Choosing a dental specialty depends on your interests and comfort zone—for example, some dentists like working with kids, so pediatric dentistry is a good choice. At the same time, others enjoy geriatric dentistry because it focuses on the treatment of aged patients.
Oral and maxillofacial radiology is a science-focused field that uses clinical, microscopic, biochemical, and radiographic examinations to research the cause and effect of diseases in the mouth, jaw, and face. It also involves the interpretation of radiographic images like MRIs and CT scans. Click https://bocadentallasvegas.com/ to learn more.
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with straightening misaligned teeth and jaws. It focuses on diagnosing, preventing, and intercepting malocclusions using orthodontic appliances like braces to help patients achieve healthy, attractive smiles. It is a very popular treatment for people with crooked or uneven teeth, overcrowded teeth, and bite problems that can lead to painful chewing and speech impairments.
Dentists are often confused with orthodontists, but it’s important to understand their differences. While both can give you a great-looking smile, they have different levels of education and training. Dentists have an undergraduate degree and four years of dental school and provide various basic treatments for your oral health needs.
On the other hand, orthodontists have at least three additional years of post-doctorate orthodontic education through an accredited program to become a specialist in this field. This extra training ensures that orthodontists are properly trained to correct the issues they revise.
Some of the most common issues that orthodontists treat include crowded teeth, irregular bites, protruding teeth, and facial imbalances. In addition, they are also capable of dealing with abscesses, root canals, and pulling teeth. They may even be called on to perform reconstructive surgery on the face, jaws, and neck.
Orthodontists work closely with general dentists to ensure their patients get the best possible care. Some dentists will refer their patients to orthodontists for certain treatments that they don’t have the training or equipment to do themselves. For example, many general dentists can do basic root canals and pull teeth. Still, if the case is particularly complicated or involves an implant, they might recommend that you visit an oral surgeon or a periodontist.
Geriatric dentistry involves diagnosing, managing, preventing, and treating dental problems specific to elderly patients. Elderly patients often experience symptoms of oral diseases such as root and coronal caries, dry mouth (xerostomia), and periodontitis that differ from those experienced by younger people. They also have comorbid medical conditions that affect oral health and frequently take multiple medications that can interact with each other or cause side effects such as dry mouth.
Because of the unique needs of elderly patients, geriatric dentists have specialized knowledge of the effects of medications on teeth and gums, the potential risks of certain surgical procedures, and the need for continued monitoring of the patient’s overall health status. They are also familiar with the ability of older patients to become more susceptible to infections that the common cold, influenza, and other illnesses can cause.
Dental care for older people is essential to ensure the aging population can access oral health services. Various geriatric dental specialists are needed to provide care in community and institutional settings to meet the growing demand. The Harvard School of Dental Medicine offers a four-year program that leads to a combined master’s degree in medical sciences and a certificate in geriatric dentistry.
Geriatric dentists are familiar with the physical, sensory, and cognitive limitations that many elderly patients face. They understand that they must respect the patient’s limits and be willing to slow down or reschedule exams and treatments if a patient is not ready for them or can no longer tolerate stimulation. They also know when to offer a calming distraction, such as music or television, during dental procedures to help ease the anxiety that some dental procedures can trigger.
While most of us think of a dentist as someone who performs routine cleanings, examines our teeth and gums, and offers general tooth-related care, several other dental professionals specialize in different areas. These specialized doctors are called specialists, and they can help with more advanced or complex problems that your general dentist may need to be qualified to handle.
Endodontics specialists study the biological composition of a tooth’s vital pulp, located beneath sturdy enamel and outer layers. They can treat a tooth’s pulp and canals that hold it when this material becomes inflamed or infected. Infection and inflammation can result from deep cavities, cracks or fractures, repeated dental treatments, or injuries to the mouth or jaw.
This specialist also treats damaged or impacted teeth and reconstructs the facial area following traumatic accidents involving the mouth, jaw, or face. They can also perform the surgical removal of cysts and tumors.
Gum disease is a major problem for Americans and is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. This specialist is trained to diagnose and treat this serious issue, which involves infection of the gum tissues. This can be treated with antibiotics and surgery, as well as other procedures that will improve the appearance of the mouth.
Prosthodontists repair and replace missing teeth on a larger scale than a general dentist, using dentures, bridges, and dental implants. They are skilled in understanding the dynamics of a smile and work to create tooth replacements that look and feel like your natural teeth. Their training also includes addressing other issues that affect the mouth and jaw, including jaw joint problems and sleep disorders.
Getting dental restorations like dentures or implants can restore the function and appearance of teeth that have been damaged by disease, injury, or previous dentistry. A prosthodontist has extensive training in tooth replacement techniques and will be able to design the right fit for the patient. Prosthodontists can also provide a variety of other treatments for patients with damaged teeth or jaws.
Prosthodontic procedures include fillings, occlusion therapy (bite correction), bone grafting, veneers and dental bridges, temporomandibular joint treatment, dental implants, and full mouth rehabilitation. A general dentist may perform cosmetic/esthetic procedures, but prosthodontists have specialized education and experience in the full range of smile reconstruction options and are more familiar with complex cases.
The word prosthodontics comes from the Greek for “to repair or replace.” A dentist with a degree in prosthodontics can help patients who have lost a tooth, suffered damage to a missing or broken tooth, have a jaw injury, or need to treat other facial trauma. Often, these patients have advanced problems that require comprehensive treatment or when other specialties have already performed extensive destruction to their teeth.
Prosthodontists can also help people with stains or gaps on their teeth that make them feel self-conscious about their smiles. Dental bonding is a common way to repair these issues and can be completed in a single session. They can also perform bone grafting, which adds density to the jawbone. The lack of bone density can be caused by facial trauma, untreated gum disease, or teeth loss. The procedure helps to promote bone growth and prevent the deterioration of existing teeth and gums. This is also an effective solution for a receding jawline.
Dental public health specialists focus on community dental health instead of individual patients. Their responsibilities include promoting better oral hygiene and ensuring access to adequate dental care for all population members. This involves educational outreach, advocacy education, and other programs designed to improve oral health, prevent disease, and promote healthy lifestyles.
According to the Canadian Association of Dental Specialties, this non-clinical discipline is a unique specialty that improves dental and oral healthcare across entire populations rather than among individuals. Practitioners work primarily for primary care trusts and health authorities, although some take up academic posts with universities.
To combat this, the American Dental Association supports various programs to help dentists work in dental public health. These include scholarships, loan repayment, and opportunities to volunteer with local health organizations. It also partners with other agencies and organizations to support and assist dentists in their work, which includes helping them understand the impact of poor oral health on different aspects of a person’s life. For example, it helps them know how obesity, heart disease, and diabetes can be linked to the quality of a person’s teeth.