The Many Specialties We Offer
There are many different types of dental professionals, from assistants and hygienists to dental specialists. At Irvine Dental Group, our dentists and team provide comprehensive services in all areas of dentistry. We have provided the following information to give our patients a better understanding of dentistry and of the care they receive when they visit our friendly practice. For more information on specialty dentistry in Irvine, California, and to make your appointment with Drs. Don Niu, Alexander Yuen, Jason Wong, and Calvin Dang, contact our office at 949-551-8877.
The Dental Hygienist
The dental hygienist (RDH) uses their knowledge and skills to help prevent and detect oral disease, clean teeth, apply preventive materials to the teeth and instruct patients in all facets of oral hygiene.
The Dental Assistant
There are three categories of dental assistant.
- Dental Assistant (DA)
- Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)
- Registered Dental Assistant in Extended Functions (RDAEF)
Under the supervision of the licensed dentist, the dental assistant (DA) may performs duties such as preparing patients for dental treatment, prepare materials to be used in dental procedures, assisting the dentist at chair side, and taking and processing x-rays. This category does not hold a license.
The RDA performs all of the tasks and procedures of the dental assistant. Due to their licensure status, they are permitted to perform other dental treatment procedures within the scope of their license.
Like the RDA, the RDAEF can perform all of the tasks and procedures that dental assistants are able to perform, but as a result of their additional education/training and licensure, are allowed to perform additional dental treatment procedures within the scope of their license.
Dental offices are required to post a list of allowable dental auxiliary duties in the office.
Office Manager/Patient Care Coordinator
The office manager/patient care coordinator generally greets you at the office, makes appointments, takes insurance and payment information, and serves as an information source for the office.
While most dental procedures can be provided by the general dentist, a patient may be referred to a specialist if the general dentist feels particular expertise is necessary.
The American and California Dental Associations (ADA and CDA) recognize nine types of specialist:
- Endodontist: Deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, and injuries of the internal soft tissue of the tooth (root canals)
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon:Treats injuries and deformities, extracts teeth, and performs surgery of the mouth, jaw, and face.
- Orthodontist:Prescribes and places corrective devices, such as braces, to align teeth and improve health and appearance.
- Pediatric Dentist:Specializes in the dental health of children from birth to adolescence, including children with special health care needs.
- Periodontist:Treats gum disease.
- Prosthodontist:Designs and fits bridge-work and dentures.
- Public Health Specialist:Coordinates and administers community-wide oral health programs, including public education on the prevention of oral health disease.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist:Uses imaging and associated technology for diagnosis and management of a range diseases affecting the mouth and jaw, and related areas of the head and neck.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologist:Specializes in the identification and management of oral diseases. Investigates the causes, processes, and effects of these diseases.