The medical field of Oracare dentistry is probably a whole lot bigger than you might realize. Indeed, many people are probably not even aware of the many professions that are involved or associated with dentistry. Aside from the dentist and orthodontist—which are probably the most commonly known—the oral health care industry probably can encompass many more specialties than you are probably aware of.
Each of these many different specialties require their own set of classes and certifications. While they might all be housed in the same school of dentistry, for example, the courses of study could vary greatly. Any dentistry student attending a school in North America, could choose from any of nine different dental specialties that are available in schools throughout the United States and Canada.
The NINE [North American] Dental Specialties
While the UK and Australia have at least four more areas of focus, these are the nine dental specialties available for study in the United States and Canada:
- Public Health (dentistry)—the study of all dentistry-related epidemiology and its relation to the policies of social health
- Periodontology (and Periodontics)—the study of both non-surgical and surgical diseases of the gums, as well as the study of the placement and maintenance of dental implants
- Endodontics—the study of dental pulp-related diseases, with a major focus on root canal therapy
- Orthodontics (and Dentofacial Orthopedics)—the study of, and practice related to, teeth straightening, which includes the modification and adjustment of midface of mandibular growth
- Prosthodontics—the study, practice, and administration of dental restoration implants, dentures, and bridges
- Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology—the study, diagnosis, and treatment of all oral and maxillofacial diseases
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery—the study of the many applications of the implantation, extraction, and various types of facial surgery
- Pediatric Dentistry—the study of dentistry focusing on children
Within these subjects, dental surgery students in North America could also study a few deeper areas of focus:
- Dental Anesthesiology—the study of the more advanced forms of pain relief as it relates to dental surgery. This is not officially recognized as a dental specialty, even though it continues to grow as an area of interest among dental specialists
- Special Needs Dentistry—the study and application of, obviously, dentistry in relation to patients with special needs
- Forensic Odontology—the gathering of dental evidence as it relates to the legal field, the collection and filing of related documents