Perhaps you were the kid that wanted to see the rat skull in your friend’s backyard because you wanted to look at its teeth. Maybe you are the type of person now that analyzes dental problems when someone you meet first smiles. Some people are just meant to be dentists!
There are many different areas of specialization to explore beyond general dentistry. No matter what your specific fascinations, there’s a particular path of education that can be tailored to fit. The American Dental Association recognizes twelve unique specialties, each of which requires an advanced expertise:
Professionals in this field manage patients’ pain, anxiety, and overall health through dental diagnoses and procedures.
Dental Public Health
Dentists in this field work to prevent dental diseases within a community and control any diseases that arise, as well as promote public awareness of the need for oral health care.
This specialty focuses on the condition of the human dental pulp (the inside part of the tooth) and tissues. Dentists study the biology of the pulp and how to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases there.
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
These dentists research and treat conditions, diseases, defects and injuries causing and/or contributing to functional and aesthetic problems in the mouth, teeth, jaws and face.
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
These specialists interpret radiology scans to diagnose diseases or show the general condition of the mouth, teeth, jaws and face.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Dentists with this advanced degree have specific expertise in corrective surgery for problems with the tissues in the oral and maxillofacial regions.
Specialists in this area focus on oral healthcare for medically complex patients, along with diagnosing and managing medically related conditions affecting the mouth, teeth, jaws and face.
Orofacial pain specialists diagnose, manage and treat pain disorders affecting the jaw, mouth, face, head and neck.
Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
These specialists correct the improper placement of the teeth with braces and other therapies.
Dentists in this specialty work with infants and children to provide preventative and therapeutic dental services.
This specialty includes the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of problems with the tissue surrounding the teeth.
Prosthodontists provide solutions and comfort for people suffering from deficient or missing teeth.
The first step for any of these dental specialties is to get a degree in general dentistry, or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. If any of these specialized fields seem particularly interesting, then you might want to consider continuing your education with advanced degrees or getting the proper certifications to do what you love in the field of oral health.
Curious about becoming a dentist? Take a look at Roseman University’s College of Dental Medicine.
Becoming a dentist can result in an abundance of professional possibilities. Besides private practice options, dental school graduates can teach future dentists, travel with international health and relief organizations, work in hospital emergency rooms, or conduct advanced laboratory research.
Choosing a Dental School
There are over 65 dental schools in the United States accredited by the ADA’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. Each program is meticulously assessed to ensure compliance with quality and content standards. Typically, DMD and DDS programs take four years to complete. Additional years are necessary for dental specialties such as Pediatric Dentistry and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. When choosing a dental school, factors to consider include:
• Grading system
• Geographical location
• Combination programs
• Student-to-faculty ratio
• Required laboratory work
• Community-centric vs. larger, clinical experience
Admission to dental school is highly competitive, but the application process is straightforward. In fact, many U.S. dental schools utilize the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service enabling you to submit one online application and send it to a variety of schools.
Researching Dental School Programs
Where you attend dental school is a significant decision requiring a lot of research. Start with the dental school guidebook from the American Dental Association to help you rule out certain schools that don’t meet your criteria. When narrowing down your list of dental schools, don’t rule out your ideal school right away, even if it seems out of reach due to the program cost or academic standards. It may end up being attainable with further research.
Completing the Dental School Application Process
Keep your options open and don’t make a quick decision. Before submitting your applications, make sure to narrow down your options to the dental school programs that best align with your goals and objectives. That way you can realize your dream of achieving a rewarding career as a dentist. The result is a sustainable work-life balance and competitive salary in the health care industry.
Keep Roseman University College of Dental Medicine in Mind
If you are interested in a career in dentistry, Roseman has a 4 year Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree located at our South Jordan, UT campus. The College of Dental Medicine (CODM) utilizes Roseman’s innovative Six-Point Mastery Learning Model, with courses organized in a block curriculum. Rather than competing with other students to achieve high grades on a “curve”, students work together and everyone is expected to achieve competency at a high level in order to progress through the program.
Students at Roseman CODM also experience a unique classroom setting, with interactive and immersive technology, and state-of-the-art equipment that allows students and faculty to connect using a variety of instructional techniques, moving beyond the traditional lecture format. Reimagine your future with Roseman University.
Are you still in high school, or do you have a child still figuring out what career to pursue? The options are limitless, but there are certain advantages to getting into the dentistry field. If you are interested in helping others or playing a key role in your community, then becoming a dentist might be the right career choice for you.
Dentists Help Others
One of the most rewarding things in any career is the knowledge that people depend on you and that you are making a difference in people’s lives. You will be helping people maintain healthier lives and improving their smiles for a better appearance. Additionally, part of the job will include identifying risk factors for disease and working with other healthcare professionals to identify signs of cardiovascular disease, manage diabetes, and spot cancer, so you can even save people’s lives.
Dentists are in High Demand
Every city needs dentists, and people of all ages require dental care. From small children to senior citizens, everyone needs access to high-quality dental procedures. With an aging population in the country, the demand is only going to increase in the coming years, so there will certainly be opportunities available to you once you are out of school.
Be Your Own Boss as a Dentist
Being your own boss is highly desirable to many people, and it is a real possibility when you get into dentistry. If you feel like it is time, then you can open up your own practice. This also makes dentistry a highly lucrative career to get into financially. The amount you will be able to make will depend on where exactly in the country you live, but for the most part, dentists are well paid.
If you have never considered a career as a dentist before, then you should seriously start considering it. The benefits are great, and it is a highly rewarding career. For any high schoolers out there, start looking at the schools you should go to in order to have the biggest leg-up when you graduate.
There are so many different types of oral care professionals out there, so trying to figure out what type of professional to see for a specific oral issue can be challenging. Many dental patients find themselves especially confused regarding the work that prosthodontists do. Unlike other dental professionals that often perform a wide variety of dental treatments, prosthodontists are highly specialized in teeth restoration and aesthetic improvement.
Here are the top five reasons why you should consider making an appointment with a prosthodontist:
1. Missing Teeth
Teeth can fall out for any number of reasons, including sports accidents, periodontal disease and old age. Prosthodontists are experts at tooth replacement and can offer a variety of solutions for missing teeth, including:
- Full dentures
- Partial dentures
If you are currently missing one or multiple teeth, you should schedule an appointment with a prosthodontist and find out what it will take to restore your smile to its original beauty.
2. Complicated Aesthetic Needs
When you need intricate teeth restoration procedures due to worn or damaged teeth, you may want to seek advice from a prosthodontist. While other oral professionals may be able to help solve simple aesthetic problems, a prosthodontist has the tools and the skills necessary to perform more intricate procedures.
3. Congenital Oral Conditions
An experienced prosthodontist can offer extensive facial reconstruction for congenital oral conditions such as cleft palate and other issues that affect the function and appearance of the mouth.
4. Correction of Jaw Problems
Certain jaw joint problems may be corrected with the help of a prosthodontist. TMJ, TMD and other issues may require corrective procedures that only prosthodontists are able to perform.
5. Complete Oral Reconstruction
In some cases, complete oral reconstruction may be required in order to improve both the appearance and function of your smile. Although uncommon, oral reconstruction may be needed after oral cancer treatments or traumatic facial injuries.
If you would like to improve the appearance and functionality of your smile, try scheduling a consultation with a prosthodontist and find out what treatment options they recommend for you.
There are many different specialties under the umbrella of oral care professionals. Everyone has heard of dentists and orthodontists, but there are others out there. One branch of oral care you may not be familiar with is prosthodontics. In fact, so few people understand what these professionals do that there is a whole prosthodontics awareness week in April. What type of work do they do? How do they help people?
Experts in Replacing Teeth
When teeth are lost due to injury, accident, or removal, your regular dentist may send you to a prosthodontist. Prosthodontists specialize in the replacement of lost or removed adult teeth. Whether you need a crown, bridge or dentures, either full or partial, look no further than a prosthodontist. They have special training that allows them to create and implement these important and common pieces of dental technology in order for their patients to live comfortably with their teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry is oral care that is not medically necessary, but instead is related to enhancing the look of your teeth. Looking to get ceramic crowns or veneers? Want a brighter, whiter smile? Prosthodontists can help with that, as well. They often have advanced training that allows them to handle any type of cosmetic dentistry, including using bonding agents to close gaps and fill cracks or divots in a tooth.
Sometimes, an injury is so severe that it cannot be fixed by a traditional dentist. That is when they send you to a prosthodontist. These dental professionals are capable of repairing damaged palates, rehabilitating victims of traumatic injuries and reconstruction for people who have survived oral cancers. In order to make sure their patients are fully treated, prosthodontists also help to manage the care for these patients across multiple medical and dental professionals.
Prosthodontics is an incredible dental specialty that is particularly concerned with replacing lost teeth, providing cosmetic changes and dealing with complex or traumatic cases. This branch of dentistry is incredibly beneficial to many people who have had injuries or need some kind of oral reconstruction.