Just like any other career in Medical Care, there are many fields of dentistry available for candidates who wish to pursue this specific career. If you’re unsure which role will be most aligned with your passions and personality, we have discussed the most common types of dentistry specialisations along with their roles and responsibilities in this blog.
Read More: Is BDS A Good Career Option In India?
Different Branches of Dentists
After completing the required dentistry course in India (Five years), graduates can pursue a plethora of job profiles in dentistry. Let’s take a quick look at them –
Orthodontists – This branch of dentistry is particularly concerned with the imbalances in the jaw. The goal is to fix facial and dental irregularities by adding pressure on the teeth through braces and other devices. It allows facial growth and development to ensure proper teeth alignment.
Periodontists – Dentists treat diseases of gum, bones and tissues that tend to support the teeth. This branch typically deals with inflammatory diseases and conditions that affect the gums and surrounding teeth structures. The aim is to prevent and fix these diseases. Periodontists may also include dental implants in their treatment plan, if necessary.
Endodontists – This type of dentist is concerned with the health of the soft core of teeth, dental pulp, and root canals. This specialisation primarily focuses on ‘saving teeth.’ The job of an endodontist is focused on diagnosing and treating complicated root problems, helping patients deal with cracked teeth, removing teeth, and performing root canal surgery.
Pedodontists – Pedodontists or paediatric dentists focus on the overall oral health of babies, children, and adolescents. They have the responsibility of catering to the dental health of people right from birth through adolescence. They are also required to educate families and children regarding the best oral hygiene practices. Typically, it takes around six months for the first teeth to grow in infants, and that’s when they are taken to pedodontists for regular check-ups.
Prosthodontists – Prosthodontists specialise in the field of dental science where they aim to restore original teeth or replace missing teeth or structures using artificial devices, like dentures. They take on complex cases where they make moulds of patients’ mouths, create dental implants or dentures, place and adjust them in mouths over several appointments to make sure that the treatment is helping the patients.
Oral Surgeons – Oral surgeons typically are responsible for correcting facial deformities, performing complicated extractions, treating tumours and abnormal growths around the jaws and gums. Their work primarily focuses on performing surgeries that involve the mouth.
Public Health Dentistry-
Public health dentistry professionals must be competent in these skills: Plan oral health programs for populations. Select interventions and strategies for the prevention and control of oral diseases and promotion of oral health. Implement, manage, and develop resources for oral health programs for populations.
How Can You Pursue a Career in Dentistry?
Whether you want to be an orthodontist or maxillofacial surgeon, there are a couple of steps you need to take in order to become a dentist. Here’s what you must do –
Step #1 – Clearing Your 10+2
If you want to become a dentist, you must qualify your 10+2 with biology, chemistry, and physics as your core subjects with at least 50 percent marks.
Step #2 – Sitting for an Entrance Examination –
Before you can start a dental course, you have to sit for the NEET examination. National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) is an undergraduate examination that aspirants must take to secure admission at dental/medical colleges in India.
Step #3 – Enrolling in a Bachelor’s Course –
Students will also have to clear an entrance examination to get admitted to a Bachelor’s programme in dentistry. Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) is a 5-year undergraduate-level degree that students pursue from the best dental colleges in India.
Step #4 – Joining a Post Bachelor’s or Master’s Course –
After graduating from a Bachelor’s course, students can join a Master’s programme in dental surgery. These postgraduate level courses come with specialisations that include Oral Medicine & Radiology, Orthodontics, Periodontics, etc.
It is essential to note that students need to gain sufficient practical knowledge to become a successful dentist. Because of this reason, they have to undergo compulsory internships. Not only does it help in gaining an understanding of the work environment, but it also offers insight into the roles and responsibilities of a professional dentist. Hence, internships work as a necessary pathway for candidates to get permanent jobs.
Dentistry is one of the most rewarding healthcare careers in India. If you’re passionate enough, you will be able to achieve great success in the near future. However, it is important to know what your options are because they will help you make an informed decision. Once you know which specialisation you wish to pursue, you can channel your efforts in the right direction.