Dentistry isn’t just about going to your usual dentist to get your teeth cleaned once or twice a year. When something happens to your teeth or you need specialized care like braces or surgery, you’ll probably need to see a specialist. Here are four common dentistry specialties.
Orthodontics and the closely related specialty of dentofacial orthopedics focus on correcting patients’ bites and jaw alignments, straightening teeth and treating abnormalities in facial skeletal development. Chances are, you or your child will need to see an orthodontist at least once. You can see these specialists as an adolescent while your facial structure and bite are still developing or as an adult once everything is in place. Once you know which kind of specialist you need, you only need to search for something like orthodontist near me online and you should find the perfect fit.
2. Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery
You may not realize it, but many people require oral surgery in their lifetimes. This is typically to extract wisdom teeth, rather than for any type of oral injury or health concern. However, oral surgeons are usually able to provide surgical intervention for many different kinds of oral issues. These can range from birth defects to injuries like broken teeth, and from cosmetic surgery to functional needs.
3. Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dentists perform routine dental procedures and checkups for children. Like pediatric doctors, these dentists will typically see patients from infancy until the end of adolescence, whether a child has basic dental needs or requires specialized care. Pediatric dentists also commonly help teach children to care for their teeth and provide advice to parents on helping children learn to do so at home.
4. Dental Public Health
Raising awareness of dental public health is a specialty in its own right. Public health experts tend to work more with the community than individual patients, developing dental health awareness campaigns, and disseminating dental research. This specialty’s goal is to promote dental health in the community, educate the public about dental disease prevention and management, and set up community dental health programs where needed.
If you need a specialist, your regular dentist will typically have some recommendations available to refer you to. Talk to your dentist about what kind of care or treatment you may need and don’t be afraid to do some research to figure out what specialists in your area fit your needs and comfort level best.