7 Medical Professionals That Will Help You Live Your Healthiest Life

live your healthiest life

Most of us strive to take care of ourselves and live a healthy lifestyle. It encompasses eating correctly, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and, of course, going to the doctor. While a general practitioner is a great starting point to keep us in tip-top physical health, they can’t do it all. There are so many facets to the human body that relying on a single medical doctor for everything would not be beneficial for anyone.

Imagine expecting your family physician to cure your bad back, fill a cavity, prescribe glasses, and whiten your teeth. It’s simply too much for a doctor to handle. We never ask our eye doctor to check a cavity or a dentist to look at an ingrown nail.

Luckily, we have an array of professionals who practice in many different fields of the medical profession. These people concentrate on specific areas and can provide us with the specialized care we need. In this blog, we’ll explore seven medical professionals who help keep us healthy and feeling good.

1. Optometrists

An optometrist is a doctor who deals with the condition of the eye. It’s recommended that everyone has an annual exam with this medical professional. You may also visit them when experiencing issues with your vision, like blurriness, eye pain, straining, squinting, or general irritation. The optometrist can conduct eye exams and write prescriptions for corrective lenses, whether in glasses or contacts.

They can also offer vision therapy, and low-vision aids like magnifiers, reading prisms, and telescopic glasses. An optometrist will also be able to use a variety of techniques to detect and treat diseases of the eye like glaucoma, Macular degeneration, and cataracts. An optometrist must obtain a doctorate of Optometry and be licensed to practice. However, they are not the same as an ophthalmologist, who is a specialized doctor who deals with more complex problems of the eye and performs more in-depth procedures and surgery.

It can be unclear to choose, but typically, you’ll see an optometrist for routine exams or to update your eyeglasses prescription. They would refer you to an ophthalmologist if they suspect the need for further care. Optometrists can help you live your healthiest life by ensuring your eyes function correctly and correcting fundamental vision issues with assistive devices. You may find these professionals working in a private practice, an eyeglass store, or at clinics.

2. General Dentists

Mention a trip to the dentist, and you’re likely to get a range of reactions. Anything from a look of horror from adults to small children running and hiding in the closet. These medical professionals often get a bad rap, but the truth is that regular visits to the dentist are vital to our overall health. It’s suggested that everyone visit a general dentist’s office twice a year for an exam and cleaning.

Not only do they keep our smiles bright and provide dental care, but a general dentist can detect abnormalities in the neck, face, and head that may require additional treatment. A typical visit to a dental office is likely to begin with X-rays. This will allow the dentist to identify any issues with the roots or inner structure of the teeth. The dentist will then conduct a comprehensive visual exam with the help of an assistant.

They’ll check for the overall health of the teeth, gums, and surrounding areas. The next step of the visit will likely involve a cleaning where tartar and plaque will be scraped from the teeth, including below the gum line. The dentist will finish up by polishing the teeth, and some discussion on proper oral hygiene. If there are any issues, the dentist will suggest a follow-up appointment for fillings or root canals.

General Dentists also perform procedures like putting crowns on decayed or misshaped teeth, extractions, cancer screenings, sealants, bridges, and treatment for TMJ. A dentist can also help with unforeseen circumstances like chipped, broken, or cracked teeth that can cause pain and make eating difficult. General dentists must attend dental school and obtain a doctorate in dental medicine. A dentist usually works in a private practice but can also work in clinics, hospitals, and universities.

3. Orthodontists

An orthodontist is a medical professional that you will see if you are having issues with teeth or jaw misalignment. There’s often a question as to whether an orthodontist is a dentist or not. The answer is yes, and they can perform all the duties of a general dentist. However, they have taken on extra training and education to specialize in orthodontics.

This means that they diagnose and treat various abnormalities of the mouth like overcrowding, crooked teeth, gaps, overbites, and underbites. To do this, the doctor will use multiple methods, the most common being dental braces. This includes the more aesthetically pleasing Invisalign treatment and clear braces.

They can also prescribe and fit patients for retainers, expanders, and space maintainers. An orthodontist is usually recommended by your general or cosmetic dentist when they need specialized correction. Typically, younger people are referred to this medical professional so that issues can be remedied as soon as possible.

4. Cosmetic Dentists

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on enhancing a patient’s smile and overall facial appearance. A cosmetic dentist can (and often does) perform the same services as a general dentist, like cleanings and crowning teeth. You’re more likely to choose this professional if you want to change the color, shape, size, or alignment of your teeth. The cosmetic dentist will be able to help folks who have missing or decayed teeth, discolored teeth, or damage like cracks, chips, or splits.

In 2022, a survey by the American Dental Association found that 1/4 of adults avoid photos or smiling altogether due to the condition of their teeth. So, for many people, cosmetic dentistry is not simply a luxury but a service that can help build confidence and help with mental health. Many procedures they perform, while primarily for appearance, can also help with overall oral health.

For example, veneers and crowns can stop the spread of tooth decay and cover cracks and misshaped teeth, making it easier to eat. Other times, the cosmetic procedure of dental implants can help with speech after long periods of missing teeth. Bonding is another procedure a cosmetic dentist will perform. This is where a resin substance is adhered to the teeth, improving their appearance.

This practice can also help strengthen teeth that may be weakened from tooth decay or cracks. Unfortunately, many cosmetic dental procedures are unnecessary, so insurance may not pay for them. You may be able to have it covered if you can prove your oral issues were caused by an accident or illness. Like orthodontists, cosmetic dentists need specialized training to practice in their area.

5. Holistic Doctors

Holistic doctors are medical professionals who take a whole-body approach to health and healing. They believe that a medical issue is not confined to one part of the body and that to regain or maintain proper health, the physical body must be treated along with the emotional, spiritual, and mental aspects. Holistic doctors may or may not be licensed medical doctors. Typically, these doctors will use a combination of traditional medicine along with alternative methods.

For instance, if you’re suffering from migraines, a holistic doctor may prescribe traditional pain medication but also use acupuncture to alleviate symptoms. Many patients take part in holistic practices and don’t even realize it. If you’re suffering from a sinus infection, for example, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic but also tell you to drink plenty of tea with lemons and honey and get plenty of rest. That’s a combination of traditional and holistic medicines working harmoniously together.

The principles that holistic doctors follow include focusing on prevention rather than just treatment, fixing the problem or cause rather than just improving the symptoms, and offering a range of treatment options. As stated, a holistic medicine provider may or may not be a licensed medical doctor. Osteopaths are the most common type of medical doctor who practice holistic medicine. They attend medical school and take the medical board exams to become a doctor of osteopathy (DO).

Their primary treatment method is the physical manipulation of the musculoskeletal system. This involves treating ailments by aligning or changing the condition of bones, nerves, and muscles. They can also prescribe medication, diagnosis, and use traditional methods to treat a patient.

Another type of medical doctor who may practice holistic medicine is an integrative physician. They will use conventional methods along with alternative methods with a focus on self-care to treat patients. Other doctors who are not licensed include Ayurvedic, Naturopathic, and Chinese Medicine Practitioners.

While not medical doctors, all these doctors require some education and training. Typically, they focus on using herbs, natural remedies, diet, and lifestyle changes to achieve optimum health. A holistic doctor can be pretty helpful in treating specific conditions and symptoms when used in conjunction with Western medicine.

6. Podiatrists

A podiatrist is a doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating conditions and problems related to the foot. While they don’t attend a traditional medical school, they attend a medical school of podiatry and are licensed doctors. A podiatrist can perform surgery, prescribe medication, and set broken bones. They also treat bunions, hammertoes, corns, calluses, and warts.

Patients may also see them for issues related to toenails, like ingrown nails, infection, and fungus. A podiatrist can help with nerve pain and conditions related to arthritis, diabetes, and growing pains (in children). They may prescribe orthotics or padding for shoes, use liquid nitrogen for growths, scaling tools, and scalpels for scaly skin and thick buildup.

A podiatrist is not typically seen regularly unless someone has an underlying condition. You may consider a podiatrist if you’re experiencing heel pain, discomfort walking or exercising, or have discolored toenails. Foot injury treatment by a podiatrist is relatively painless, as most will use local anesthesia for any procedures that may be considered uncomfortable.

7. Chiropractors

A chiropractor is a medical professional who typically believes in the body’s healing ability. They concentrate on the neuromusculoskeletal system consisting of the bones, nerves, ligaments, muscles, and tendons of the body. To become a chiropractor, one must attend 4–5 years of chiropractic school and one year of additional training. This will earn them the title of doctor of chiropractic, but they are not considered medical doctors.

They diagnose and treat patients without the use of medication. They often use X-rays to help diagnose the source of a patient’s pain. The primary mode of treatment is through physical manipulation of the body. For back and neck issues, a chiropractor will use manual adjustment techniques to help with alignment and reduce pressure and inflammation.

Other methods used include stretching, pressure, and forced movement by the doctor using their hands, arms, or legs. Other times, treatments and techniques may involve massage, heat or cold therapy, electrical stimulation, exercise, and dietary changes. Chiropractors believe that many times, issues can be resolved by weight loss and relaxation as well.

Usually, 6–10 visits are recommended for the best outcome. A person may visit a chiropractor after an accident, surgery, or sports injury. People with chronic conditions like arthritis, headaches, and muscular disease may see a chiropractor to help control the symptoms related to their condition.

These medical professionals typically work in a private chiropractic clinic either independently or with a partner. A chiropractor may choose to work along with other medical professionals, like a doctor of osteopathy or a functional medical doctor, to help resolve a patient’s issues. Acupuncture and other services may be recommended if the condition is particularly severe.

We’re pretty fortunate to live in a time when there’s a multitude of medical professionals to help us be well. If one doctor can help you, there’s always another one that can. So, never be afraid to research and consult with several practitioners until you find the right one. We hope the medical providers listed here help you to live your healthiest life.

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Medical Disclaimer

The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. The content on the website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, treatment, or advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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