Dental health: A Guide to Understanding Dental Specialties

Par Dr. Normand Bach 28/02/2023

Dental health: A Guide to Understanding Dental Specialties


Dental health: The Canadian Dental Association recognizes nine dental specialties. At first glance, this might seem like a lot, but dental medicine is a very complex science that handles the human body.

Dentists have to specialize through a higher education program in the field of their choice. Once their studies are completed, they can join the specialized order in their field and obtain the title of specialist.

Though it’s not possible to go into all the details of each of these specializations here, Dr. Normand Bach, your orthodontist in Montreal, will give you an overview of the nine specializations, to help you better understand all these complex credentials that we often notice as soon as we need a dentist.


Dental Public Health

Dental public health is a field that specializes in the diagnosis and prevention of dental diseases, as well as the promotion of oral health through community efforts.

There is an important educational and promotional aspect to this specialization, but the specialist in dental public health is first and foremost a professional of dental medicine.


Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry is the branch of dentistry concerned with the oral health of children.

Though part of the training is dedicated to child psychology, and pediatric dentists treat children through adolescence, they are often also the best choice for people of all ages that have specific needs.


Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Oral and maxillofacial surgery is an area of expertise concerned with the diagnosis and surgical treatments of disorders, diseases, and other problems that affect the oral and maxillofacial areas of the human body.

These problems don’t have to be purely functional; specialists in this field also practise cosmetic procedures.


Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

Specialized in the production and interpretation of radiological images, oral and maxillofacial radiologists are a key part of the diagnostic and treatment of many diseases and disorders that can arise in the face and skull.

Specialists in this field often work with general dentists or dentists specialized in other fields, to ensure the best treatments.



Endodontics is a specialty of dental medicine concerned with inflammation and infection in the root canals of the teeth. Root canal is also the name commonly given to endodontic treatment.

General dentists practise endodontics and are able to do endodontic treatments, but more complex cases may require an endodontist.


Oral Medicine and Pathology

Oral medicine and pathology concern the diagnostic and treatment of oral diseases, as well as other oral problems, such as temporomandibular joint disorders and chronic pain.

Oral medicine is distinct from oral and maxillofacial surgery because its interventions generally do not require surgery.

Oral medicine and pathology are two closely related fields, but it’s possible for a dentist to specialize in one or the other, instead of both.



Prosthodontics specializes in the restoration and maintenance of proper functioning of your mouth and jaw by the restoration of the natural teeth, and the replacement and maintenance of missing teeth and oral tissues.

Prosthodontics is a field concerned with the maintenance of your mouth’s functions, but it also works to ensure oral comfort and overall aesthetic.



Periodontics is concerned with the prevention and treatment of diseases and other problems that affect the supporting and surrounding tissues under the teeth, whether natural or artificial.



Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

Orthodontics is the oral health specialty mainly concerned with the treatment of malocclusions, which are typically known as bite and alignment problems.

Malocclusions are generally linked to flaws in the positioning of the teeth or bone of the jaw.

These problems are naturally partially aesthetic, and orthodontics is a specialty with a cosmetic bent, but it would be ill-advised to believe that malocclusions cannot cause more serious problems for your general health.

Like other fields of expertise, certified orthodontists are dentists that have successfully completed the specialized education program in their field and have joined the Canadian Association of Orthodontists.

Incidentally, orthodontics is the area of expertise of Dr. Normand Bach, an experienced orthodontist in Montreal. If you have any questions concerning orthodontics and the benefits it can have on your health, don’t hesitate to make an appointment now.


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