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Choosing a Dental Specialty


 

If you are a dentist or are thinking about going to school to become one, you should know about the various areas you can specialize in. These types of dentists jobs can have many benefits and they are something to consider if you want to narrow your list of services or branch out to allow for a wider range.

The Benefits of Specializing in Various Dental Areas

Dentists that practice only in general dentistry have limits in what services they can offer. For dentists who want to bring in more clientele, this can hold them back. At the same time, certain specialties can also help you limit your range, especially if you only provide that specific practice and no general services.

One of the largest benefits of choosing a specialty includes the ability to bring in more money both through patient payments and insurance companies. While many general services may be covered by insurance policies, many forms of cosmetic dentistry are not, for instance. This can help you increase monthly profits and give you the ability to grow your practice even further.

Additionally, some specialties may be hard to come by in your practice area, but specializing in lacking services you can ensure that your office becomes the go-to for people looking for that service. For instance, if you’re able to provide an alternative to braces that other area offices don’t, patients looking for these treatments will be more likely to choose you. This can help you grow your patient list and your practice as well.

Types of Dentists Jobs

When it comes to choosing the specialty that is right for you, there are many considerations to make. However, to give you an idea of some of the specializations that are available here are nine of the most common that you should know.

1. Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentists specialize in oral care that focuses on improving the appearance of the teeth. Often these procedures aren’t covered by insurance companies due to them not being deemed necessary for health and wellness. This type of specialization can include procedures teeth whitening, veneers, implants, and braces.

Cosmetic dentistry has always been popular, and in the age of social media, this has continued to rise exponentially. As more and more concern over appearance manifests through viral videos and Instagram photoshoots, this is one specialization that is only poised to grow in future years. This makes it a secure field to choose to specialize in with the possibility for a lot of future growth.

2. Pediatric Dentistry

When it comes to choosing from the different types of dentists jobs, pediatric dentistry is one of the most popular choices. This discipline focuses on the treatment of young patients and children. Ages range from six months to around 12 to 13 when all adult teeth have developed. Because pediatric dentists work with such young children it is important for them to know how to talk to kids and keep them calm. Some may even undergo early childhood development training to further their experience and understanding of how to work with young patients. Working with children isn’t for everyone, and it’s important to ensure that you are comfortable with young children before deciding to specialize in pediatrics.

Pediatric dentistry is a great specialty, and it can provide a lot of security if you choose to pursue it. While it does come with some considerations and it isn’t for those uncomfortable around children, if you enjoy working with younger patients it can be both rewarding and successful.

3. Sports Dentistry

Athetic sports can wreak havoc on the body and the teeth. While sports medicine focuses on treating sports injuries, sports dentistry does the same with teeth. Sports dentistry is a relatively new addition to the team of sports medicine, but it can be one of the most important. It focuses on the prevention of oral and facial injuries that can often occur during contact sports. It can also focus on the prevention of oral diseases that may occur alongside these injuries.

Sports dentistry can be needed during the pre-participation screenings for teams, and they can also play an active role during sports seasons by educating about oral protection. Most dental injuries are preventable in sports with the use of proper equipment, and a sports dentist should be knowledgeable about these devices and how they should be used. This specialty is great to offer alongside general practices, and it can be very beneficial if you have a lot of high school sports teams in your area.

4. Endodontics

Endodontists are dentists that specialize in treating the dental pulp and the tissues that surround the roots of teeth. Specializing in endodontics can take two or more additional years of advanced training after dental school. This training ensures that future endodontists are capable of performing routine and often complex procedures that can include root canals, endodontic surgery, and other teeth-saving treatments.

Specilizing in endodontics is one way for general dentists to increase the number of services that they are capable of providing. This can help with growing a sustainable practice and ensuring that the patients in your local area have access to tooth-saving treatments. When it comes to choosing from the types of dentists jobs for you, this is one to seriously consider.

5. Orthodontics

Another of the most commonly found types of dentists jobs includes orthodontics. Orthodontics has some overlap with general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry, and it’s often said that all orthodontists are dentists but not all dentists are orthodontists. An orthodontist specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of misaligned teeth and jaws. When specializing in orthodontics you will need additional schooling after dental school to educate you on all that orthodontics encompasses. This can include learning about the different types of braces and treatments that are used to treat malocclusions. Some orthodontists may even train to be able to provide jaw surgery in the event that skeletal growth is complete and the malocclusion requires invasive treatment to correct.

Choosing to specialize in orthodontics can be a highly beneficial decision, and it can allow you to either offer both general and orthodontic treatment, or just orthodontics. This gives you more flexibility when building your practice and gives you the freedom to focus on the discipline that you enjoy most.

6. Periodontics

Periodontics is one of the types of dentists jobs that focus on treating problems in the gums. Most notably this includes identifying and treating periodontal disease which is an inflammatory condition that can destroy the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Periodontists can also treat conditions like gingivitis and periodontitis. Common procedures can also include scaling, root planting, regenerative procedures, and surface debridement.

Similar to specializing in endodontics, periodontics can allow general dentists to further increase the range of services they can provide, allowing them to take in a greater number of patients. If no periodontists exist in your local area, specializing in this can also be a great way to bring these needed services to your neighborhood.

7. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Maxillofacial surgeons are responsible for providing surgical procedures to correct a wide range of issues. These can include injuries, diseases, deformities, and tumors that occur on the head, face, jaws, and neck. A five-year dentistry degree and an additional four-year postgraduate registry program are required for this specialty. Maxillofacial surgeons can work in many interdepartmental collaborations which can include trauma units, plastic and reconstructive surgery departments, orthodontic departments, and oral medicine services.

Maxillofacial surgery specialization can be eclectic when compared to other disciplines; however, it is a highly regarded and much-needed specialty that has the ability to benefit a wide range of patients. Although this area isn’t for everyone, especially those looking to open a general practice, for those looking to work more closely with hospitals, this can be a great area to specialize in.

8. Dental Public Health

Public health dentistry is one of the types of dentists jobs that takes a different approach than the others mentioned here. A career in dental public health is highly community focuses, and it focuses on providing leadership and expertise in dentistry based on local population needs, oral health concerns, public dental policies, and oral health promotion. In order to get started in this discipline, you will need to pursue a Master’s in Public Health, a degree that usually takes about two years to complete. A DPH residency will also be required and depending on the program this can include clinical components, research, and didactic learning. A Master’s degree is the first stepping stone to being able to apply for your Dental Public Health residency, and it can be a great way to grow in this discipline.

While being able to help your community is a great benefit of this specialty, one of the largest personal benefits is the ability to maintain a work/life balance. It can provide a great deal of flexibility for dential professionals who may not be able to maintain the rigidity of private practice.

9. Veterinary Dentists

A veterinary dentist is a veterinarian who holds a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. This requires a minimum of a four-year medical degree in addition to roughly four years of college. After a residency that takes place under the supervision of a Residency Director, an exam must be passed before the title of veterinary dental specialist can be officially awarded.

When it comes to the types of dentists jobs, this is by far the one that requires the most time and dedication. While a lot of people love animals, having to learn how to maintain the teeth and treat oral health problems in multiple animals can be complex. Just as with humans though, oral health is important to animals, and dental problems can cause health problems and pain if not treated. Although this track isn’t for everyone, for those with a love of animals willing to put in the time, it can be a rewarding specialization.

Which of the Types of Dentists Jobs is Right for You?

If you’re looking to become a dentist, or you already are and are looking for further education, these nine specialties are something to consider. The area that you choose to focus on can depend on many different factors and not everyone is cut out for specific areas. For instance, dentists not comfortable with the idea of surgery shouldn’t decide on maxillofacial surgery, as you could end up talking to a medical malpractice lawyer instead of a happy patient. Similarly, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of working with children, especially small infants as young as six months. Each of these disciplines requires not only dedication but a specific level of comfort that may not be needed in general dentistry. Certainly, working in veterinary dentistry will require a high level of comfort around animals, something that no other specialization requires.

Another consideration is what services are lacking in your current working area. For example, if the nearest orthodontist is over 30 minutes away, specializing in that can help locals require treatments more easily. Rural communities can face these issues, in particular, and by selecting a specialization that fills this gap you can benefit your practice and your hometown.

You should also consider how you want your career to benefit from your specialization. Are you looking to hone in on a particular niche? Or are you looking to expand your list of provided services to draw in more patients? Take time to seriously think about your future desires, what your area needs, and what types of specialties you are comfortable with. While not all specialties are for everyone, with all the different specializations that exist, you’ll be sure to be able to find something that works for you and your patients.

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