The American Dental Association recognizes nine dental specialties.
As a general dentist it is important to refer patients to the proper specialist when needed.
- Dental Public Health – Dentists who specialize in public dental health are concerned with the positive dental well-being of a community rather than for singular patients. Their efforts focus on dental health education, community oral health programs and the overall prevention of dental diseases on a larger scale.
- Endodontics – Endodontists address issues involving teeth’s dental pulp and nerves. These specialists often perform root canals.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology – Oral Pathologists focus on the cause behind oral disorders. This type of dental specialist is qualified to perform biopsies for diagnosis.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology – An oral radiologist looks beneath the surface. Relying on x-rays, these doctors manage diseases, disorders and damage to teeth and facial bones.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – Oral surgeons conduct operations including wisdom tooth removal, cleft palate and lip repair, dental implants and facial reconstruction.
- Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics – Focusing on the alignment of the jaw and teeth, orthodontists use a variety of methods to treat the bites of children and adults. Often working with braces and Invisalign.
- Pediatric Dentistry – Pediatric dentists specialize in treating developing mouths.
- Periodontics – Periodontic dentists focus on the health of the tissues that support and surround teeth, such as the gums. They work to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases or conditions that affect these areas directly.
- Prosthodontics – Dentists who specialize in prosthodontics are concerned with the function, health and maintenance of biocompatible dental substitutes such as dentures.