Dentistry has a 10th dental specialty, “Dental Anesthesiology”  which was recognized by the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards. The National Commission adopted a resolution on March 11 based on an application from the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists which requested Dental Anesthesiology to be recognized as a separate Dental specialty.

Dr. James Tom, president of the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists, said, “This historic vote by the National Commission certainly reflects the ADA’s ongoing efforts towards improved patient care and safety in the areas of dental sedation, dental anesthesiology and access for those with special health care needs.”

Dental Anesthesiology joins the following 9 Dental Specialties which are recognized –

  1. Dental public health
  2. Endodontics
  3. Oral and maxillofacial pathology
  4. Oral and maxillofacial radiology
  5. Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  6. Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
  7. Pediatric dentistry
  8. Periodontics
  9. Prosthodontics.

The 10th Dental Specialty is now going to be Dental Anesthesiology.

According to the National Commission website about Dental Specialties, these are recognized “to protect the public, nurture the art and science of dentistry and improve the quality of care.” The first application submitted to National Commission was in September 2018 by The American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists. The application was reviewed by the National Commission’s review committee on Specialty Recognition in November 2018, it then invited public comment for a 60-day period.

On February 2019 the review committee after considering all the comments received related to the application, accessed if it met all the requirements for specialty recognition and made a recommendation to the National Commission to grant Specialty status. Following approval by the National commission, the sponsoring organization must establish a national board for certifying diplomats in accordance with the “Requirements for Recognition of Dental Certifying Boards”. It is comprised of 9 General Dentists appointed by ADA Board of Trustees, one specialist from each of the nine recognized specialties, appointed by the sponsoring organization and a public/consumer member appointed by the National Commission.

Dr. Tom said, “Being the 10th ADA-recognized specialty in 20 years validates to the public and the profession that organized dentistry is willing to challenge the status quo and explore new collaborative efforts with our counterparts in medicine and nursing,” he added “We look forward to widely promulgating sedation and anesthesia awareness and education in all facets of oral health care, and as dentist anesthesiologists working alongside all other dental professionals, we hope to drive the profession forward cooperatively.”