There are a variety of dental specialties that focus on unique areas with the dental field. These have been formed to allow dentists to maximize their training in a specific area within dentistry. The following is a list of dental specialties that are regulated by the Canadian Dental Association.
Dental Public Health
This branch of dentistry specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and control of dental diseases as well as promotion of dental health through community-organized events. Typically, a dentist that practices in dental public health serves communities using research, health promotion, educational programs, and group programs focused on promoting dental care.
The specialization of endodontics comprises a focus on morphology, physiology, and pathology of dental pulp—the soft area within the center of your teeth that contains connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. As well, endodontists are also concerned with the periradicular tissue, which consists of the root cementum, periodontal ligament, and the alveolar bone. These dentists are specialized and trained in the biology of dental pulp and periradicular tissue as well as the etiology, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of injuries and/or diseases associated with these two particular areas within the dental cavity.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
This branch of dentistry specializes in the diagnosis, surgical, and adjunctive treatment approaches for diseases, disorders, defects, and injuries of the dental cavity. Specifically, these dentists focus on the functional and aesthetic characteristics of the soft and hard tissues found within the oral and maxillofacial regions as well as any related structures. A maxillofacial surgeon would be the right specialist to consult with if you are experiencing things such as a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). They are also called upon in the case of broken jaw or facial bones, and are professional trained to restore the natural look and function of these broken bones.
Oral Medicine and Pathology
This specialty focuses on the diagnosis, origin, and mostly non-surgical treatment of oral, maxillofacial, and temporomandibular disorders and diseases. Their work can include managing the dentistry of patients with medical complications.
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologists specialize in dentistry that is concerned with prescribing, producing, and interpreting diagnostic images that are typically used for the diagnosis and subsequent management of diseases and disorders associated with the craniofacial complex—or the overall bone structure of the skull, face, and jaw.
Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
This branch of dentistry specializes in the management, guidance, and corrective approaches required to ensure the proper growth or maturation of dentofacial structures and the diagnosis. As well, they are trained in preventing and treating any abnormalities that are associated with the dentofacial structures.
Pediatric Dentistry (Pedodontist)
Pediatric dentists specialize in the delivery of primary and comprehensive preventative and therapeutic oral health expertise specifically for younger individuals. In doing so, they are primarily specialized in performing dentistry for infants, children, and adolescents and are trained in the diagnosis, care, and consultative services pertinent to proper oral health within this age group. Pedodontists typically receive extra training to deliver the proper dental care to patients that demonstrate mental, physical, and/or emotional problems.
Periodontists are dentists that have specialized in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and/or conditions that affect the supportive or surrounding tissues of the teeth. As well, they are concerned with the general maintenance of health, function, and overall appearance of the structures and tissues that support or surround your teeth as well as any tooth substitutes (e.g., dental implants).
Prosthodontists are specialized in the diagnosis, restoration, and maintenance of oral function, comfort, and appearance. As well, they are trained in maintaining optimal health of the patient by restoring natural teeth as well as replacing missing teeth and/or adjacent oral and maxillofacial tissues with restorative, artificial substitutes. Prosthodontists typically perform procedures that involve the application of dentures, caps, or ceramic crowns to replace missing or extracted teeth.