Knowing about the various specializations in dentistry is important so you can find the right dentist. Here's a quick summary of these dental areas for your convenience.
A general dental office is likely to be owned by one or more board-certified dentists. A general dentist can perform routine cleanings and exams. They might also collaborate with technicians, dental therapists, and dental hygienists. A general dentist helps patients remain focused on oral hygiene, especially since it directly influences overall health.
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Orthodontists can identify, restore, and prevent teeth and jaw alignment troubles. They apply corrective devices such as wires, retainers, and braces to the front of teeth using their advanced schooling. There is also a section of Orthodontia that handles facial growth anomalies called Dentofacial Orthodontics.
A Periodontist is concerned about the health and stability of your gums, teeth, surrounding structures, and other related issues. If advanced gum disease is suspected, general dentists may refer patients to a periodontist. Periodontists can treat periodontal disease and place, maintain, or restore dental implants.
Endodontists are concerned primarily with the preservation and restoration of teeth and surrounding tissues. Endodontists can diagnose and treat tooth pain caused by trauma or decay as well as perform complicated procedures like root canals.
Prosthodontics, also called Prosthetic Dentistry, focuses on the restoration of tooth function and oral health through synthetic substitutes like dentures, crowns, and veneers. Because of the extra training required, qualified Prosthodontists can conduct complex cosmetic procedures.
Regular appointments with a Pediatric Dentist, comparable to general dentists, help maintain healthy teeth and support overall well-being. However, Pediatric Dentistry offers routine exams and cleanings for juveniles, not adults. These exams are designed to identify and prevent problems that could hinder children's growth and oral development.
Dental Public Health
Dental Public Health is different from general dentistry because it doesn't treat the person. Dental Public Health is a group of dentists responsible for improving a community's health and wellness. These dentists are responsible for establishing industry standards and assessing situations to determine if any health problems are ongoing in the community.
A Dental Anesthesiologist is able to administer sedation during certain procedures to ease anxiety and discomfort. Dental Anesthesiologists are employed by dental offices and medical centers because of their extensive knowledge in pain management and not only in the dental area.
Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology
Oral & Maxillofacial Pathologists focus on diagnosing and healing diseases that affect the mouth and other related structures. An alternate name for Oral & Maxillofacial Pathologists is Head & Neck Pathologists. These dental specialists will assess the patient's habits with clinical factors in order to identify a cause.
Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology
Oral & Maxillofacial Radiologists analyze digital and conventional scans such as CT and MRI to detect abnormalities or diseases in the head and mouth. Oral & Maxillofacial Radiologists are trained in safety, biology, radiation physics, and other related subjects. They are found in both dental offices as well as educational institutions.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Dentists deal with trauma and diseases in the jaw, neck, and facial areas. These dentists typically start in general medicine and then turn their attention to dentistry. Because the training process for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons is lengthy, they must be committed to their craft.