Specialties you can explore within Dentistry

March 8, 2016


A career in dentistry offers a rich variety of specialties that you can choose from, besides the most well-known General Dentistry and Dental Hygiene.

If you’re considering a career in dentistry, there are nine major specialties to consider. You will need to put in a few additional years after completing dental school to specialise in these fields, but the rewards are well worth it. Each of the specialties mentioned below involves working within different areas of dentistry, and treating patients with completely different types of problems.

Paediatric Dentistry

Paediatric dentistry involves working with children and infants. Dentists who specialise in this area focus on providing primary dental treatment to children. They also provide comprehensive oral care as children grow and develop their permanent teeth.


Prosthodontics is concerned with the design, manufacture and fitting of artificial replacements for teeth and other parts of the mouth to improve function, comfort and aesthetics. Prosthodontists are experts in restoring and replacing teeth so that they function the way they should and also enhance their client’s appearance.


Periodontics is a specialty of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.

Dental Public Health

Instead of working with individual patients, dentists in this field work with the community as a whole. These dentists work towards preventing and controlling diseases and other problems that beset a large part of the population. Dental education and research are crucial aspects of this specialty.

Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics

This branch of dentistry focuses on the alignment of the teeth and the dental arches. Specialists in this field diagnose, intercept and correct malocclusion and other abnormalities of developing as well as mature orofacial structures; this helps to prevent facial abnormalities.


Endodontics focuses on the pathology of the dental pulp and the periradicular tissues. This specialty of dentistry studies the morphology, pathology and physiology of the pulp and tissue to diagnose, treat and prevent various diseases and injuries that affect these areas.

Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology

Dentists who work in oral and maxillofacial radiology prescribe, produce and interpret various diagnostic images of a patient’s oral structure to detect and diagnose diseases and disorders so that the appropriate treatment can be prescribed.

Oral Medicine & Pathology

Dentists in this branch diagnose and provide non-surgical treatment and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions. Oral pathologists research and diagnose oral diseases using various microscopic, clinical, biochemical and radiographic examinations.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have a dual qualification. They are qualified dentists as well as qualified surgeons. These professionals specialise in providing advanced surgical treatment to correct aesthetic or functional injuries or diseases associated with the hard and soft tissue areas around the oral and maxillofacial regions.

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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.