Dental Speciality Practice In USA-10

Updated: Feb 10


“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”

-Jordan Belfort



Photos Courtesy - @indykadeer

  • "Dental specialities are recognized by the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards to protect the public, nurture the art and science of dentistry, and improve the quality of care. Specialities are recognized in those areas where advanced knowledge and skills are essential to maintain or restore oral health." ADA.

  • In October 2017, the ADA House of Delegates voted to establish the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards. This effectively removed the ADA from recognizing dental specialities and placed the responsibility with this new commission.

  • (CODA) recently voted to eliminate the term “speciality” from its documentation, policies, and other materials. Instead, CODA will use the term “advanced education programs” when referring to disciplines within dental education.​​

  • For specialisation you have to first do a Dental Residency Programme, then you will have to do the certification exam by the representing 'BOARD'.

  • Contact the board for the details of the examination in each speciality and the format as each is different.

  • Definition of the specialities

  • Board certification means that a specialist has successfully passed an examination established by an independent authority (board) for the speciality

  • The list of speciality and current person to contact list on ADA

PROSTHODONTICS

PERIODONTICS

  • A Diplomate is a Periodontist who has to complete an educational program in Periodontology, which is accredited by Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association and pass a comprehensive qualifying and oral examination covering all phases of periodontal disease and its treatment, including dental implants.He/She is subject to recertification every six years.​

ORTHODONTICS

ORAL RADIOLOGY

  • Certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology requires successful completion of both parts of the certifying examination within the period of eligibility and attain at least 50 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) over a three‐year period for recertification.

ORAL PATHOLOGY

ENDODONTICS

  • An Endodontist who has satisfied all requirements of the Board Certification process by completing a three-part examination is declared Board-Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics

  • They need 150 credit hours are required every 10 years for recertification.

DENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH

ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY

PEDODONTICS

  • For Diplomate status in the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry you have to pass a two-part certification process - the qualifying examination (QE) section and the Oral Clinical Examination (OCE) and a complex process of recertification.

TO DO OR NOT TO DO - IT'S AN ALL IMPORTANT QUESTION!!!

  • This is really a question as to what you really want to do in life, with life and a true passion for a special field.​

  • One of the opinions I came across on the SDN struck me as true was by ANONDDS87 "The best advice I got before specialising was "would you rather work 3 days a week doing a job you don't like (in reference to paeds - where I am they are paid extremely well) or 5 days a week doing a job you do like (implying the 3 days of pedo would pay the same as 5 days of another speciality). Personally, I'd rather work 3 days a week and chill rather than have to work 5 days. No one loves their job - if they genuinely did they'd do it for free, but they don't, so work as little as possible". I thought this was a great perspective as it didn't come with the "oh follow your passion and everything will be worth it" because you really don't know if you're gonna love a speciality until it's too late. And I think it's ok to admit that we are driven by money and lifestyle but a lot of people don't want to say it out loud. Do I find the work I do as a specialist more interesting than general dentistry? Yes. But it still feels like a job. I'm honestly not sure if it's worth the lost income and debt. And it's not a very professional opinion for me to give -basically I'm only focusing on superficial things- but I wish I heard it before I made the decision"

  • I thought that my opinion would be very biased about this topic and so I went looking for other opinions and these threads looked interesting.


  • I personally do not think specialisation is for everyone, but if you do think about it often, then you should take the plunge.

  • LIFE SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT REGRETS - EITHER BY DOING IT AND HAVING A HUGE LOAN OR BY NOT DOING IT AND FEELING AN EMPTINESS OR DEVELOPING AN INFERIORITY COMPLEX ABOUT IT.

  • You have to do what is good for you, and not let what others do/think/ achieve be your decision making criteria and you should embrace your decision wholeheartedly.

  • You can choose to be 'Jack of all trades ' or ' master of one' - both having advantages and disadvantage. Give it a good thought and make a wise decision.

  • In saying that if you do not want to do a residency/post-graduation, but would like to just be good at something like Endo/Prostho - there are umpteen number of shorter courses that can get you the best of both worlds...

Fellowship Programs

  • Among the recognised dental specialities, CODA now accredits fellowship programs for board-eligible speciality graduates in four areas

  • Oncologic surgery

  • Cleft and craniofacial surgery

  • Cosmetic surgery

  • Craniofacial and special care orthodontics.

  • In addition, there are non-accredited fellowships and programs in six other areas

  • Implantology

  • Aesthetic dentistry

  • Restorative dentistry/cariology

  • Maxillofacial prosthodontics

  • Sleep dentistry

  • Dental materials.