If you regularly visit dentists in Maple Ridge, it’s easy to think that all they do is clean teeth, put on and take out braces, and perform wisdom tooth surgery every now and then. However, there’s more to dental healthcare than that! In fact, dentistry is a vast and complex field with many different specialty areas. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the most common specialties in dentistry so that you can get to know your dentist and what they do a little better.
12 Specialty Dentistry Services
As of today, there are 12 different dental specialties practiced by dentists around the world. They are:
1. Dental public health
Dental public health is a specialization that focuses on the prevention of dental diseases and promotion of dental health through education and community programs. Dentists who specialize in dental public health typically work in government agencies or non-profit organizations.
2. Oral Medicine
This branch of dentistry is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases. Oral medicine specialists often work closely with other medical professionals, such as ENTs (ear, nose, and throat doctors) and rheumatologists (arthritis specialists), to provide comprehensive care for patients.
3. Cosmetic Dentistry
If you’re interested in improving the appearance of your smile, you may want to consider seeking out a cosmetic dentist. cosmetic dentistry is all about helping patients achieve their ideal smiles through a variety of different treatments, such as teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and dental implants.
Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the dental pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth). Endodontists typically perform root canals and other procedures to save teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted.
5. Dental Anesthesiology
Dental anesthesiology is a specialization that focuses on the administration of anesthesia during dental procedures. Dentists who specialize in dental anesthesiology have received additional training in anesthesia and pain management.
6. Orofacial Pain
Orofacial pain is a branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of facial pain disorders, such as TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder and orofacial neuralgia (nerve pain). Orofacial pain specialists often work closely with other medical professionals, such as neurologists and pain management specialists, to provide comprehensive care for patients.
A branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists typically use braces, retainers, and other tools t to correct teeth that are crooked or misaligned.
8. Oral and maxillofacial surgery
Dentists who specialize in this branch of dentistry perform surgery on the mouth, teeth, jaws, or any other part of the face.
9. Oral and maxillofacial pathology
Oral and maxillofacial pathology is a branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the mouth, teeth, jaws, as well as other parts of the face.
10. Oral and maxillofacial radiology
Just like oral and maxillofacial pathology, this branch of dentistry also deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the mouth, teeth, jaws, and other parts of the face. The main difference is that dentists of this specialty often use imaging technology, such as MRIs and CTs..
Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Periodontists typically perform procedures such as scaling and root planing, which are used to treat a variety of gum disease.
12. Pediatric dentistry
Pediatric dentistry is the branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of dental conditions in children. Pediatric dentists typically have special training in child psychology, which helps them to better understand and treat the unique dental needs of children.
How to Find The Right Dentist for Your Dental Needs
Now that you’re well aware of the different kinds of dentist specializations out there, the next thing you should figure out is how to choose the right dentist for your dental needs.
There are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration, such as:
What kind of dental care do you need?
If you’re simply looking for a dentist who can perform routine cleanings and checkups, then any dentist should be able to meet your needs. However, if you’re in need of more specialized care, such as orthodontics or oral surgery, then you’ll need to find a dentist who specializes in those areas.
What is your budget?
Dental care can be expensive, so it’s important to find a dentist whose fees are within your budget. Be sure to ask about the cost of different procedures before making an appointment.
What are your insurance requirements?
If you have insurance, you’ll want to find a dentist who is covered by your insurance plan. Be sure to ask about insurance coverage before making an appointment.
What are your scheduling requirements?
If you have a busy schedule, you’ll want to find a dentist who can accommodate your schedule.
Where are you located?
You’ll want to find a dentist who is located conveniently near you. This way, it would be easy for you to go to your appointments.
Once you’ve taken all of these factors into consideration, you should be able to narrow down your options and choose the right dentist for you.
Before You Go
Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a comparative table outlining the characteristics of dental implants, dentures, and bridges:
Artificial roots that support crowns or bridges.
Removable replacements for missing teeth.
Fixed or removable replacements that “bridge” the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Implanted in the jawbone, independent of other teeth.
Rest on the gums, no need for drilling adjacent teeth.
Anchored to adjacent teeth or implants.
Look and feel like natural teeth.
Can be visibly artificial, newer high-quality ones can look quite natural.
Can closely resemble natural teeth.
Function like natural teeth, strong biting force.
Less stable than implants, may affect speech and eating.
Restores normal function but not as strong as implants.
Helps preserve jawbone and prevent bone loss.
May lead to bone loss over time as they do not stimulate the bone.
Does not prevent bone loss unless anchored to implants.
Can last a lifetime with proper care.
May need to be replaced every 5-10 years due to changes in the jaw.
Typically lasts 5-15 years, depending on care and use.
Generally more expensive, but a long-term investment.
Less expensive, but may incur more long-term costs due to replacements.
Mid-range cost, but may require additional work on adjacent teeth.
Oral Health Impact
Requires surgery; minimal impact on other teeth.
No surgery required; may impact remaining teeth if partial dentures are used.
Requires altering adjacent teeth to serve as anchors.
Requires healing time after surgery before final teeth can be placed.
No healing time required, but may require adjustment periods.
May require some healing time if extraction or oral surgery is involved.
Not suitable for everyone; requires good bone density and general health.
Suitable for almost anyone, regardless of the condition of remaining teeth.
Requires healthy teeth for anchoring, not suitable if adjacent teeth are not strong enough.
A University of British Columbia journal reports that Canadians usually pay for dental care since public health care doesn’t cover it. They use private insurance, pay out of pocket, or sometimes get help from government programs. Provincial plans might help with emergency dental work, but only a little.
Dr. Saleema Adatia, the author of Are Dental Implants Covered by Insurance in Canada?, points out that it’s rare for the Canadian Government to offer dental insurance. Most people get it through their jobs or purchase it from insurance companies.
Insurance can help pay for dental services, depending on the plan. It’s important to check your insurance to see what it covers, especially for big dental treatments like implants. Coverage can vary; some plans might only pay part of the costs.