Dentistry Courses: Specialties
What Are The Career Paths Available After Dentistry Courses?
After graduating from Dental School, the majority of students go on to become a General Dental Practitioner. These are the dentists that you see for check-ups and basic treatments. This requires one year of Dental Foundation Training which is completed whilst working. After this, some dentists might choose to specialise. This requires further training and dentistry courses. Some of the most common specialties are:
- Oral Medicine – the treatment of patients with recurrent or medically related disorders of the mouth and non-surgical management of these conditions.
- Orthodontics – this involves the correcting of irregularities in the teeth, bite and problems with jaw alignment.
- Paediatric Dentistry – the therapeutic oral health care of children. This may address dental problems that are specific to children and development, but can also provide general dental care to children.
- Restorative Dentistry – this is the restoring of diseased teeth to allow them to return to normal function. It includes aspects of many of the other specialities, such as endodontics, periodontics and prosthodontics
- Prosthodontics – involves the replacement of lost teeth by prosthetic structures such as crowns, bridges or dentures. These can be permanent structures in the mouth, or they could be removable.
- Periodontics – periodontal specialists diagnose, treat and prevent disease of the gums and support structures of the teeth.
- Special Care Dentistry – this is the treatment of patients who have a form of disability. This can be physical, sensory, intellectual, mental, emotional or social. It can also involve the treatment of phobic patients.
- Endodontics – this specialty is concerned with treatments relating to the root of the tooth, dental pulp and the surrounding structures. Although general dental practitioners can carry out some endodontic treatment, endodontists are involved in more complex cases.
- Oral Surgery – the surgical management of irregularities and pathology of the jaw or mouth. This can include complex extractions of teeth.
Are There Alternative Careers in Dentistry?
Some Dentists choose to go into academic research, this includes scientific research relating to understanding Dentistry and also making improvements in Dental care. Some specialists also choose to complete a PhD as part of their studies, this is usually to allow them to better understand their specialty.
It is possible to go into teaching as a Dentist. This can be done through mentoring a Dentist during their Foundation Dental Training or by teaching in a University.
Forensic Odontology is another career pathway that a minority of Dentists pursue. This is the process of identifying human remains in crimes by using dental evidence. It can also involve studying bite marks and dental injuries that occur in crime.
What Does a Career in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Involve?
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMF) involves the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases affecting the mouth, jaw, face and neck. To be an OM surgeon a degree in medicine and dentistry is required as it requires expertise from both backgrounds. They treat conditions such as neck cancers, salivary gland diseases, facial pain and temporomandibular joint diseases.