Nine Types of Dentistry and Their Purpose

Dentistry is a branch of medical science that deals with diagnosing, curing, and preventing oral disease. This includes the diseases of teeth, the associated structure, and the soft tissue of the mouth. Dentistry also includes correction and treatments of misalignment of teeth, malformation of jaws, and birth abnormalities.

Dentistry has been performed since ancient times. Scientists have found the signs of small holes in the jaws of Egyptian skulls from 2750 BCE. However, the first tooth replacement attempt was made in 600 BCE, when the tooth gap was filled with an animal tooth and tied with a cord.

Today, a commonly asked question is why dentistry takes so many years to study, even though it’s a super-specialized area. This is because there are several branches of dentistry. A general dentist cannot diagnose and cure all teeth-related problems because each branch treats the specific issues.

dental prosthesis on a table of dental care professional

Let’s look at the different branches of dentistry.

1. Oral Radiology

This specialization deals with the non-surgical aspects of dentistry, particularly with radiographs (x-rays), primary diagnosis, and the making of treatment charts. First, dental care professionals diagnose the primary issue. Second, they get scans and tests to get a better understanding of the issue. Third, the specialist makes a diagnosis and recommends treatment based on the results.

2. Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery

This specialization deals with the diagnosis of injuries, disease, or defects in the soft and hard tissues of your neck and head region and utilizes surgery to address the issue. The treatment of oral cancer, nose surgeries, wisdom tooth extraction, correction of cleft palates, and many more treatments fall under this specialization. This can also include dimple creation and the surgical modification of improper jaws.

3. Prosthodontics

This branch of dentistry deals with restoring and maintaining the smile on your face. It restores natural teeth, replaces missing ones with dentures or dental implants, and fixes maxillofacial structure. Facial joint disorders can be cured while restoring the normal mouth and jaw structure of the patient. Specialists in prosthodontics can perform smile makeovers and improve facial aesthetics through implants and veneers.

4. Endodontic and Conservative dentistry

Endodontic and conservative dentistry diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases associated with teeth and their structure. This specialization includes treatments like removing decay and root canal treatment when the tooth’s pulp is infected. This branch also deals with facial aesthetics like teeth bleaching, laminates, smile, veneers, and teeth caps.

Traditional metal braces

5. Periodontics

This area deals with diseases and conditions of the gums, and the structure which holds your teeth. These specialists can also treat gum disease or correct improper gum lines.

6. Orthodontics

This branch is concerned with the correction and prevention of misaligned teeth and abnormalities of the facial and dental region. Orthodontics also treats children to prevent dental misalignment and malfunctioning from a growing age. This process helps in minimizing the future ill effects.

7. Pedodontics

This branch deals with the dental issues of children. It helps in maintaining the oral health of your child. Specialists of this branch are usually good at dealing with children. They treat not only dental issues but are trained to deal in the unique problems kids may face when it comes to their oral health.

Dental care professionals performing a treatment on a child

8. Oral Pathology

This area of practice and study is about the progression of disease in the oral and maxillofacial regions. Oral pathologists perform biopsies to diagnose and test cells, which help identify the presence of disease at the most basic level of human biology.

9. Public and Preventive Dentistry

This branch deals with the promotion and awareness of oral health. It deals with dental public health on a large scale. They carry out surveys, create awareness through camps, and perform research activities to help in literature. These dentists are also trained to perform basic dental procedures.

Many government-led public health dentistry programs include creating awareness, especially in schools to educate kids about oral hygiene from a younger age.

The Most Popular Sub-Branches of Dentistry

Following are some most popular sub-branches of dentistry.

a. Implant Dentistry

This branch of dentistry deals with dental implants, which fill the gap of a missing tooth by installing a screw-like fixture in the jaw bone on which an artificial tooth can be mounted.

b. Cosmetic Dentistry

Although this isn’t a special branch of dentistry, it’s the most famous and expensive type of dentistry.  It gives an attractive appearance to the patient through various procedures. It involves improving the health and appearance of gums, teeth, and the facial expressions of the patient.

c. Geriatric Dentistry

This branch deals with older adults. It diagnoses and cures the signs of aging and age-related diseases to elongate the life of teeth structure and mouth.

an older man is putting dentures in his mouth

d. Minimal Intervention Dentistry

Minimal intervention dentistry deals in preserving the natural tooth structure as long as possible.

e. Laser Dentistry

Laser dentistry is a modern-day cure for many dental diseases. It is less painful and has faster recovery times in general. It treats different areas of the oral cavity as per the need of the patient.

If you’re looking for the best dentists in town to start your journey to a bright, confident smile with aligned and clean teeth, get in touch with our highly qualified team at West Hills Smiles.

We’re the best dentistry service providers in West Hills, CA. Our experienced dentists will help you decide what the best treatment for you is. We also offer promotional plans, financial assistance, and insurance.  Contact us at (818) 346-4303 for more information and get the best dental treatment services from our experienced professionals.