The typical dental specialty training includes four years of dental school and a further three years of full-time intensive advanced training in a recognized specialized area of dentistry. In order to be considered fully qualified, upon completion of training, the dentist would need to be certified by a specialty board such as the American Board of Prosthodontists, the Royal College of Dentists (Canada) or the Royal College of Dental Surgeons (Edinburgh), and other similar bodies.
In Singapore, the Ministry of Health has established the Dental Specialist Register as of January 1, 2008. If a person is not on the specialist register, he or she cannot legally call himself or herself a dental specialist.Expand All | Collapse All
Prosthodontists are fully-trained dental specialists in the areas of cosmetic dentistry, crowns and bridges, dental implants, restoration, missing teeth replacement and rehabilitation of head and neck cancer patients. They possess the expert knowledge and experience to treat patients with more complex dental problems. Your doctor may refer you to a prosthodontist to treat the more difficult dental problems, such as procedures to replace or reconstruct multiple missing teeth and their associated structures.
Apart from the functional aspects, patients with cosmetic concerns should consult with a prosthodontist. These complex treatments require the expert knowledge and experience that only a trained prosthodontist can provide. Imperfect teeth, whether present from birth, due to natural decay or caused by a traumatic accident, can be replaced with attractive, functional teeth.
A prosthodontist acts as the "architect" of a dental treatment plan - collaborating with other health care professionals to develop solutions to your dental concerns.
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with teeth alignment to correct malocclusions (improper bites) and also the modification of facial growth. While orthodontic treatment has traditionally been recommended for functional reasons (i.e. to improve a patient's bite), it is increasingly used for aesthetic reasons to improve a person's appearance.
Common problems corrected using orthodontic appliances (such as braces) include improperly aligned teeth, crowded or unevenly spaced teeth, extra or missing teeth, misaligned jaws and bite problems.
Alignment problems could have arisen through accidents (e.g. jaw fracture), prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier sucking in older children, missing teeth, premature or late loss of baby teeth, tumors in the mouth, dental disease or improperly fitted fillings, crowns or braces.
Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the treatment of gum diseases and the foundation structures around the teeth. If such a condition is not treated, a person could suffer tooth loss and jaw bone loss.
Common periodontal procedures include scaling and root planing (careful cleaning to remove plaque and tartar), periodontal surgery, dental implants, gum plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures (crown lengthening, soft tissue grafts, ridge augmentation).
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is the branch of dentistry that uses surgical methods to correct diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial area.
Common oral surgical procedures includes extraction of teeth, including wisdom teeth extraction, dental extractions for medically compromised patients, placement of dental implants, bone grafting, and diagnosis and treatment of cysts and tumours.
Common jaw surgery procedures include reconstructive surgery to correct orthodontic problems that cannot easily be treated with braces, and surgery to correct the structure of the face and jaw including congenital conditions such as cleft lip and cleft palate.
Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with diseases of the tooth foundation, namely, the tooth root, dental pulp, and surrounding tissue. Teeth are composed of a hard structure surrounding a soft, living tissue called the pulp (also called the “nerve”). The pulp contains blood vessels, fibers and nerves. The pulp can become diseased or injured and thus is unable to repair itself. The pulp then dies and endodontic treatment is required.
The most common procedure done by an endodontist is root canal therapy which is the removal of diseased pulp tissue before infection sets in. Other procedures include incision for drainage and periradicular surgery (root end surgery). These treatments are needed in cases of abscesses, root fractures, cracked teeth, problematic tooth anatomy and to prevent extractions.
Pedodontics is the branch of dentistry dealing with dental treatment of children from birth to the teenage years. Special importance is placed on the prevention of tooth decay and the maintenance of primary (milk) teeth until they are naturally lost.