Specialist Office Options for Dental Assistants

Specialist Options for Dental Assistants

Just like with real estate, succeeding as a dental assistant may come down largely to location, location, location. Every dental office is different, of course, but where they can really differ is the type of practice. There are a number of specialties within dentistry, each with its own intricacies, and it could be worth your time to explore them to find a niche that suits you best. Here’s a rundown of some of major dental specialties.

Endodontics
Endodontics deals primarily with root canal surgery, as well as treating cracked teeth and diseases or injuries that affect the soft tissue (the “pulp”) inside a tooth.

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
Oral pathology involves identifying and treating diseases affecting the mouth and face, utilizing clinical, radiographic, microscopic and biochemical examinations for diagnosis.

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
Oral and maxillofacial radiology is concerned with using imaging technology like x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) and computed tomographic investigations (CT scans) to identify and diagnose conditions affecting the mouth and face.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral and maxillofacial surgery deals with conducting surgical procedures on the mouth and face, including tooth extractions, plus implants, bone grafts and facial reconstruction.

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Orthodontics concerns diagnosing and correcting abnormal dental and facial development, such as crooked or missing teeth. This frequently involves braces.

Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dentistry is general dentistry targeted toward children and adolescents, focusing on their dental growth and development.

Periodontics
Periodontics’ primary function is to care for the structures that support your teeth — mainly the gums, but also other tissues as well.

Prosthodontics
Prosthodontics deals with restoring or replacing damaged teeth with artificial ones, including implants, crowns and veneers.

Geriatric Dentistry (Geriodontics)
Just as pediatric dentistry focuses on young patients, geriatric dentistry focuses on older patients and the dental issues that arise naturally with age.

Special Needs Dentistry
Special needs dentistry is concerned with the dental health of disabled patients and is sometimes practiced by pediatric dentists.

Neuromuscular Dentistry
Neuromuscular dentistry revolves around identifying and correcting misalignment and other disorders of the jaw, specifically at the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry, like cosmetic surgery, improves the look of a patient’s teeth and gums rather than their function. Examples include teeth reshaping, whitening, bonding, dental bridges and gum lifts. This field has some crossover with prosthodontics.

(Sources: American Dental Association, Wikipedia)