Sometimes it takes a team to treat patients. There are often complicated issues that are best treated by dental specialists using a multi-doctor approach. In dentistry, there are several recognized dental specialties that focus on specific areas of dental practice. These specialties require additional education, training, and often formal recognition by dental boards or regulatory bodies. Here are some of the main dental specialties:
- Orthodontics: Orthodontics focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities, primarily related to misaligned teeth and jaws. Orthodontists use appliances such as braces, clear aligners, and retainers to correct malocclusions and achieve proper tooth and jaw alignment.
- Endodontics: Endodontics involves the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries affecting the dental pulp and tissues surrounding the roots of teeth. Endodontists perform root canal therapy, treat dental trauma, and manage dental infections to save and restore teeth.
- Periodontics: Periodontics deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and conditions that affect the supporting structures of the teeth, including gums, periodontal ligaments, and alveolar bone. Periodontists treat gum diseases, perform gum surgeries, and place dental implants.
- Prosthodontics: Prosthodontics focuses on the restoration and replacement of missing teeth and oral structures. Prosthodontists specialize in creating and fitting dental prostheses such as dentures, bridges, and dental implants to improve oral function, aesthetics, and overall oral health.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery involves the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries, and defects of the mouth, face, and jaw. Oral surgeons perform procedures such as tooth extractions, jaw surgery, dental implant placement, and treatment of oral and facial injuries.
- Pediatric Dentistry: Pediatric Dentistry focuses on oral health care for infants, children, adolescents, and individuals with special needs. Pediatric dentists provide preventive and therapeutic dental care, monitor growth and development, and create a child-friendly environment to promote positive dental experiences.
- Oral Pathology: Oral Pathology deals with the diagnosis and management of diseases and abnormalities affecting the oral and maxillofacial region. Oral pathologists examine tissue samples, perform biopsies, and provide diagnoses and treatment recommendations for oral diseases, including oral cancer.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology: Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology involves the interpretation and analysis of radiographic images of the head and neck region. Oral and maxillofacial radiologists provide expertise in the diagnosis of dental and maxillofacial conditions using various imaging techniques.
As a dental assistant, you have the option of working in general practice or you may find that you have a particular interest in a specialty. At the dental Staff Institute, we are happy to help our students find the best path for their dental journey.