Types of Dentists

Do you need a dentist but are not sure what kind of dentist? Let us break down the differences between dental specializations for you.

Here's a description of the different types of dentists

General Practice

Board-certified dentists work and, most times, own a private general dental practice. They typically collaborate with dental technicians, hygienists, and sometimes dental therapists.

Since oral health contributes to your overall health, visiting the dentist once a year is essential. Patients attend a general practice for routine cleanings, examinations, and maintenance education.

Pediatric Dentistry

Educating children and young adults on oral hygiene is the responsibility of a Pediatric Dentist.

These dentists not only perform routine exams but also help prevent serious problems by detecting abnormalities in children's growth and development.

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

Orthodontics focuses on the alignment of jaws and teeth. Orthodontists do require more education than general dentists.

Braces, retainers, and wires are standard treatments administered by Orthodontists. Orthodontia's specialty, Dentofacial Orthodontics, concentrates on facial growth abnormalities.

Dental Public Health

Dentists certified in Dental Public Health are working to improve the community's oral health rather than treating individuals and their diseases. These skilled dentists evaluate dental situations as they relate to the population and determine if the situation should be considered a public health concern.


The dental specialty that concentrates exclusively on the health of gums and supporting tissues is what we call Periodontics. A Periodontist attends to patients referred by their general dentist due to advanced gum disease.

To become a Periodontist, you will need to complete additional education covering the treatment of periodontal disease and the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants.


Endodontics, a branch of dentistry that focuses primarily on the preservation and restoration of teeth, is concerned with the tissue encompassing the root.

Additional training is required for Endodontists to pinpoint tooth pain and initiate treatment. Endodontists can also perform intricate procedures on injured or ill-maintained teeth.


Prosthodontics, aka prosthetic dentistry, focuses on replacing teeth to restore function and oral health.

These dentists also provide cosmetic treatments, such as veneers, to improve one's appearance. Prosthodontists are very proficient in surgically placing crowns or dentures as a replacement.

Dentist Anesthesiologist

Whether the dental procedure requires anesthesia or a patient needs to be calmed, a Dentist Anesthesiologist is there to help. Their training concentrates on the maintenance of pain; therefore, they can be found in surgical centers and private practices.

Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology

Dentists specializing in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology can diagnose and treat diseases affecting the mouth and other interconnected structures.

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology can also be called Head and Neck Pathology. An Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologist will assess not only clinical but lifestyle factors to determine the reason and impact of the diseased area.

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology involves the interpretation of dental scans such as CT and MRI to detect diseases or other head, mouth, and face irregularities. You can find Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologists in the education sector as well as in private practices.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Dentists specializing in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery operate to repair face, neck, jaw, and mouth injuries and diseases. The training process to become an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is lengthy due to the intricacies of their procedures.

No Medical or Dental Advice

The content on this website is solely for informational purposes and should never be regarded as a substitute for medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health or any deterioration in your well-being, always consult your physician or dentist. Your healthcare provider’s diagnosis and prescription should be your primary source of guidance. The details found on this site are not meant to replace regular dental appointments, including routine checkups, as advised by the Oral Health Foundation or ADA.

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