Knowledge of the different areas and specializations of dentistry is key to finding the right dentist. We have broken down these dental areas for you.
One or more board-certified dentists are apt to own a general dental office. A general dentist is available to perform periodic cleanings and exams. They may also work with dental hygienists, technicians, and dental therapists. Because oral hygiene directly affects overall health, a general dentist can keep patients on the right track.
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Orthodontists have the ability to identify, correct and prevent problems with teeth and jaw alignment. Because of their advanced education, they utilize corrective devices like wires, retainers, and braces. Dentofacial Orthodontics is an area in Orthodontics that focuses on facial growth anomalies.
The health and stability of your gums, teeth, and surrounding structures is the primary concern of a Periodontist. General dentists can refer patients to a Periodontist if advanced gum disease is suspected. Periodontists are trained to manage periodontal disease in addition to place, maintain, and restore dental implants.
Preservation and restoration of teeth and surrounding tissues is the primary concern for Endodontists. Endodontists are able to diagnose and treat tooth pain due to trauma or neglect, as well as perform complex procedures such as root canals.
Prosthodontics (alternately known as Prosthetic Dentistry) is the area of dentistry focusing on the restoration of tooth function and oral soundness thru synthetic substitutes such as dentures, crowns, and veneers. These highly skilled Prosthodontists can conduct intricate cosmetic procedures due to their additional education.
Similar to general dentistry, regular appointments with a Pediatric Dentist help maintain healthy teeth, supporting overall health. Contrary, Pediatric Dentistry offers regular cleanings and exams to children, not adults. These routine exams help identify and prevent potential growth and development problems for youth.
Dental Public Health
Dental Public Health differs from general dentistry in that it does not treat the individual. The Dental Public Health sector is composed of select dentists who are responsible for improving the overall health and well-being of a community. These specialized dentists are responsible for establishing industry standards and assessing situations to determine if there are any ongoing health issues within the community.
Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology
Oral & Maxillofacial Pathologists concentrate on diagnosing and treating diseases that affect the mouth and other related structures. Oral & Maxillofacial Pathologists, also known as Head & Neck Pathologists, will evaluate the patient's way of life along with clinical aspects to determine the source cause.
Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology
Oral & Maxillofacial Radiologists can interpret digital and traditional scans like CT and MRI to detect diseases or irregularities in the mouth and head. Oral & Maxillofacial Radiologists have received advanced training in safety, biology, and radiation physics. They can be found in both dental offices and educational institutions.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Dentists treat trauma and diseases of the jaw, neck, and facial areas. This group of dentists usually starts in general medicine, then turns their attention to dentistry. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons need to be dedicated to their craft because the training process is very long.
A Dental Anesthesiologist can administer sedation or anesthesia during specific procedures to relieve anxiety and discomfort for the patient. Because of their vast knowledge of pain management across the whole body and not just the dental area, dental offices and medical centers employ Dental Anesthesiologists.