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If there is something that characterizes dentistry, it is the amount of different branches or bifurcations that you can choose.Which can present an important dilemma for many of the students who opt for this career.This post aims to guide about the different options that recent graduates have to decide what to do at the end of the dentistry career.
The first thing we have in mind is that Spain, despite the claims of the College of Dentists and different scientific societies, has no official dental specialties recognized.This is an important fact, since it generates a comparative grievance with the rest of Europe, where there are countries that have up to 13 recognized specialties.Having this clear, there are two questions that you may be asking if you just finished the dentistry career:
What specialty of dentistry study?How many specialties of dentistry are there?Prostodontics, orthodontics, endodontics, mouth and maxillofacial pathologies, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral and maxillofacial radiology, public health dentistry, pediatric dentistry ...
As you will see, the branches you can decide for after finishing the dental career are many.And all of them entail between 2 and 3 years of specialization after finishing the university career, which is an important decision.
That is why we wanted to speak not only of the most common dentistry branches already mentioned, - explaining what each one consists of, - but also what we consider the reasons that can tip the balance when choosing a branch and no other.
In fact, first of all, here we leave a graph of the ranking of the dental treatments or services most demanded by consumers in Spain.Although it is from 2018, the results are still in force and can help get an idea of the demand that some of the specialties may have.
General dentistry provides fundamental knowledge to apply basic treatments with which to improve oral health.It also has a preventive part, as it provides recommendations on oral hygiene and health that help avoid the appearance of other more serious diseases that would already need to attend a more specialized dentist.
A reason to be a general dentist?It is the second branch of the most demanded dentistry, as you can see in the previous graphics.
Specialize in the endodontic branch enables you to be endodontist and your specialty will be the dental pulp (the nerve of the tooth) in all its aspects, covering the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the same.
Thanks to this specialty, the patient's dental pieces can be maintained even when his nerve is damaging, since today the quality of this type of treatments has been greatly improved.To cite some of the main treatments, we talk about "root therapy", endodontic portraction or directly surgery.
It is a good choice?Yes, since even more and more information about the care of teeth and oral hygiene, there are still many people who either by a poor application of these techniques or for various problems - for example a weak dentin -They suffer from decay that end up deriving in an insurmountable dental nerve.And endodontics is one of the basic treatments in this case.
In fact, according to statesmen, endodontics is one of the most common interventions in Spain.
Maxillofacial and Oral Pathology is the branch that performs the diagnosis and study of oral cavity diseases, jaws (maxillas) and related structures.Both in its causes and in its way of affecting the patient.
But not only in the mouth and its related structures (salivary glands, temporomandibular joints ... even the skin around the mouth), a dentist specializing in maxillofacial and oral pathology can also get to diagnose and treat diseases in neck and head.So if you want to cover some more field, this can be your branch.
In this case, it is to go one step beyond the pathology.A specialist in oral and maxillofacial surgery is directly responsible for intervening in diseases and lesions in the head, neck, face, jaws and hard and soft tissues of the mouth.Also in the event that it was born with defects that affect any of these areas.
Specific cases?Extract damaged or sick teeth, treat different types of oral cancer or intervene in case of temporomandibular joint problems.
Actually, its field of action is so wide that it goes from small interventions as extracting a tooth, already mentioned, to others much more complicated that even require interventions with other medical specialists.For this reason, many dentists who opt for this branch decide to specialize even more and choose a specific area within all the possibilities it offers.So you should keep in mind that your specialty time, in this case, can be even greater than in the rest.
A reason to choose this branch of dentistry?Actually, two:
To treat a pathology, first of all you have to recognize it.And that is exactly what a professional who has chosen the specialty of oral and maxillofacial radiology does: he performs the study and interpretation of radiographs, magnetic resonances, intraoral images and ultrasounds related to the skull-phase, dental and adjacent structures, in order tobe able to diagnose their diseases.
Since it is logical, radiographs are an essential medium and support for any specialist, so it also has good job options.
It is another good option if going abroad is one of your possibilities, since this specialty is recognized by the American Dental Association and the Royal College of Dentists of Canada, among others.
The Orthodontic specialty covers not only the correction of the badly positioned jaws and teeth - aligning them correctly to modify the bite and that there is a correct occlusion.It also deals with the diagnosis and, very important, of prevention.
One of the reasons why it is a highly demanded branch of dentistry is that it is one of the best paid.Not to mention that currently, who has not carried or carries an orthodontics.Or know someone who has taken her.In fact, according to Infosalus data, 1 out of 4 Spaniards has taken orthodontics.And this is not a trend that seems to change over time, due to the aesthetic involvement that entails.
But it is not only important due to aesthetics, the branch of orthodontics also improves the quality of life, since it prevents the appearance of diseases derived by a poor bite, decay for teeth that are overlapping, etc..
Prostodontics is the specialty in charge of replacing lost teeth thanks to the use of crowns, bridges, implants and removable prostheses.And usually require work together with other specialists.
If we go into more details, it is not only that the patient does not miss teeth - which, again, many times has an aesthetic application - but also having all the dental pieces thanks to the prostheses, they are also preservedproperly the functions of phonetics and swallowing.And by allowing a good chewing of food, digestion is also improved in case the patient had been dragging the loss of dental pieces.
Pediatric or also called pediatric dentistry, specializes in oral health and the treatment of dental diseases not only in children, also in adolescents and newborns.
For this, he emphasizes cleaning and fluoride treatment and above all, caries and disease prevention.Taking into account that you also have to treat milk teeth, something specific to this branch of dentistry and that involves somewhat different treatments (since they are pieces that will be lost over time).But you should never lose sight of the fact that even so, your treatment is essential for a healthy healthy denture.
If teeth growth is also detected - and jaws - problematic or out of the ordinary, the pediatric dentus will be responsible for applying the necessary surgical processes.
What kind of patients are you going to have?This may affect your decision to choose or not this branch, since babies and children are sometimes not easy to deal with - and less in the dentist.So you must have skills and knowledge so that they are calm and confident during consultations and treatments.
Periodontics is a dental specialty that is responsible for the care and study of teeth support and support structures.That is, gums, alveolar bone, cement and periodontal ligament.And of the diseases that can affect them.
Therefore, one of the reasons why the periodoncist and the largest type of diseases that you are going to be treated are most of them, are those of the gums.Especially when they have already resulted in more serious diseases, such as gingivitis.
If you are interested in this branch, we advise you to take a look at this study published by the Spanish Society of Periodontics and Osteointegration, with numerous data on the future of this specialty of dentistry.
You can read more information about programs for orthodontic and peridance specialties, in the linked article, since it speaks specifically about these dental specialties.
Dentistry, like all fields of medicine or science, continues to evolve.And not only can they emerge more and more micro specializations within the most common specializations we have talked about.There are also other less known branches but for which you might also be interested, such as forensic dentistry, sports dentistry, perinatal ...
Above all, it is important that you keep in mind that depending on the professional branch that you choose within dentistry, you will have to study, prevent and diagnose with different tools and knowledge.It would be best if you opt for the most related to your skills, personal tastes or future plans.Likewise, we also have information about what are the best paid dental specialties, if you are interested in knowing it.