What Types of Dentist Specialists Are There?

What Kind of Dentist Specialists Are There?

The American Dental Association is a leading advocate for oral health. They are also known as the ADA.

There are 9 dental specialties that the ADA recognizes.

* Dental Public Health
* Endodontics
* Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
* Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
* Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
* Orthodontics
* Pediatric Dentistry
* Periodontics
* Prosthodontics

Here is a brief list of the procedures of the specialties that dentists perform.


General Dentistry encompasses the basics of dental procedures, from basic hygiene checks, to drilling and fillings, and routine cleanings.

Some things included in general dentistry are:

* root canals
* gum health (treatment and care)
* bridges
* dental cleaning


What types of dentists do cosmetic dentistry?

It seems that everywhere dentist advertisement that you find, they offer some type of cosmetic dentistry. That's mainly because a lot of dentists perform one or more of the most popular and requested dental cosmetic procedures. However, each type of dentist specializes on different treatments and procedures. This is partly because of the specialty they focus on with the additional continuing education that they are selected after graduating and getting board certified.

Dentists that perform and specialize in cosmetic dentistry take care of the appearance of your teeth.

They usually specialize in the following:

* dentures
* veneers
* gum reshaping
* teeth reshaping


Dentists that specialize in restorative care usually perform the following:

* porcelain inlays
* crowns
* dental implants
* Fillings

The following are some of the actual nine dental specialties recognized by the ADA.


Orthodontists install braces and prescribe Invisalign. These are usually for cosmetic reasons.

They basically fix the alignment of your bite and in correcting function of your teeth including function.


"Endodontic" originates from the terms, "endo" meaning 'inside' and 'odont' which means 'tooth.'

Therefore, endodontic care specializes on the inside of the tooth.

They perform root canal treatment as necessary.


When you want to have teeth replaced by insertion dental implants, you will need a dentist that specializes in maxillofacial surgery.

Having a tooth filled also falls under this category.


This aspect of dentistry deals with X-rays and diagnostic imaging used to interpret and for diagnosis. Beside X-rays, Dentists use MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) along with ultra-sound for diagnostic purposes.


Of course, this is for the kids. Pediatric Dentists specialize in oral health care for children.


A Specialist in periodontics usually focus on diagnosis, treatment, and prevention for gum disease. (also known as periodontal disease.)

They also do gum shaping, as well.


These dentist specialists deal with treating, rehabilitation, and maintaining your oral functions. They also help with comfort, appearance, and health for those with missing or bad teeth.

These dentists focus on installing dentures, veneers, and crowns, just to mention a few.

They basically specialize in cosmetic and restorative dentistry.

There is only a fraction of prosthodontists in comparison to all other dentists.

It seems that a lot of the procedures above overlap in regards to the specialists that performances each specialty.

How long does it take to become a dentist?

In the United States of America, in general, it would take the average person about 8 years to complete training to become a dentist.

The way this works is that an individual would go through 4 years of undergraduate studies, first. Then, four more years in dental school.

During the time in dental school, two of the years would be in the classroom, and the other two is in clinical training. Basically, "Hands On" for the last two years.

Once your dental school has been completed, you would need to pass a two-part licensing exam. The two parts are a written exam and practical exam.

In order to become a specialist in any of the 9 specialties mentioned above, a dentist has to undergo a post-doctoral examination.

This additional education would take about two to four years.

That is what you need to be a dentist and specialist.