Understanding Dental Credentials

The foundational dental credential is the DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or the DMD (Doctor of Medical Dentistry). Those who have completed two or more years of additional training at an accredited institution become specialists in one of the 9 disciplines recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). Below is the list of dental specialties:

  • Dental Public Health
  • Endodontics
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics

It is the responsibility of the consumer to educate themselves in the matter of dental credentials. The above list is inclusive of all specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.
Buzzwords and Invented Credentials. Beware of marketing buzz words posing as dental specialties. These following phrases are common, but they all amount to the same thing: “General Dentistry.”

  • Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Sedation Dentistry
  • Reconstructive Dentistry
  • Geriatric Dentistry
  • Implant Dentistry (Implantology)
  • Denturologist
  • Neuromuscular Dentistry
  • Sleep Dentistry
  • Geriatric Dentistry
  • TMJ Dentistry