In addition to general dentistry, there are about 9 recognized dental specialties in the US, Canada, and Australia. To become a specialist requires one to train in a residency or advanced graduate training program. Once residency is completed, the doctor is granted a certificate of specialty training. Many specialty programs have optional or required advanced degrees such as a masters degree: (MS, MSc, MDS, MSD, MDSc, MMSc, or MDent), doctoral degree: (DClinDent, DMSc, or PhD), or medical degree: (MD/MBBS specific to Maxillofacial Surgery and sometimes Oral Medicine).
Dental public health (study of dental epidemiology and social health policies),
Endodontics (root canal therapy and study of diseases of the dental pulp),
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (study, diagnosis, and sometimes the treatment of oral and maxillofacial related diseases),
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (study and radiologic interpretation of oral and maxillofacial diseases),
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (extractions, implants, and facial surgery),
Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics (straightening of teeth and modification of midface and mandibular growth),
Periodontics (study and treatment of diseases of the periodontium (non-surgical and surgical), and placement and maintenance of dental implants),
Pediatric dentistry (i.e. dentistry for children, formerly known as "pedodontics"),
Prosthodontics (dentures, bridges and the restoration of implants. Some prosthodontists further their training in "oral and maxillofacial prosthodontics"--a discipline concerned with the replacement of missing facial structures--such as ears, eyes, nose, etc.)
Specialists in these fields are designated registrable (U.S. "Board Eligible") and warrant exclusive titles such as orthodontist, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, endodontist, pediatric dentist, periodontist, or prosthodontist upon satisfying certain local (U.S. "Board Certified"), (Australia/NZ: "FRACDS"), or (Canada: "FRCD(C)") registry requirements.
A tenth specialty, dental anesthesiology, the study of how to relieve pain through advanced use of local and general anesthesia techniques is not yet considered to be one of the recognized dental specialties. However, CODA is in the process of accrediting all dental anesthesiology programs.
An eleventh specialty, Special needs dentistry is dentistry for those with developmental and acquired disabilities. It is a recognized specialty by the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons. It has also been recently recognised as a specialty by the General Dental Council in the United Kingdom. The American Board of Special Care Dentistry is hoping to also obtain accreditation for special needs dentistry by CODA.,
A few other post-graduate formal advanced education programs: GPR, GDR, MTP residencies (advanced clinical and didactic training with intense hospital experience) and AEGD, SEGD, and GradDipClinDent programs (advanced training in clinical dentistry) are recognized but do not lead to specialization.
The American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) provides board-certification examinations annually for qualified dentists. These dentists collaborate with sleep physicians at accredited sleep centers and can provide oral appliance therapy and upper airway surgery to treat sleep-related breathing disorders. While Diplomate status granted by the ABDSM is not one of the recognized dental specialties, it is recognized by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
Special category: Oral Biology - Research in Dental and Craniofacial Biology
Other dental education exists where no post-graduate formal university training is required: cosmetic dentistry, dental implant, temporo-mandibular joint therapy. These usually require the attendance of one or more continuing education courses that typically last for one to several days. There are restrictions on allowing these dentists to call themselves specialists in these fields. The specialist titles are registrable titles and controlled by the local dental licensing bodies.
Forensic odontology consists of the gathering and use of dental evidence in law. This may be performed by any dentist with experience or training in this field. The function of the forensic dentist is primarily documentation and verification of identity.
Geriatric dentistry or geriodontics is the delivery of dental care to older adults involving the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of problems associated with normal ageing and age-related diseases as part of an interdisciplinary team with other health care professionals.
Veterinary dentistry, a speciality of veterinary medicine, is the field of dentistry applied to the care of animals
Aviation dentistry, a subcategory of (military) aviation medicine deals with dental topics related to aircrews, e.g., dental barotrauma and barodontalgia. In addition, the aircrew population is a unique high-risk group to several diseases and harmful conditions due to irregular work shifts with irregular self-oral care habits and irregular meals (usually carbonated drinks and high energy snacks) and work-related stress.
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