Dentistry is a vast subject unlike what other people think, people think that as dentistry deals only with one part of the body then why do they have 5 + 3 years of course for learning about such a small part of the body whereas in the same time the medical professionals are learning about the whole body.
This was the question put before me by many of my educated friends as well, So i am going to write down a brief note on the branches of dentistry, which are known as specialisations which will make you understand what dentistry really is!!!
Branches of dentistry:
1) Oral Medicine and Oral Radiology: It is the branch of dentistry which deals with the diagnosis and treatment planning of diseases and conditions related to Oral cavity and the surrounding structures. In dentistry Oral Medicine and Radiology as the basic and the most important part where the diagnosis of any condition is the first step in success towards treating any disease or condition for a Doctor.
2) Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: A branch of Dentistry which deals with the Surgical aspect relates of Mouth and the surrounding face as well. It involves upper and lower Jaws, facial bones up until the orbit etc. It involves simple surgeries such as impacted tooth removals, fractures involving the facial bones, Cyst removals and other surgeries such as Orthognathic surgery etc.
3) Community Dentistry (or) Preventive Dentistry: It is a branch of Dentistry which deals with preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting physical and mental efficiency through organized community efforts for the sanitation of the environment, control of communicable infections, education of individuals in personal hygiene, organization of medical and nursing services to help in the early diagnosis and preventive treatment of disease and development of the social machinery to ensure everyone a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health.
4) Pedodontics: It is a branch of dentistry which deals with the prevention and treatment of diseases in children’s teeth and oral cavity. A pedodontist deals with not just children but also with the parent by educating them about oral health in children and when to take action.
5) Endodontics: It is a term coined from the Greek language – Endo – Inside and Odont – tooth, it means that dealing with the dental pulp of contents inside the tooth. It deals with the prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the dental pulp along with associated tissues such as periradicular conditions.
6) Periodontics: It is a term coined from Greek literature, Peri – Around and odontos or odous – tooth meaning around the tooth. This branch deals with the supporting structures of the tooth or tissues surrounding the tooth. The supporting tissues such as Periodontium which include – Gums, cementum, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone.
7) Orthodontics: It deals with the prevention, correction and Surgical treatment of malpositioned teeth and jaws. This branch deals with correction of modifying the growth of the patient to attain proper alignment of the Maxillary and Mandibular dentition.
8 ) Prosthodontics: According to ADA Prosthodontics is defined as ” the dental speciality pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of the patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth or oral and maxillofacial tissues using bio compatible substitute”
9) Oral Pathology: It is also called as Oral and Maxillofacial pathology which deals with the diagnosis and study of the causes and effects of the diseases afecting the oral and maxillofacial region. It is a branch which can be related to both Dentistry and Pathology combined.
10) Implantology: It is a speciality of Dentistry which deals with replacement of missing teeth in the oral cavity with the help of an Endosseous Implant which involves a surgical process of placing a component in the bone of the jaw or skull to help support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge or denture. In some cases facial prosthesis are also supported by Implants. Some types of Implants are also used in Orthodontics as an Anchor to move teeth around.
11) Geriatric dentistry: It is a speciality of Dentistry which involves providing Dental Care to the Elderly or Senior Citizens. It deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of dental problems in the elderly. It includes home visits and in some cases home treatments as well as the Elderly are less mobile and coming to the Dental Clinic, hospital or college might not be possible.