It may seem like dentists are one-size-fits-all, but they actually have specialties! You’ve probably seen a general dentist—or family dentist—but there are several other types of dentistry as well.
From crooked teeth to cancer treatment, each specialist is trained to give you the best treatment and protect your dental health. Read on to learn the nine types of dentistry and how visiting the right specialist can impact your dental care!
Inside each tooth lives soft tissues that make up the dental pulp. In endodontics, dental specialists study and treat diseases or injuries to that dental pulp. This includes issues with tooth pain, such as infections or root canals.
2. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
Oral and maxillofacial pathology is a branch of dentistry that digs into identifying and managing diseases that affect the oral and maxillofacial regions—the bones and tissues in your jaw and lower face—like oral cancer.
3. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
If you guessed that oral and maxillofacial radiology is connected to x-rays, you guessed right! This dental specialty is much more than the simple x-rays you get when you visit your family dentist. It also includes CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds. Its primary purpose is to help dentists diagnose and treat diseases of the face, mouth, jaws, and neck.
4. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
This is another one that gives you a clue with the name—surgery! Yes, it’s the field of dentistry that includes an operation to treat your lower facial bones and tissues for any defects, diseases, or injuries. For example, if you got hit in the face with a soccer ball that shattered your jawbone, you’d probably need oral and maxillofacial surgery to correct the damage.
5. Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
The focus of orthodontics is tooth movement. Think of braces working to straighten teeth, for example. However, dentofacial orthopedics works alongside orthodontics by focusing on facial development and growth. Even getting adult braces is much more than just straightening your smile; it’s also making sure your bite, jaws, and facial tissues and muscles work just right.
6. Pediatric Dentistry
Baby teeth are very different from adult teeth and require specialized care. These teeth aren’t meant to last forever, but looking after them can leave lasting results on adult teeth. That’s why there’s a whole field of dentistry devoted to baby teeth: pediatric dentistry.
Keeping your child’s gums, teeth, and mouth healthy is the primary goal of pediatric dentistry, so don’t miss their dental appointments!
Your gums are made up of strong tissues, including the periodontal ligament that holds your teeth in place. However, inflammatory diseases can affect our gums, causing them to weaken. Periodontics is to the rescue with the study of these diseases and how to treat them!
If you’re missing a tooth or it’s been broken in half, you might need to visit a dentist who is experienced in prosthodontics. This field of dentistry focuses on fixing damaged or missing teeth through dental implants, bridges, crowns, or dentures.
9. Public Health Dentistry
Last but not least, public health dentistry is a type of dentistry that focuses on promoting dental health education and disease prevention to the general public. These dentists teach people how dental concerns can be avoided if you perform good oral hygiene!
Heroes Dental: Specialists in General Dentistry, Orthodontics, and Pediatric Care!
You may have noticed that some of these branches of dentistry might intertwine with each other. That’s correct! Each is designed to keep things organized and help you get the dental treatment you need. Some dentists may offer care in several branches!
At Heroes Dental, we specialize in general dentistry, orthodontics, and pediatric dentistry. As a family dentist, we believe in caring for your whole family’s dental care—from the youngest to the oldest. And if you need a referral to a different dental specialist, we can help guide you on your journey to better dental health!