Dental Specialties Chat, Dental Specialty Discussion Online

Dental Specialties Chat, Dental Specialty Discussion Online

Dental Specialties

At DentalChat - we get many local dental questions online about various dental topics. One dental subject we get asked about frequently is about the various dental specialties & what they do?

What are the various Dental Specialties?

We will be discussing the various recognized Dental Specialties in this dental article. A Dental Specialty is a specialized area of dentistry that has been officially recognized by the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and the Certifying Boards -  National Certifying Boards for Dental Specialties. 

Here is the most common list of dental specialties recognized. These are dental specialties that graduating dentists can go into, after completing dental school.

  • Dental Public Health (DPH)
  • Endodontist - Endodontics
  • Oral Surgeon - Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral Medicine and Pathology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology 
  • Orthodontist - Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Periodontist - Periodontics
  • Prosthodontist - Prosthodontics

What is a General Dentist?

The vast majority of licensed dentists are general dentists. A general dentist (General Dentistry) can provide all dental services for their patients - though, certain aspects of dentistry are more complicated - and with further specialized dentistry, training is better performed by dental specialists. For example, all dentists can do extractions and are licensed to do so. Most general dentists stay away from doing fully impacted
wisdom teeth extractions.  These full impacted wisdom teeth extractions may require extra oral surgery work to be done, that a specialized oral surgeon may be able to handle better.  Also, oral surgeon dental offices are better equipped usually for dental complications that may arise from complicated teeth extractions. Many times, oral surgery offices can provide extra sedation options for the patient. That being said,
there are many dentists that are fully ready and trained to perform wisdom teeth extractions of all kinds.

  • Dental Public Health Blog:

What is a Dental Public Health Specialist and what do they do?

A Dental Public Health Specialist is someone who specializes in public health dentist who works in the public sector. Dental Public Health specialists are a dental specialty that specializes more in the Control and Prevention of Dental Diseases / Dental Illnesses. Dental Health specialists promote dental health through an organized community-based effort. Dental public health specialists concentrate more on the overall dental health needs of local communities, state agencies/communities, and national communities - so as to provide a more optimal oral health for all individuals. They can better address the needs of all types of conditions of patients, including patients that may be having special needs. They can also better formulate policies to help underserved populations or people that financial challenges in paying for their dental care needs.

What is an Endodontist?

As explained earlier, all general dentists are trained in all facets of dentistry, including how to do root canal treatment. Though, not all teeth are similar in shape or have the same root canal morphology. That is, some teeth are harder than others to do a root canal on. In those cases, a general dentist usually will refer that patient to a dentist that has specialized root canal treatment training and experience.

What does Endodontics mean?

Endodontics comes from the Greek words “Endo” is inside and odont is “tooth” - hence, inside of the tooth work. More specifically, working in the pulp and the pulp canal area of the root of the tooth - to provide root canal treatment. Generally, an endodontist does an additional 2 years or 3 years of training after completing dental school - to become an endodontist. Endodontists are experts at treating the pulp canal inside the tooth - They specialize in doing root canal therapy and doing Apicectomy treatment. Apicoectomy is done when there is remaining inflammation or infection in the bony area around the end of the tooth under the gums, by the root tip. Apicoectomy is done or performed - generally, after root canal treatment is completed.

What is an Oral Surgeon?

Oral Surgeon or Oral Surgery Doctors receive the most amount of medical doctor training, after becoming dentists - because they can do complicated oral surgery and facial reconstruction procedures such as treating cleft lip treatment. To become an oral surgeon, it can take 4 or 5 years or possibly 6 years of training after dental school. There are various oral surgery procedures done, with probably the most common for oral surgeons being the extraction of wisdom teeth. Here are some procedures an oral surgeon can do:

  • Third Molar Removal - Impacted Wisdom Teeth Extraction
  • Dental implant Placement
  • Jaw / Mouth Surgery
  • Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
  • Facial Injury Treatment
  • Oral Cancer / Mouth Cancer

Oral surgeons are referred to many patients that may be possibly having oral cancer and maybe needing oral cancer treatment.

What is Oral Pathology?

Oral Medicine and Pathology deals with the diagnosis and management of disorders related to the oral cavity and orofacial tissues. An oral pathologist deals many times with mouth cancer, like oral surgeons. Generally, if they find in the mouth something that may be cancerous - they will recommend a form of biopsy in the mouth to be done, to see what is going on. Oral pathologists deal also with TMJ issues, salivary glands & various other oral and maxillofacial regions of the body. It is the identification and management of these maxillofacial ailments that may arise, such as oral cancer.

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology specializes in understanding and reading advanced dental imaging used for craniofacial studies. There are various dental and medical imaging tools that are more advanced than the basic dental x-rays one sees in the dental office. These imaging devices can help better detect oral cancer and bone density in the jaw. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologists can better understand and read images from the Ultrasound scan to Cone Beam Scan. Something like radiologists, though generally more specifically for the dental and facial region of the body.

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is specialized dentists that deal with Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. FromtheGreekwords of Ortho - to straighten and Odonto - Teeth ... Hence, orthodontists look to straighten teeth. Many parents are very familiar with Orthodontists and getting orthodontics treatment for their children. Orthodontists look to treat Malocclusion. which is an abnormal alignment of the teeth in the mouth. There is a varying type of treatments and appliances used by orthodontists to treat a malocclusion.

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentistry or pediatric dentists specialize in dental care for children and young adults. Many times, children can be afraid to go to a dentist or get dental care. Pediatric dentists specialize in treating children and also, how to best maintain space for teeth to grow in after baby teeth accidents, etc.

What is a Periodontist?

Periodontists are specialists in gum therapy and bone structures surrounding teeth in the jaw - which is better known as Periodontics. Periodontists help with treating gum disease and bone structures in the mouth. One of the major causes of losing teeth in adults is from gum disease. Periodontists can place dental implants, perform bone grafting in the mouth and help treat people with severe gum problems.

What is a Prosthodontist?

Prosthodontists help with restoring broken teeth and restoring dental implants with crowns. Prosthodontists are specially trained in cosmetic dentistry, dental implant restoration, dental crowns, bridges, and dentures. They can help make appliances dealing with TMJ and also fabricate appliances such as dentures to work with dental implants.

Dental Specialties Blog:

We discussed dental specialties in this dental blog. There are many fields in specific dental care training now.  A general dentist is licensed to do dentistry - though, as dentistry has advanced, it is becoming more specialized, much the same as medicine has.

This article we did Periodontist Chatting, Dental Specialties Blog, Prosthodontist Discussion, Endodontist Chat, Pediatric Dentist Blog, Oral Surgeon Chatting and more. We have more interesting dental articles at DentalChat.com. We are at Dental Chat looking to discuss dentistry and dental care issues - as well as to help people Find Local Dentists in their area to see.