What are the Branches of Dentistry?
Everyone knows Dentistry is a field of science dealing with teeth(dentition). But it is a vast branch of medicine dealing with the prevention,diagnosis,treatment of the conditions,diseases and disorders of the oral cavity and the maxillofacial region and its associated structures.
Many people think a general dentist can cure and solve all the tooth related problems.Few people also think why does it take so many years to become a dentist learning about only one part of the body(teeth),while a doctor can learn about whole body in the same span of time?
A general dentist or a dental surgeon can diagnose and treat common dental related problems of different age groups of people. Each specialization deals with specific problems. So, it is important to know what are the different branches of dentistry.
Dentistry is divided into many branches,known as specialisations.
1.Oral Medicine and Radiology :- It is a specialisation concerned with the non-surgical medical aspects of dentistry.It is involved with primary diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases that do not respond to conventional dental procedures.Radiology deals with the radiographs(x-rays) of teeth and their related structures.
2.Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery :-It is a speciality in dentistry dealing with the diagnosis, surgical related treatment of diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and esthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the head, neck,mouth, teeth, gums and jaws.
3.Prosthodontics :- It is a branch of dentistry pertaining to the restoration and maintainence of oral function,comfort,appearance,and health of patient by the restoring natural teeth and replacement of missing teeth and craniofacial tissues with artificial substitutes.
4.Conservative dentistry and Endodontics :- Conservative dentistry is the branch of dentistry concerned with diagnosis,prevention and treatment of diseases related to teeth and its associated structures.It deals with the conservation of teeth in the oral cavity.
Endodontics deals with the tooth pulp and the tissues surrounding the root of a tooth.The most common procedure carried by this specialists is Root canal therapy.
5.Periodontics :-It is the study dealing with the health and diseases of the supporting and investing structures of the tooth like the gums,periodontal ligament ,cementum and bone.
6.Orthodontics :- Orthodontics is concerned with the prevention,interception and correction of improper alignment of teeth and abnormalities in the dento facial region.
7.Pedodontics :-It is the branch of dentistry dealing with children from birth through adolescence.It also focuses on the child psychology and management.
8.Oral Pathology :- It is a branch which deals with the nature, identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions
9.Community and Preventive Dentistry :- It is a dentistry branch which deals with the dental public health.They include epidemiological study on oral health,carry out surveys of local population,conducts camps and create awareness among the people about the preventive aspects and maintaining oral hygiene.
These are 9 specialisations in dentistry.In addition to these, there are few sub categories which are gaining more popularity in their budding stage only.They include
a. Implant dentistry :- Dental implants are used to support restoration or replace the missing tooth or group of teeth.These are becoming more popular now a days.
b. Cosmetic dentistry :-The term cosmetic refers to the external appearance(beauty).A cosmetic dentist work to improve the appearance of teeth,gums and/or smile of the patient.This is only a term used for marketing purpose.REMEMBER this is not a specialty of dentistry.
c.Geriatric dentistry :- Geriatric dentistry or Gerodontics is a branch deals with the older adults involving the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of problems associated with normal aging and age-related diseases as part of an interdisciplinary team with other health care professionals.
d.Minimal intervention dentistry :-Minimal intervention dentistry is a modern dental practice of conservative dentistry designed with a principal of preservation of as much of the natural tooth structure as possible.
e.Laser dentistry :- Dental Lasers of different wavelengths are used to treat different parts of oral cavity depending on the requirement.