Now that you’ve become a licensed dentist, you might consider focusing your energy on a specialized area. Becoming a dental specialist doesn’t always mean earning a larger salary; however, you could use your knowledge to fill a gap in your community. Here are a few of the more common specialties that may be lacking in a small town:
Not to be confused with cosmetic or aesthetic “specialties,” prosthodontics focuses on implantology in dentistry and other restorations like crowns, bridges and dentures. Although many general dentists have the training to place implants, an individual’s situation might require complicated surgery, in which case a specialist’s care may be more appropriate. Prosthodontists also address issues like facial and dental developmental birth defects and have studied the process of manufacturing restorative dental products.
Orthodontists might be considered the “engineers of dentistry” as they use modern treatments to transform the existing tooth structure to the desired end result. Orthodontics is also more than braces for crooked teeth; orthodontists can diagnose and intercept malocclusion at an early age before it likely becomes a more prolonged and more expensive treatment as an adult.
Pediatric dentists focus on infants aging through teenagers in an environment generally more suited for younger patients than a standard adult practice. Children often need more than just basic dental care, and pediatric dentists can provide education to help them develop good oral hygiene habits. They typically have experience treating uncooperative and impatient kids in a manner that makes them more comfortable. Pediatric dentists may also have the training to deal with children that have other health or developmental issues that could be problematic for a provider that only treats adults.
An exceptional dentist is often one who genuinely enjoys the work and is committed to improving overall public health. Becoming a licensed dental specialist can bring a higher degree of service to your small community, giving your neighbors a chance for excellent care without traveling too far from home.