Most people visit a general dentist regularly for their dental and oral health care needs. General dentists provide services to the old and young, treating healthy and not-so-healthy mouths. However, there are some situations for which your dentist may refer you to a specialist. Dental specialists have the advanced knowledge and skills that can be essential to maintain and restore oral health conditions under certain conditions. The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) outlines nine, nationally recognized dental specialties in Canada.
Dental Public Health is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, prevention and control of dental diseases and the promotion of oral health through organized community efforts. Dental Public Health serves the community through research, health promotion, education and group dental care programs.
Endodontics is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the morphology, physiology and pathology of the dental pulp and periradicular tissues. Its study and practice encompass the basic clinical sciences, including biology of the normal pulp, and etiology, diagnosis prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular tissues.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is that branch and specialty of dentistry which is concerned with and includes the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of disorders, diseases, injuries and defects, involving the functional and aesthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial regions and related structures.
Oral Medicine and Pathology is the branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, nature and primarily non-surgical management of oral, maxillofacial and temporomandibular diseases and disorders, including dental management of patients with medical complications. Oral medicine and oral pathology are two applied components of this specialty.
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the prescription, production and interpretation of diagnostic images for the diagnosis and management of diseases and disorders of the craniofacial complex.
Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the supervision, guidance and correction of the growing or mature dentofacial structures and the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of any abnormalities associated with these structures.
Pediatric Dentistry is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with providing primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health diagnosis, care and consultative expertise for infants and children through adolescence, including those of all ages with special care needs.
Periodontics is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes and the maintenance of the health, function and aesthetics of these structures and tissues.
Prosthodontics is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, restoration and maintenance of oral function, comfort, appearance and health of the patient by the restoration of the natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth and contiguous oral and maxillofacial tissues with artificial substitutes.