The 12 specialties in dentistry

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May 9th, 2024

Have you been referred to a dental specialist?

Currently there are 12 specialties within dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association.

Here is a description for each specialty and what types of treatments or services they might offer:

Dental Anesthesiology icon

Dental Anesthesiology: specializes in managing pain, anxiety, and overall patient health during dental surgery. Promotes safety and access for all patients, especially those who are very young or those with special healthcare needs.

Dental Public Health icon

Dental Public Health: controls dental diseases and promotes dental health through organized community efforts. This form of dentistry serves the community as a patient rather than the individual.

Endodontics icon

Endodontics: concerns morphology, biology, physiology, pathology and regeneration of the human dental pulp and tissues surrounding the root of the tooth. Endodontists often perform root canals.

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology icon

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology: deals with the nature, identification, and management of diseases affecting the mouth, jaw and face. A dental specialist trained to diagnose oral diseases.

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology icon

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology: produces and interprets radiographic images and data for the diagnosis and management of dental diseases, disorders and conditions. This specialty uses X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds to examine bones and soft tissues in the mouth, skull, face, and dental structures.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery icon

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: includes the diagnosis and surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries, and defects. Specialists perform wisdom tooth removals, dental implants, and surgery of the mouth, jaw and face.

Oral Medicine icon

Oral Medicine: responsible for the oral healthcare of medically complex patients and for the diagnosis and management of medically related diseases, disorders, and conditions affecting the mouth, face, and jaw.

Orofacial Pain icon

Orofacial Pain: encompasses the diagnosis, management and treatment of pain disorders of the jaw, mouth, face, head and neck. The specialty of orofacial pain is dedicated to the evidenced-based understanding of pain disorders and improving access to interdisciplinary patient care.

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics icon

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics: includes the diagnosis, prevention, interception, and correction of imperfect positioning of the teeth, as well as abnormalities of the developing or mature jaw and face.

Pediatric Dentistry icon

Pediatric Dentistry: provides both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral healthcare for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special healthcare needs.

Periodontics icon

Periodontics: encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes, and the maintenance of the health, function, and aesthetics of these structures and tissues. Periodontists are trained in dental implant surgery.

Prosthodontics icon

Prosthodontics: pertains to the diagnosis, treatment and up-keep for patients who are missing teeth, or who have issues with their mouth, jaw or facial tissue or structure. This specialist is trained in replacing teeth and maintaining the substitutes (such as bridges, implants or dentures).

This information in this post is for general educational purposes only and does not warrant or represent any information as related to health as specifically appropriate for you. It is not intended to be medical advice or replace the relationship that you have with your health care providers. You should always seek medical advice on any diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health care provider. The information is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied.