The Nine Specialties of Dentistry

dentistry specialties pic Did you know that there are more dental professionals to go to than just the dentist? When called upon to do more than yearly checkups or administer more than routine procedures, a dentist may recommend a specialist, including one who specializes in prosthodontics, like Dr. Louisa Gallegos. Here are the nine specialties of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association.

Dental Public Health 

Officially recognized in 1976, this area of specialty focuses on the societal prevention and treatment of dental diseases. From public service announcements to community dental drives and rushes, specialists in Dental Public Health aim to both inform and protect communities regarding their dental and oral health. This is the only specialty that does not primarily operate or treat patients directly.


The ADA formally acknowledged endodontics in 1983. They are chiefly concerned with damaged tooth pulp, the mass of connective tissue within the center of a tooth, or root issues. You may see an endodontist for a root canal or due to damages from an untreated cavity.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

More commonly known as oral surgeons, these specialists are pros for any surgery on the teeth, jaw, face, or gums. They typically perform surgeries concerned with facial reconstruction, such as cleft lip and palate surgeries, bone grafting, implants, and impacted teeth. They were officially recognized in 1990.

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology 

Recognized in 1991, oral pathologists, unlike oral surgeons, do not perform surgery but are concerned with the pathology, or the way a disease works, of various oral diseases concerned with the teeth, jaws, face, or gums.


Inducted into the ADA in 1992, this specialty is defined by its focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of any diseases related to gums.

Pediatric Dentistry 

As the name implies, pediatric dentists, ADA recognized in 1995, specialize in dental care for infants, children, and teenagers.

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology 

ADA inducted in 2001, these dental radiologists analyze X-rays to aid other specialists or dentists in diagnosing and treating issues related to the mouth.

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics 

If you’ve had braces, you may have seen an orthodontist. Since 2003, these specialists focus solely on straightening out facial deformities.


One of the latest and fastest growing areas of dental care, prosthodontics was recognized in 2003 and focuses on restorative dentistry: Dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, and any cosmetic dental treatments.

Which Is Right For Me? 

Wondering which specialist to see? Well, thankfully, all the specialists above also have their DDS or DMD and would be able to consult with you on the best course of action. Give your local prosthodontist, Dr. Louisa Gallegos, a call! We’d love to help at 303-316-4034!

Louisa Gallegos, DDS, MSD Prosthodontist

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