dental instruments and oral health

Common Types of Dentistry

The type of dental treatment an individual requires depends on their unique situation. For example, the most common types of dentistry include general dentistry, family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, and specialty dentistry. To ensure you receive the proper care for your needs, explore the different options below:

professional dental instruments and toothbrush

General Dentistry

Eighty percent of dental practitioners are general dentists. They are concerned with the overall health of teeth and oral hygiene. In other words, instead of specializing in one specific area, general dentists offer:

child getting an exam at a family dentist office

Family Dentistry

Similar to general dentistry, family dentistry focuses on the health and oral hygiene of teeth. Family dentists treat an individual during every stage of life. For example, oral care for a baby or child is different from that of an adult or senior (65+).

Common Procedure & Treatment Types:

metal braces on teeth

Cosmetic Dentistry

In today’s society, having an attractive and healthy smile is important for many people. Cosmetic dentistry isn’t a new practice. However, with help from new technological advancements and computers, cosmetic procedures are easier now than ever before.

Common Procedure & Treatment Types:

  • Teeth Whitening
  • Veneers
  • Braces, which are not strictly cosmetic. They can create cosmetic results, but they have many functional aspects as well.

6 Types of Dental Specialists

There are 9 board-certified specialties in dentistry, but only six focus on individual patient care. For example, general and family dentists provide a wide array of services, while dental specialists are experts in one particular field of dentistry:

whitening discolored teeth


This field of dentistry deals with the periodontium, which are the tissues that support and surround the teeth in the mandibular (lower) and maxillary (upper) jawbones. In other words, periodontists focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth. These dental experts also specialize in the function, overall health, and aesthetics of tissue structure.

fixed implant retained denture replacing an entire set of permanent teeth


The primary role of a prosthodontist is to diagnose and restore deficient oral tissues to proper function and esthetics using biocompatible prosthetic materials. About 20 percent of a general dentist’s time is also spent on prosthetic services.

teeth with top teeth implants

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons specialize in treating the esthetic and functional features of the oral and maxillofacial region. For instance, procedures are typically performed due to accidental injury, trauma, disease, deformities, periodontal issues, dental caries, or tooth loss.

removing infected dental pulp in the roots of teeth


Endodontists deal with the dental pulp and periradicular tissues, which are the blood vessels, tissues, and nerves surrounding a tooth’s root. Above all, they are highly trained in performing root canals and surgeries related to diseases of the pulp. For example, general dentists perform two root canals per week, while endodontists perform 25 per week (on average).

orthodontist examining a patient's bite and teeth


Orthodontists specialize in malocclusion treatment, a condition where the teeth are not positioned correctly in the upper and lower jaws. As a result, malocclusions can lead to an improper bite, such as an overbite or underbite. Orthodontists provide fixed and removable appliances that correct an individual’s bite and realign teeth over time.

pediatric dentist cleaning and examining a child's teeth

Pediatric Dentists

Pediatric dentists treat infants and children into adolescence. They also treat patients with special physical or mental challenges. In addition, these dental practitioners provide both comprehensive dental treatments and preventive techniques.