Understanding the Various Dental Specialties:

If you are considering medical school and would like to specialize in dentistry, below are a few options to consider in selecting your chosen field.  General dentistry can help fill cavities, but if you want to make a difference, consider a specialized practice.

Specializing does mean more schooling, but they make on average 50K more a year, depending on the emphasis.  When preparing for dental school, consider your options and find your passion.  Choose to love what you will be doing for the rest of your life.  There are many options to consider, as well as certifications you can pass.  If you are interested in more than one area or focus, consider what other options there are to certify you to perform surgeries, fill cavities, work with children, and set braces.  There are many paths to consider and general dentistry is just to start!

Types of Dentistry:

Orthodontists: If you made it through Jr. High, it wasn’t without hearing about an orthodontist.  They specialize in correcting mis-aligned teeth or jaw lines.  This includes overbites, under-bites, or too many teeth. This can surgically help correct jaw problems causing difficulty eating or sleep apnea.  Orthodontists are often consulted before spacing becomes a problem in the mouth of a growing young adult.  They are the cause of braces, retainers, and spacers for your mouth.  But when the cosmetic services are done, you have a beautiful smile to show for it.


Endodontists:  An additional 2-3 years of training and leaning, helps them understand disease of tissue in your mouth.  Under each tooth, are nerves and tissue that nourish your teeth and keep them healthy and strong.  When you have root die, you can trust an endodontist to know how to drill and fill a root canal.  The treatments dealing with the nerves, blood vessels, or roots of your teeth will fall under this specialty.

Periodontal Dental:  With additional years of schooling, you will be prepared to diagnose and treat gum and bone diseases.  There are a wide variety of diseases you will learn that occur within the area of the gums and bone.  Some of these include things like gingivitis. This is a common disease, which causes bad breath and decay of your enamel.   There are other areas that you will need to focus, including bone grafting for teeth without needed support.  Guilded tissue regeneration is a surgery that removes gum tissue from the top of the mouth and places it around the teeth.  There are many surgeries required, which makes this one of the more monetary rewarding practices.

Pediatric Dentists: Another one of the most profitable areas of dentistry, because it is so well known.  Especially in Utah, Pediatric Dentist clinics and offices thrive because of necessity.  This requires an additional 2-3 years of schooling, which helps you care for infants teeth up to teens.  You will learn how to care for the teeth even before they start popping through.  Pediatric dentistry is rewarding and fun, so long as you can handle little squirming bodies.


Prosthodontists: Prosthetic dentistry is restoring or maintaining your smile with artificial substitutes. You have heard of these, cosmetic procedures on the rise.  Creating veneers for a whole new smile or just replacing bad teeth.  This is more than just an ordinary crowns and caps, this is the chance to create and construct a beautiful smile.   This is a rewarding and fulfilling career, building a smile from the ground up.  You also have the chance to work with the elderly, building dentures to match their once beautiful healthy smiles.

No Wrong Choice in Dentistry:

There is no wrong way to choose when selecting your dental career.  Find what you love and add it as an emphasis or specialized part of your life.  Take care to consider all of your options, including those listed above.  Other areas you can focus on are: Oral Surgery, General Dentistry, Cosmetic Dental Work, and dental assisting.

Finding what works for you is a matter of leaning about each of the services preformed.  Review with guidance counselors at your school to narrow down what additional training you can do.  You will put in the extra time, but love your job a lot more!  Consider you choices, select, and start your additional training today!

By Lacie Christensen