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The field of dentistry encompasses a variety of dental specialties, much like how a neurologist or cardiologist specializes in specific areas after medical school. These dental specialties, which include fields like endodontics and orthodontics, are formally acknowledged by the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards (NCRDSCB). This commission’s role is to safeguard public health, advance the practice and science of dentistry, and enhance the standard of care. There are twelve dental specialties currently recognized by the NCRDSCB.

Dental specialties are recognized by the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards (NCRDSCB) to protect the public, nurture the art and science of dentistry, and improve the quality of care. Currently, there are twelve dental specialties recognized by NCRDSCB.

Dental Specialties

The 12 dental specialties recognized by NCRDSCB include:

Dental Specialties image

1. Endodontist
Specializing in diagnosing, treating, and preventing infections and injuries in the dental pulp or tooth nerve. Procedures like root canals are typical for endodontists.

2. Orthodontist
Focused on diagnosing, preventing, and correcting misaligned teeth and jaws, as well as neuromuscular and skeletal issues in the face. Orthodontists commonly use braces and other devices to straighten teeth.

3. Periodontist
Experts in preventing, diagnosing, and treating gum diseases and supporting structures of teeth, including those of artificial teeth. They manage conditions like gingivitis and periodontitis.

4. Prosthodontist
Involved in diagnosing, treating, and managing oral functions related to missing or deficient teeth and oral tissues, using biocompatible substitutes. They often use dentures or crowns for tooth replacement.

5. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
Focuses on surgical treatments for diseases, injuries, and defects in the oral and facial regions, including surgeries on the face, mouth, and jaw.

6. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist
Specializes in using radiology for diagnosing and managing diseases and conditions in the oral and facial areas.

7. Dentist Anesthesiologists
Manages pain and patient health during various dental and surgical procedures, emphasizing patient safety and anesthesia research.

8. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologist
Deals with identifying and managing diseases affecting the oral and facial regions, studying the causes and effects of these diseases.

9. Pediatric Dentist or Pedodontist
Provides comprehensive oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, focusing on prevention and treatment of various dental issues..

10. Orofacial Pain (OFP)
Diagnoses and treats pain disorders in the jaw, mouth, face, head, and neck.

11. Oral Medicine
Cares for patients with complex medical conditions, focusing on diseases and disorders affecting the oral and facial region.

12. Dental Public Health (DPH)
Focuses on preventing and controlling dental diseases and promoting dental health through organized community efforts, including research and care.

Dental Subspecialties

General Dentistry
A general dentist is your primary care dental provider. A dentist has many responsibilities including the diagnosis, treatment, care, and management of your overall oral health. Non-metal fillings, periodontal (gum) care, root canal surgeries, crowns, bridges, and preventive education are some of the services a general dentist provides, among several others.

Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry procedures include straightening, brightening, reshaping, and even repair teeth. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving a person’s smile and may include teeth whitening, dental veneers, dental bonding, white fillings, and invisible braces.

Restorative Dentistry
Restorative dentistry restores your smile and health after tooth damage and disease. Restorative services will improve the structure, health, and appearance of the teeth and mouth for those suffering from ailments.

Geriatric dentistry
Geriatric dentistry is concerned with the oral health of elderly persons, who usually have significant medical problems and are taking multiple medications. Elderly people often experience symptoms of dental decay and gingival (gum) disorders that differ from symptoms experienced by younger people.

Dental Ancillaries

Dental Hygienist
A dental hygienist is an oral health professional who holds the responsibility of preventing and treating oral diseases. A hygienist cleans teeth, checks the mouth for signs of oral diseases, and performs other preventive dental care.

Dental Assistant
A dental assistant assists with the dentist’s efficiency in providing top-quality oral health care. An assistant gives patient care and support as a dentist completes a check-up or procedure.

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