The majority of people refer to dentistry as a field of science that deals with teeth. However, also known as oral or dental medicine, dentistry is a branch of medicine that involves the prevention, diagnosis and dental treatment of conditions, disorders, and diseases of the oral cavity, the maxillofacial region and related structures.
Most individuals think that a general dentist can handle all teeth-related issues and wonder why it takes so many years to learn about just one part of the body, while a doctor takes the same period to learn about the whole body. However, dentistry is divided into numerous branches called specializations, each dealing with specific conditions. In this read, we are going to learn about the various branches of dentistry so buckle up!
Also known as restorative dentistry, this branch deals with repairing and restoring broken or mission teeth. Prosthodontics usually achieve this by using dentures, bridges or crowns. Dentists in this field specialize in treating mouth injuries, sleep or snoring disorders, jaw joint issues and post oral cancer reconstruction. They focus on restoring and maintaining oral function, health comfort, and appearance using replacements.
This is a form of dentistry that focuses on the gums. These dentists specialize in preventing and treating oral inflammation and gum-related conditions. Common treatments in periodontics include deep cleaning, a scaling and root planning procedure that gets rid of plaque buildup beneath the gums. Dentists in this field also repair dental implants and remove gum tissues that have sustained damage.
3. Cosmetic Dentistry
This is dental work aimed at improving the mouth’s appearance. This entails enhancing the shape, size, position, alignment and color of teeth. Common treatments include tooth-colored fillings and teeth whitening.
4. Implant Dentistry
This involves putting artificial teeth on the jawbone using implants. An implant is simply a screw-like metal component that acts as the root for a tooth. Implant dentistry involves multiple steps as it takes time for the jaw to heal.
This is a procedure that’s meant to fix misaligned jaws or teeth. It involves fixing teeth gaps, underbites, overbites and other abnormalities to help restore the function and improve teeth’s longevity. Treatments often involve wires, retainers, braces and other corrective components. This type of dentistry helps improve a person’s physical appearance by repositioning and straightening the teeth.
6. Preventive or Community Dentistry
This branch deals with preventing conditions, promoting mental and physical efficiency and prolonging life via organized community efforts for environmental sanitation, controlling communicable infections, organizing nursing and medical services and educating people in personal hygiene to help in the diagnosis and preventive treatment of oral and dental issues.
7. Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology
This is a branch that utilizes x-rays to diagnose and treat dental conditions. Thanks to their advanced education, professionals in this field interpret magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT), and other digital images to find underlying conditions that may not be easy to diagnose.
8. Pediatric Dentistry
Also referred to as pedodontics, pediatric dentistry is a field that deals with children’s dental care. The dentists specialize in providing dental sealants and fluoride treatment to young patients. They also educate the young ones about the importance of dental and oral health as well as how to break bad habits like thumb sucking.
9. Geriatric Dentistry
This branch focuses on older patients. These kinds of patients often have poorer oral health compared to younger patients because of tooth enamel wearing out over time, poor nutrition, and other health factors. As such, they require additional attention due to teeth sensitivities and drug interactions.
There are several other branches of dentistry, but these are the primary ones.