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Dental Specialties


The American Dental Association recognized nine dental specialties. This section is designed to introduce you and familiarize you with the different types of dentists. Many times, general dentists can perform the same procedures as cosmetic dentists, depending on the needs of the patient. Each specialty requires an additional 3-4 years or more of training, hands-on experience and education in their field of interest after completing a bachelor’s degree and a 4-year, ADA-accredited dental program.

To learn more about one of the nine specialties, please click on their title below:

Dental Public Health

These dentists focus more on the oral health of communities and groups of people rather than individual patients. They study patterns, causes and control methods of certain dental-related diseases.


These dentists generally perform root canal therapy, as they specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental diseases affecting the dental pulp and surrounding tissues.

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology

These dentists study, diagnose and treat a wide variety of diseases related to the mouth, jaw and face (maxillofacial region).

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

These dentists focus on radiologic (x-ray) interpretations of diseases that are associated with the mouth, jaw and face. The images are used to study diseases within that region.

Oral Surgeon

These dentists perform surgeries on the mouth, jaw and facial regions, as well as on accompanying structures. Oral surgeons perform procedures ranging from dental implants to complete reconstructive surgery.


These dentists use corrective appliances such as braces and retainers to align crooked or spacious teeth. Orthodontics is a very popular dental specialty around the world, as many people suffer from malocclusion (misaligned bite)

Pedodontics (Pediatric Dentistry)

These dentists are trained and educated the same way as other dentists, however they are also trained in child psychology. Pediatric dentists also work with people who have mental disabilities.


These dentists are also known as ‘gum disease’ dentists, as they focus on treating the supporting structures of the teeth, including treatment of infections found in the gum tissue.


These dentists are also referred to as prosthetic dentists, as they create prostheses and restorative teeth, such as dental implants, crowns, and dentures.

Page updated September 2012



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