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Know your dental specialties

Know Your Dental Specialties (Part 2)

When you hear the words “dental specialty,” the reactions are a mixed bag of sorts for a majority of us. On the one hand, there’s a vague awareness of what it is exactly. On the other, it’s not exactly something we talk about daily. For one, what does it mean to be a dental specialist? And why do we need dental specialties in the first place?

As it turns out, dental specialties play a crucial part when it comes to your oral health. When you have a dental health problem that goes beyond general dentistry—a gum problem, for instance, or a missing tooth—you might need to go to someone who specializes in your dilemma. And learning how to solve that problem is no walk in the park, either. To treat your dental issue, that specialist might need to do a complicated procedure that takes years of training to do. 

But a dental specialty isn’t just limited to complicated procedures. Some specializations also zoom in on caring for a particular demographic. These groups usually have unique needs and issues you need to consider in order to find solutions to them, such as pediatric dentistry successfully.                                       

Regardless, it’s always good to take a refresher course on what these specialties are. Who knows? You might need them in the future.

Taking off from our last rundown, here are three more dental specialties that deserve our recognition:

  1. Dental Public Health
    It’s one thing to teach your patients about their oral health individually. It’s another to show whole groups of people. Criminally underrated, dental public health is the specialty not many people might know is a specialty. But it’s nonetheless a necessary one.

    As the name suggests, it focuses on educating providing dental care to communities rather than individual patients. Efforts like fluoridated water and mass dental drives are just some of the efforts this specialty has produced. Most of these initiatives also spring from applied dental research, ensuring that they are backed by science. You could say, then, that this specialty aims to bring oral health to larger populations—treating groups of people as one singular patient.

  2. Endodontics
    Our dental pulp is mostly necessary while our teeth are developing, it’s nonetheless essential to know their purpose. Particularly when this part of our teeth gets injured or infected. If you’ve had a root canal, chances are you had to go through an endodontist—a dental specialist that focuses on endodontics—to get the procedure done. Beyond treatment, however, endodontists also concern themselves with stopping these pulp problems in the first place.

  3. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
    For most people, getting a dental X-ray might be something extra, an added expense to an otherwise simple check-up. But getting an X-ray is more important than you think. These images can help your dentist see if any problems lurk under the surface. Issues such as a lack of bone density or cavities in between your teeth.

    To get the right image, then, radiologists aren’t just trained to produce these images. They’re also trained to interpret them and the data they provide. And because there are different types of X-rays—with some a little more tedious than the other, like a dental FMX—this is no small feat.