You probably know how a pediatric dentist differs from an orthodontist. You may even know the unique focus of endodontists. But did you know the American Dental Association recognizes nine dental specialties? This post from Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak looks at the disciplines within the fascinating world of dentistry and the years in which they were formally recognized by the ADA.
Endodontics (1983): This area focuses on what’s happening with teeth, and the tissues within and beneath them. If you need a root canal, you may require the services of an endodontist.
Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (2003): If you want to straighten your teeth, you need an orthodontist. Dentofacial orthopedic specialists correct facial deformities using many of the same types of appliances used in teeth straightening therapy.
Pediatric Dentistry (1995): Pediatric dentists provide dental care for infants, children and teenagers.
Periodontics (1992): Periodontics is the specialty that encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the gums. Periodontal specialists perform crown lengthening, pocket reduction, and soft tissue (gum) grafts.
Prosthodontics (2003): Prosthodontists provide restorative dental procedures including dental implants, crowns, bridges, and dentures. They also perform cosmetic dental treatments including porcelain veneers, crowns, dental bonding, invisible fillings, and teeth bleaching.
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (1991): This specialty concerns “the nature, identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions. It is a science that investigates the causes, processes, and effects of these diseases. The practice of oral pathology includes research and diagnosis of diseases using clinical, radiographic, microscopic, biochemical, or other examinations.”1
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (2001): Oral and maxillofacial radiologists analyze radiographic images (x-rays) for issues of the maxillofacial area.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (1990): Oral surgeons perform surgery on the teeth, jaw, face, and gums. These include facial reconstruction, cleft lip and palate correction, bone grafting, dental implants, and impacted teeth.
Dental Public Health (1976): This discipline focuses on “preventing and controlling dental diseases and promoting dental health through organized community efforts.”1
Sometimes you need a dental specialist, and we’ll always refer you to one if need be. But most often, the general and cosmetic dentistry provided by Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak is enough. Schedule an appointment with us today.
1Specialty Definitions, The American Dental Association, http://www.ada.org/495.aspx, accessed May 22, 2013
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