The American Dental Association recognizes nine specialties for oral healthcare professionals within the US. These specialties are additional licenses for dental professionals who need to undergo further training after completing their dental studies. We will be discussing these specialties and their specific field of operation in oral healthcare, along with their year of recognition. Dental clinics like Green Meadow Dental provide the most specialized oral services in one location for patients. Dental specialties are similar to other medical specialties like radiology, pathology, and plastic surgery but are only concerned with oral well-being.
Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (2003)
If you want to improve your smile, you might need to consult a specialist in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. These are experts in diagnosing, preventing, and treating malocclusions in your teeth and surroundings. They also correct any skeletal or neuromuscular deformities in your jawline. This dental specialty is focused on teeth straightening by using corrective appliances and treatments. According to orthodontics, bands and other removable corrective appliances are more beneficial for individuals under 18 years. This is due to the better response of the facial bone structure to the teeth movement in such individuals.
Pediatric Dentistry (1995)
Pediatric dentistry specializes in treating dental problems for kids and teenagers through to adolescence. Children facing tooth decay, falling teeth, and other oral healthcare issues should visit pediatric dentistry experts for primary and preventive consultations. They are specialized in the management of developing teeth in children, along with any other special healthcare needs. Kids have softer gum tissues which allow pediatrics for easier restructuring or fortification procedures upon them. Healthy teeth at this stage for your juniors could keep their smiles beautiful for long.
A licensed periodontic is a dental specialist who diagnoses and treats gum problems. Gums are soft tissues around your teeth that provide the necessary support to keep them aligned. Periodontics specializes in treating gum inflammations and other diseases that affect the esthetics of these tissue structures. This dental specialty advocates the regular removal of plaque with the use of controlled hygiene.
Prosthodontics specialists attend to tooth restoration and replacement activities. They are licensed to use substitutes like dentures, implants, and crowns for replacement treatments. They perform cosmetic dental treatments but on a larger scale than a general dentist.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (1990)
Oral and maxillofacial surgery specialization is part of dental science for the operational procedures covering the face, mouth, and jawlines. This includes reconstructive surgeries for oral injuries, jawline cysts surgeries, and implant positioning surgeries. Sometimes these specialists might operate for cleft lips and oral bone grafting in their patients.
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (1991)
Oral and maxillofacial pathologists specialize in identifying, detecting, and managing diseases affecting the teeth and surrounding soft tissues. The oral cavity, jaws, salivary glands, and facial muscles also come under this dental specialization. This specialization is dedicated to the study of the causes and effects of various oral diseases. It also involves the research of diseases using clinical and biochemical examinations. Considered a specialty of both dentistry and pathology, their clinical investigations are crucial for understanding certain lifestyle risk factors to your dental health.
The endodontics dental specialty is concerned with various medical consultations for the dental pulp and periradicular tissues. Holding an endodontics license involves performing major root canal treatments and bleaching of non-vital teeth in patients. These are more severe tooth problems and could need longer treatment for cure. Endodontists do perform routine teeth procedures as well. Better knowledge and training on the inside of teeth only make them suitably manage complex operations too.
Dental Public Health (1976)
The American Dental Association recognizes dental public health as a dental specialty if you further your studies to master’s level and sit for the American Board of Dental Public Health papers. At this stage, you are considered an expert in controlling and promoting dental healthcare through organized community methods. Your periphery of patients transforms from individuals to the community masses for dental service. Imparting dental health education for public communities through group dental care programs and applied research becomes your forefront, along with the prevention of community dental disease spread.
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (2001)
Oral and maxillofacial radiology is the diagnosis, control, and management of dental diseases using X-rays. This specialized field involves the diagnosis and treating oral diseases with the use of radiation and radioactive materials. As a licensed oral and maxillofacial radiologist, you can interpret radiographic image reports to identify effects on the patient’s head, neck, face, or jaws.