Dental Specialty means a dentist attaining a specialty in a particular field of dentistry. The specialist requires training in an advance graduate program. Once training is complete, the dentist is granted a certificate of specialty.
Dental specialties are recognized in order to protect the people and improve the quality of care. There are nine official dental specialties identified by the American Dental Association (ADA). They are currently the main specialties followed all over the world.
We are about to learn all of them.
1. Dental Public Health
They focus on achieving optimal dental health for their community. The idea is to treat the “community as a whole rather than an individual”. Other responsibilities include studying patterns, causes and control of oral health problems.
These dentists are trained to specialize in the development, prevention and correction of malocclusion (misaligned bite) using dental braces and retainers. They also have specialized training in facing abnormalities and disorders of the jaw.
They are mainly concerned with the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the dental pulp (tooth nerve). An Endodontist is useful in performing difficult root canal therapies or other such surgical root procedures.
4. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist
The main function of a Radiologist is to interpret all types of X-ray images. The specialist analyzes all the data used in the diagnosis of diseases in the oral or maxillofacial (jaw and face) region. This specialty was introduced in 2003.
5. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
An oral surgeon operates and diagnoses on diseases, injuries and defects in the mouth, jaw and face through surgical extraction and reconstruction. They also perform biopsies, tumor removal in oral cavity, fractured cheek repair, jaw bone repair, and complex jaw realignments.
A Prosthodontist specializes in making/restoring prosthesis and fake teeth. The Prosthodontist uses ceramic crowns, dentures and bridges to replace the missing teeth. They can also be helpful in the treatment of facial anatomy abnormalities (head and neck deformities).
The Periodontist specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases related to tooth structures like soft tissues of mouth, gums and teeth bones. They can also treat bacterial infections affecting gum tissue (periodontal disease). In addition to this, deep pocket cleanings, crown lengthening procedures, and bone grafting can also be done by a Periodontist.
Dentists who are specialized in the treatment of children from “birth to adolescence” are Pedodontists.
9. Oral Pathologist
A pathologist deals with the identification and management of disease that affect your mouth and face. They rely on clinical, radiographic and microscopic examination for diagnosis.
Apart from these, there are four more specialties that are recognized in the United Kingdom only.
• Oral medicine – diagnosis of oral mucosal diseases
• Special care dentistry – dentistry for developmental and acquired disabilities
• Forensic Odontology – the gathering and use of dental evidence in law
• Oral microbiology – it is the study of microorganisms of the oral cavity