Thinking of pursuing a dental specialty after graduating with your DDS or DMD? Specializing allows you to focus on sharpening the skills you care the most about. It also gives you the opportunity to boost your income-earning potential. Explore the top four dental specialty careers to consider.
Periodontists specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating gum disease. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, affects a patient’s gums and jawbone and causes issues with supporting their teeth.
Periodontists perform procedures such as gum grafts and bone grafts. They take dental implant courses to learn how to place implants safely. Dental implants support jawbone health and restore a patient’s ability to chew.
The next dental specialty career to consider is pediatric dentistry, also called pedodontics. These specialists diagnose and treat dental problems in infants, children, teens, and sometimes adults requiring special accommodations.
While some general dentists can treat children, pediatric dentists can more thoroughly support children’s needs. Their special training prepares them to handle common dental problems that kids have, including tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, and tooth decay. Pediatric dentistry offices have specialized equipment that can make a visit more welcoming to kids.
Orthodontists diagnose and treat teeth and jaw abnormalities. They commonly correct misaligned teeth, overbites, underbites, crooked teeth, and other alignment issues.
Orthodontists commonly design, create, and apply orthodontic appliances to improve the function and appearance of teeth. Common appliances include archwires, bands, expanders, and retainers. While people typically think of orthodontists as professionals who straighten teenagers’ teeth with braces, these specialists can work with patients of all ages.
Prosthodontists create prostheses that correct mouth and jaw deformations. They also treat some disorders associated with damaged teeth. Prosthodontists can even repair cracks and chips in teeth.
Prosthodontists use X-rays and other instruments to evaluate the patient’s oral health. They take impressions of the patient’s jaws and teeth to fabricate prostheses that fit well.