are experts in the treatment of the tooth’s pulp. The interior part of a tooth consists of numerous canals containing blood vessels and nerves. The pulp is prone to infections and diseases, which is when a root canal treatment is necessary. When some of these nerves get infected or inflamed, individuals experience overwhelming pain.

In order for an endodontist to perform a root canal, he/she is supposed to access the infected tissue by making a tiny hole into the tooth, remove the tissue, clean the canal, and seal it with gutta-percha. After the procedure, the patients are almost immediately relieved from the pain and advised to take an antibiotic to eliminate the discomfort completely. Check out this URL,, for an overview of root canals.

In the event of chronic pulp infection, endodontists in San Luis Obispo perform a surgery, called an apicoectomy. When the infection doesn’t show any signs of healing, surgery is the only alternative to save the tooth from getting extracted.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons in San Luis Obispo specializing in the performance of various oral surgeries. The complex procedures these specialists perform on patients are conducted under deep sedation like laughing gas or nitrous oxide. The most frequent procedures oral surgeons perform are wisdom tooth extractions.

Wisdom teeth are infamous for being trouble makers, as they usually cause crowding and damage to the other teeth. When wisdom teeth have fully erupted, there is no need for oral surgery, as they can be removed by using standard extraction techniques. Nevertheless, when these are fully or partially impacted, surgery is absolutely necessary to have them removed.

Moreover, oral surgeons not only perform wisdom teeth extractions but other types of extractions anywhere in the oral cavity. They specialize in corrective jaw surgery, which improves the look of misaligned jaws. Oral surgeons also specialize in facial trauma surgery and biopsies.

To sum up

Make sure you see the right type of dentist when suffering from an oral health issue!

Waste no precious time!

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