Within dentistry, there are different specialties dentists can choose to focus on. Suppose they decide they would like to focus on one specific field area. In that case, they will complete any additional education and training required to learn more about the area they are specializing in.
Dentists will learn about and be trained in all fields to have a general understanding of each specialty. However, they will be able to treat various dental issues and may choose to refer a patient to a specialist if the issue is too extensive or specific. The dental specialist may also have a different title, such as orthodontist, endodontist, periodontist, etc.
Many patients may be wondering who they should visit based on the differences between a professional within general dentistry in Kingsway and a specialist.
Education & Training
General dentists in Kingsway will have the necessary skills to diagnose and treat patients regarding common dental issues affecting their oral health. When general dentists begin their careers, their educational background will be the same as dentists who decide to specialize. All professions within the field of dentistry require a bachelor’s degree to apply to medical school and pursue a doctorate. Dental professionals will need to complete a four-year doctoral program and, after graduating, can begin practice.
A dental specialist, however, will finalize their initial four-year degree before pursuing additional education in their field of focus. They will most likely need to complete additional clinical training and gain a certificate before starting to practice as specialized professionals.
Overall, both a general dentist and a dental specialist require higher education to practice dentistry.
There are nine specialties within dentistry recognized by the Canadian Dental Association. These include:
1) Dental Public Health
This branch is concerned with diagnosing, preventing, and controlling dental issues and a patient’s oral health. Dentists serve their community of patients through research and advanced education received during their careers.
Endodontics focus on the morphology (shape and structure), physiology, and pathology of the teeth’s pulp. They also focus on issues surrounding the root of a tooth and ensure they are healthy and protected.
3) Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Dentists in this specialty may diagnose and perform surgery and adjunctive treatment of other dental and facial issues. They work with the hard and soft tissues that characterized the oral and maxillofacial regions of our bodies.
4) Oral Medicine and Pathology
In this field, a dentist’s focus includes non-surgical procedures for oral, maxillofacial, and temporomandibular issues. They specialize in helping patients who may have medical complications.
5) Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology
This specialization focuses on the prescription, production and interpretation of images that may help diagnose a patient and manage a craniofacial disorder.
6) Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Specialized dentists with this focus will supervise, guide and correct patients regarding the structure of their teeth and jawbone.
7) Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dentistry focuses on treating infants and children through adolescence.
Periodontists focus on diagnosing, preventing, and treating issues in the tissues surrounding the patient’s teeth, also known as theor gums.
Prosthodontics focuses on the restoration and maintenance of a patient’s smile. If a patient has missing teeth and needs restoration, they may be referred to a prosthodontic.
Finding a General Dentist Near You
Patients may initially visit a general dentist that can diagnose and treat most dental issues. After an initial visit, if patients require a specialist, their dentist will refer them. Finding a dental clinic that offers general dentistry services near you is the first step to caring for your oral health, as patients should visit a dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. Some dental clinics may offer specialized treatments, and if they don’t, the staff will be able to redirect you.
If you’re seeking quality general dentistry in Kingsway, we’ve got you covered! Contact us today to book an appointment.