Are you looking for a dentist to help with your smile? Understanding the differences between dental specializations is the first step.
Here's a description of the different areas of dentistry.
A general dentistry practice usually includes a board-certified dentist with colleagues such as technicians, hygienists, and dental therapists. These teams of dental professionals are often found in private offices that one or more dentists own. The focus of dental practices is on oral hygiene, which can have a significant impact on one's overall health. Dental teams don't just teach precautionary measures; they also identify ongoing problems and offer remedies if necessary.
Pediatric Dentists are dentists trained in the oral health of children. These dentists educate children on the care of teeth and gums from the beginning. Pediatric dentists can also detect any abnormalities in their growth and development, helping to prevent any serious problems as they age.
Orthodontists are dentists who are primarily concerned with jaw alignment and teeth placement. Additional education is required for Orthodontists compared to general dentists. Orthodontists apply and adjust braces as a standard solution for misaligned teeth. Dentofacial orthopedics, a specialty of Orthodontia, focuses on facial growth irregularities.
Dental Public Health differs from general dentistry because it focuses on the whole community's oral health, not just individuals. Dental Public Health is composed of a small group of experts dedicated to the country and the trade. They not only establish standards for dental care but also use specific questions to assess certain conditions to determine whether the situation should be treated as a public health concern.
Periodontics is a dental specialty that exclusively focuses on gum health and teeth support. Patients with advanced gum disease will usually be referred by their general dentist to a Periodontist. Additional education is required to become a Periodontist. This training includes the treatment of periodontal diseases and the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants.
Endodontics is a sector of dentistry that focuses on saving teeth by studying the tissues surrounding the root. To identify tooth pain and establish a treatment plan, Endodontists require extra schooling. In addition, Endodontists are highly skilled in performing complex procedures on non-maintained teeth or teeth that have sustained trauma.
Prosthodontics, also known as prosthetic dentistry, focuses on replacing teeth to restore oral health and function. This specialty dentist creates a synthetic replacement for natural teeth. As a replacement option, prosthodontists can use surgically placed dentures or crowns. Prosthodontics is a highly skilled branch of dentistry and can perform complex cosmetic procedures.
A Dentist Anesthesiologist can help patients relax when they are afraid of dental procedures by using sedation or general anesthesia. Because their training focuses on general pain management, Dentist Anesthesiologists can work in a private practice or a hospital.
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology focuses on diagnosing and treating diseases affecting the mouth and other interconnected structures. Head and Neck Pathology is another name for Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. To determine the cause and impact of the diseased area, an Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologist will evaluate both lifestyle and clinical assessments.
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, a branch in dentistry, focuses on the interpretation of scans like CT and MRIs of mouth areas. These scans can help Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologists detect diseases and other head, mouth, or face irregularities. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologists can be found in both private practices and schools.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is one of nine specialties in dentistry and focuses on dental surgery. The training to become an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon is elongated since these specialized dentists often start in general medicine and shift focus to dentistry.