Currently, there are ten recognized dental specialties. And understandably, not many people would know what this means, or its importance. For one, what is a dental specialty? For another, why do we need them?
In laymen’s terms, a dental specialty is a specific dental practice that requires a more extensive skill set to perform. As such, aspiring dentists who want to build their practice in any of these specialties will need additional years of dental school. Typically, this takes about two years of advanced programs accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
For the most part, dental specialties zoom into specific oral issues that require extra care to treat. You might have witnessed firsthand the fruits of their labor. If you’ve ever had braces, for instance, that’s the work of orthodontics, a dental specialty. Dental restorations like dental bridges or implants are also the work of a dental specialty.
All this considered, what are the dental specialties, then? And why are they important? Here are three of them:
- Pediatric dentistry
Taking care of your child’s oral health at an early age prevents them from severe dental problems as they grow and mature. Yes, even if they still have their baby teeth. How to take care of it, on the other hand, is a different ball game entirely. We often talked about how infants, young children, and adolescents have unique oral issues that come with age. Aside from this, their psychological and behavioral disposition poses a unique challenge within the practice.
Pediatric dentistry, then, focuses on “primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care” for this age group, according to the American Dental Association. Aside from tending to their oral problems, then, pediatric dentists also ensure their patients feel well and safe throughout their treatment.
- Dental anesthesiology
Anesthesiology is, without a doubt, more important than some would give it credit for. During surgical procedures, the use of anesthesiology helps keep the patient safe, relaxed, and without pain throughout the operation.
Aside from knowing what type of anesthesia should be administered during the operation, anesthesiology also concerns itself with the amount of anesthesia dosage and monitoring the patient’s vital signs during the procedure. These functions are especially essential as each patient has a unique level of pain tolerance and response to the anesthesia, which anesthesiologists consider during administration. Your vital signs are also affected during surgery. The anesthesiologist, then, is responsible for ensuring they are at a healthy threshold and for treating any complications that arise if they are not.
Sometimes life throws you a curveball, and suddenly you’ve got a missing tooth or some unsightly teeth. Things like these can get not only in the way of your smile but also day-to-day activities. Prosthodontics, then, deals with creating and implementing dental restorations. These restorations include your crowns, implants, and even tooth reshaping.
But prosthodontics is not limited to the teeth alone. Any problems caused by a bad bite or other misalignments might be prescribed with oral appliances to correct them. Creating these appliances also fall under the prosthodontic practice.