Types of Dental Specialties and What They Do

Patient undergo dental treatment in dental clinic

Who is a Dentist? 

A dentist is a healthcare professional specializing in preventing, diagnosing, and treating oral diseases. They provide a wide range of services, including general dental check-ups, cleanings, fillings, extractions, and others.

Their primary goal is to provide education on oral hygiene and best dental practices. A dentist may work in private hospitals, clinics, or public health settings.

Dentists play an important role in maintaining oral health and preventing serious oral diseases. With newer advancements in dental technology, the scope for choosing multiple dental specialties also increases. Dentists typically work in teams to manage complex dental procedures.

This includes dental assistants who support the dentist in ensuring smooth procedures and the comfort of the patient.


What is the Dentist’s Educational Requirement?

A dentist’s educational journey requires the completion of a four-year dentistry course program and the passing of written and clinical exams from an accredited dental university in Malaysia. This degree is referred to as a bachelor of dental surgery.

Additionally, a dentist must also get a valid license to practise dentistry. After earning a dental degree, a dentist can choose to specialize in one of the dental specialties. Alternatively, they can directly get into the field of general dentistry.


What are the Different Types of Dental Specialties?

1. Orthodontics

Orthodontists focus on diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists specialize in using braces, retainers, and other appliances to correct and straighten teeth.


2. Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentists are specialists who look after the treatment of the dental needs of children from infancy through adolescence.

They possess the right knowledge and skills to provide children with preventive and therapeutic care. They can also cater to the unique needs of children and provide specialized dental services.


3. Periodontics

Periodontists are those who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of issues affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. They also look after dental implants and perform cosmetic periodontal procedures.


Dental clinic, detail of dentists with blue suits performing an implant


4. Oral and Maxillofacial surgery

These dental surgeons specialize in the surgical treatment of diseases and injuries. They also look after defects of the head, neck, face, jaws, and other tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region.


5. Endodontics

Endodontists are responsible for diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries related to the dental pulp and other tissues surrounding the tooth. They specialize in performing root canals and other procedures to save teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted.


6. Prosthodontics

Prosthodontists look after the replacement of missing teeth and streamline other oral structures. This is done using dentures, bridges, and dental implants as well.


7. Public Health Dentistry

This specialization focuses on education on the prevention and control of dental diseases. This education is done in groups instead of with individual patients. They primarily work in community health programs, government agencies, and other settings.


8. Oral Pathology

Oral pathologists specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases of the oral cavity and surrounding structures. They make use of laboratory and other diagnostic procedures to identify oral cancer and other diseases. They work closely with other dental specialists to plan the treatment and further course of action.


Boy Undergoing Dental check


9. Dental Anaesthesiology

Dental anesthesiologists are specialists in administering anesthesia and providing sedation for dental procedures. They work closely with other dental specialists to ensure patients are comfortable and feel safe before and during a dental procedure.


10. Dental Public Health

These specialists focus on the prevention and control of oral diseases in populations instead of individual patients. They work as a part of community health programs, government agencies, schools, and other settings.


11. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologist

This specialty of dentistry deals with the nature, identification, and management of diseases that cater to the oral and maxillofacial regions. It combines the discipline of pathology with the treatment of diseases.


12. Oral Medicine

This is the specialty that looks after the oral healthcare requirements of complex patients and the diagnosis of medical-related diseases, disorders, and conditions.


In Closing

Dental specialties form an integral part of the dental profession. Each specialty focuses on a specific dental area to ensure the right dental care is provided to patients.

Each dentist enhances his skillset through a specialty. From orthodontics to public health dentistry, these specialties work together to provide comprehensive care for patients of all ages.