Today the world is more focused and diverted towards the specialization. Dentistry is one such field with many specializations. If you are aware about different dental specialists, it helps to know which type of dentist can help you most efficiently. A simple example will help you to have a better understanding: we go to orthopedist for bone problems or defects and not to a cardiologist because both are doctors. An orthopedist have specialization in bones related problems and a cardiologist is a heart surgeon . Similarly, Dentistry is a field of Medicine which has 9 specializations.
What are the different specialties in Dentistry?
Prosthodontists are the specialists who deals with the treatment of missing teeth .They replaces the missing teeth by fabricating the artificial prosthesis which replicates the natural teeth .The replaced teeth are made such that they fulfills the aesthetical and fuctional requirement. They make sure that the mastivatory forces are evenly distributed to prevent traumatic occlusion. The missing tooth or teeth are replaced by different measures ; it can be removable or fixed depending upon the health of supporting structures i.e gums , alveolar bone and the adjacent teeth.. If the supporting structures are not strong enough we go for removable prosthesis. This removable prosthesis can be inserted by oneself. It has to cleaned daily for proper hygiene. These prosthesis gets their strength via metallic framework attached to it. The fixed prosthesis includes bridges or implants. The bridges or crowns can be metal ceramic or zirconia crowns depending on the requirement. Sometimes for preparing a crown we need to do intentional root cal treatment to avoid any hypersensitivity of teeth. Another prosthetic approach to tooth replacement is the dental implants , which is a surgical intervention. Dental implants are the titanium screws which are drilled into the alveolar bone to serve as anchors for the tooth to be replaced.the implants are now accepted world wide as it does not involves root canal treatments of adjacent teeth for support.the implants can even be loaded immediately and thus it also fulfills the aesthetical requirement by not revealing the missing tooth .. Implantology is now developing to a field by itself.
Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with Gum disease : its causes and treatments. If you have bleeding gums then you need to visit to pereiodontist without delay as this could be the early sign of any gum disease. Gums constitutes the major part of oral health. Unhealthy gums lead to several dental problems and also its associated with some other health issues like diabetes or heart diseases. Any defect in the gums and its adjoining structures results in early loss of teeth. Plaque and calculus are the deposits which gets accumulated along the gum line and irritates and inflames the gingiva. This results in gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. Further more any gum recession or bone recessions are uplifted by doing flap surgeries which are undertaken by the periodontist. Periodontal treatment includes the cleaning of the plaque deposits and calculus with the hand instruments or ultrasonic scalers. Bony and gum defects are treated by raising the gingival flaps and deep cleaning or (curettage) ; to remove the granulomatous or necrosed tissue. Mobile teeth may be splinted together for support and stabilization during the healing process.
Pediatric dentistry is a field that deals with treatments for kids and teens. It is recommended by the American dental academy that an infant’s first visit to the dental clinic should be made till his/her first birthday .Children have their primary or milk teeth till the age of 13 years. The problems related to the primary set of dentition is taken by pedodontist. Teens have the mixed dentition that includes both primary and permanent dentition.Kids and teens have special type of problems which are treated by specialist .pediatric practice not only deals with treatment but also prevention from dacay by educating both parents and the children. If the milk tooth sheds before time the space has to be maintained for the future permanent tooth. This space is maintained by using space maintainers. Its very important to guide the correct eruption of teeth to avoid the malocclusion and the subsequent trauma due to occlusion. If your kids have problems related to cavities or tooth fracture then they need to visit the pedodontist to treat it by fillings or rct or pit and fissure sealants.
When the tooth becomes infected or the decay involves the pulp it has to be treated by a root canal treatment which is done by an endodontist. The pulp is the innermost layer of the teeth comprising of blood vessels and nerves. When this pulp gets infected it causes extruciating pain. It can also be effecting the periapical region. Endodontist also helps you to design your smile and thus enhancing the cosmetic appearance. They can give strength to your tooth by builing the lost structure of your tooth .
5.Oral and MaxillofacialSurgery
This branch of dentistry involves dealing with surgical interventions. The problems that require surgical treatments are done by an oral surgeon. The problems associated with your temporo mandibular joint or any jaw deformities are taken by this specialist. Cleft lip or palate cases are resolved by the surgeon providing you a better life. The most common problems associated with erupting wisdom tooth or impacted wisdom tooth due to lack of space in the jaws are treated by removing that tooth surgically by oral surgeon .The tooth can be impacted horizontally or vertically and has to be carefully removed preserving the vital structures .Emergency treatments like accidental trauma , fracture of maxilla or mandible or removal of any cyst or tumour is also undertaken by an oral sugeon.
Orthodontics is the branchy that deals with the study and diagnosis, detection ad prevention of the malocclusion. Malocclusion conditions are best treated by orthodontist .Malocclusion occurs due to discrepancy in tooth to jaw relationship. It can be either dental or skeletal problem or both. Faulty occlusions like deep bite ,proclined teeth or crowded teeth has to be treated at the earliest to prevent traumatic stress to the teeth and the tissues. Faulty habits like bruxism (grinding of teeth) ,thumb sucking or tongue thrust also deviate the occlusion from the normal condition. .the orthodontist corrects all the above defects or problems by special clips and appliances and also does the surgical intervention if required.
7. Oral Pathology
This field is concerned with the study and diagnosis of any pathology or lesion of oral tissues.this is a non cliniucal field od dentistry. It explains the cause of the pathology and its treatment.these pathologies have the ability to cause the alterations of the structure and their function. Oral disease is diagnosed by microscopic studies , sputum test or the biopsies taken by excising or incising the affected tissue. The oral pathologist, who usually works in the laboratory of a hospital, serves the patient only indirectly via consultation with the general phycisian or dentist.
8. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
This is the field of dentistry that deals with the study of the x rays of the oral tissues and all the oral structures .x rays are important way of diagnosis ; it helps diagnosing pulpal infection or periodontal infection .further more they are also helpful in the detection of the bony defects or any cyst or tumour.
9.Public Health Dentistry
This field relates to the study material comprising of the data linked with the public health. It explains the rate or growth of any dental disease in the particular area.it explains the prevention and control of dental diseases and educating people about the dental health and its importance, through organized community efforts and standardized data.. It offers career areas in dental public health and clinical research.