How Many Types Of Specialty Dentists Are There?

Excerpt: The mouth is a very complicated part of your body, some parts of the mouth are so complicated they require...
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The mouth is a very complex part of your body, some parts are so complicated they require their own branch of specialty practice. However, you may not ever need a specialist since general dentists exist as well. General dentists can do all the basics, and may potentially handle a lot more specific procedures like root canals

If the procedure is difficult or has rare complications, then a specialist may be required to do the operation.

Types Of Dentistry


There are 3 types of dentistry:

  • General
  • Cosmetic
  • Family

General dentistry

General dentistry is the school of dentistry that most people will be familiar with. There’s a good chance that you probably won’t ever need to see a dentist that’s more specialized. Some general dentists are also more diverse then others, it will depend on their skill set and experience.


Here is a few things a general dentist can do:


  • Restorative dentistry
  • Cavity fillings & tooth decay
  • Dental exams and teeth cleanings
  • Dental x-rays
  • Fluoride treatment
  • Wisdom teeth removal
  • Simple tooth extractions 
  • Gum health
  • Cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is pretty much what it sounds like. Cosmetic procedures tend to focus on aesthetics, like veneers, and teeth whitening. However, an aesthetic procedure can have very functional benefits. For example, if you have uneven front teeth, it might make it difficult to bite and chew if there’s enough of a gap, veneers will fix the gap, and make it easier to chew in the process.


Some cosmetic procedures include:


  • Teeth whitening treatment
  • Gingivectomy (gum contouring)
  • Veneers
  • Braces
If you’re interested in the process involved in getting veneers, check out our video series on Ashley Callingbull’s journey to a whiter smile.

Family Dentistry

Family dentists are experts at handling dental issues at different stages of life, youth, adults, and the elderly all have different dental requirements and issues that may affect them. They tend to have similar procedures to general dentists though:

  • Cavity fillings
  • Sealants
  • Teeth cleanings
  • Gum disease treatment

6 types of dental specialists


There are 6 types of dental specialists:

  • Periodontists
  • Prosthodontists
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • Endodontists
  • Orthodontics
  • Pediatric Dentists


A periodontists main focus is on the health of the gums. In certain cases, gum disease and tooth decay can become so advanced it significantly impacts the gums. If the disease has become to advanced for a general dentist, they will probably refer you to a periodontist.

A periodontist works on the:


  • Upper jaw (mandibular)
  • Lower jaw (maxillary)
  • Overall health and aesthetics of the gum tissue


A prosthodontist specialty is restoring missing or damaged teeth back to their original function. Some general dentists are capable of inserting implants, or root canals, etc. But if it’s in a complicated position, or the teeth are decayed more than normal, then they may feel more comfortable referring you to a prosthodontist.


They specialize in restoring: 


  • Missing teeth
  • Decayed teeth
  • Damaged teeth

Oral And Maxillofacial Surgeons

The specialty focus here is the maxillofacial region, which is the face and the jaws. If you need to see an oral surgeon, these are the typical reasons why:

  • Accidental injury
  • Trauma
  • Disease
  • Deformities
  • Periodontal issues
  • Dental caries
  • Tooth loss


Endodontists specifically deal with problems related to the inner-part of the tooth. If you have a a overly complicated root canal for example, then a endodontist may be needed. They also focus on dental pulp diseases as well.


Orthodontists specialize in malocclusion, this involves missing teeth or imperfect bites. If your jaw has an imperfect bite, it may lead to complications later on like an overbite, underbite, and difficulties eating or talking.

Some things orthodontics specialize include:

  • Braces
  • Clear aligners
  • Space maintainers
  • Retainers
  • Palate expanders

Pediatric Dentists

Generally, pediatric dentists focus on dental issues in infants. Young children’s dental needs differ to adults and they may need more specialized training.
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