Why we refer to dental specialists

Why we refer to dental specialists

In Costa Rica all general dentists have the degree of dental surgeon, which means they are qualified to perform minor surgeries on patients. Nonetheless, there are seven kinds of dentists that you may be referred to while in consult depending on your needs. Dental specialists have extensive and more profound experience in their field and may be better qualified to perform complex procedures or give more specialized diagnosis. They are also able to perform procedures more quickly and with a better probability of success. Here is an overview of the dental specialties that you may encounter during your dental treatment.

Dental Surgeon and implantologist

This specialty deals with everything involving bone-level surgery. Surgeons will deal with complex extractions, removal of torii or cysts, bone grafting, sinus lifts, apicectomies and many other surgical procedures. Implantologists specialize in dental implant placements and removals. They are acquainted and comfortable with several implant systems and brands. Implantology is a specialization within the group of oral surgeons. This means an implantologist will always be a surgeon, but a surgeon will not always be an implantologist.


This specialty deals with the tooth’s nerve (also called pulp). Whenever a cavity or tooth fracture has broken down the enamel to the point of compromising the nerve a root canal is needed to prevent pain and infections. Some teeth have 3-4 roots, so performing a root canal over these can get complex.


This specialty deals with the soft tissue in the mouth, especially the gums. They are likely to diagnose and treat gum decease. They can do so in non-surgical ways through perio scaling and deep cleanings and in surgical ways through gum or tissue grafts and osseous surgery. Periodontists can also perform crown lengthening and gingivectomies for restorative or cosmetic purposes.  Periodontists are also trained in dental surgery, so they can perform procedures like implant placements, bone grafting, and extractions.

Maxillofacial surgeon

This is a specialized kind of surgeon that deals with surgery on the neck, head, jaw, and mouth. Maxillofacial surgeons are able to perform surgery that corrects TMJ, jaw misalignment and oral reconstruction. These are specialized surgeons, so they are also able to perform any other surgical procedure.

Pediatric dentist

These are dentists that treat children, especially those still with the primary dentition. They are trained to soothe children and perform any kind of treatment like crowns, fillings and extractions.


This specialty deals with the science of applying forces with the aim of moving teeth. Using specialized devices, they are able to rotate, erupt and retract teeth. They are also able to correct misalignment and bite problems.


In recent years, a seventh dental specialty has been in vogue. Prosthodontists specialize in the design and creation of dental prostheses, from crowns to bridges, to dentures. In past years, any general dentist was able to perform even the most complex prostheses and indeed many of them still can, but prosthodontists will undertake any complex prostheses cases.

At the Costa Rica Dental Team, we work closely with dental specialists in order to make sure your dental treatments go as smoothly as possible. We understand that getting dental work from specialists at home can be out of the question. We are a dental office located in San José, Costa Rica that specializes in receiving patients from all around the world. Our goal is to make high-quality dentistry accessible and affordable. Contact us to learn how this works!

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