Dentistry is basically described as a branch of medicine concerned with the maintenance of the health of the teeth (and the mouth in general), although dentists also help with some facial and maxilla problems, the maxilla being the bones that form the jaws, which makes them part of the mouth by extension.
As with all major branches of medicine, there are some specializations in dentistry, practiced by the various dental specialists. It typically takes a further period of study and practical training (after basic dentistry training) for a dentist to graduate into a dentist specialist in any one of the specialties in the field.
Categorized according to their specialties, the major dental specialists include endodontic specialists, dental pubic health specialists, pediatric dentistry specialists, orthodontic specialists, maxillofacial specialists, periodontic specialists and prosthodontic specialists. Let's examine a few of these at some length.
As the name suggests, pediatric dental specialists specialize in dental and general oral health issues afflicting young children; which makes a rather difficult specialization keeping in mind the size of children's dental features and children's averseness to pain. Technical difficulties aside, pediatric dentistry is one of the most rewarding specializations in dentistry, as few things can be more satisfying to a person with a real medical vocation than the restoration of a smile to the face of a child who was previously in pain.
Turning to maxillofacial specialists, these turn out to be the ones concerned with complications arising from the spread of dental infections to the jawbones (which unfortunately tend to be very very often as people take dental illnesses very casually), as well as the treatment of genetic deformities in the maxilla (that is, those people who are born with) and which often put them at a great social disadvantage by deforming their looks.
Endodontic dental specialists deal with diseases affecting the dental pulp (the sort of diseases that are typically treated with the much dreaded root canal procedure). This is one of the commonest dental specialties, because by nature of their specialty, endodontic dental specialists are always in 'great demand.'
Periodontic specialists have specialized knowledge about the structures that support the teeth (the gums and so on), and although relatively few and far apart, the services of periodontal dental specialists are much widely seen after, because the conditions they treat can be highly disturbing to the people who happen to suffer them.
Prosthodontic specialists, on the other hand are highly specialized in the replacement of natural parts in the body with artificial biocompatible ones (prosthetics) which makes their services particularly invaluable to the people who happen to suffer from severe road crashes and other sorts of accidents that leave major parts in their mouths shattered and in need of replacement with prosthetics. Again, although relative few and few between, prosthodontic dental specialists are among the most thoughtful after dental practitioners because the need they serve and the knowledge they come with makes them quite capable.
Encompassing knowledge from most other specialization are cosmetic dentistry practitioners, who apply their knowledge of dentistry in the improvement of their patient's dental aesthetics, making them among the most widely sought after dental specialists in an increasingly image-conscious world.