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Specialties / Specialist Terminology


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Endodontics: Treatment of the pulp tissue (nerve, blood & lymph vessels) of the tooth.


Endodontist: Specialist who performs root canal therapy or endodontic therapy. This is done when the tooth is in danger of being lost because of infection or exposure of the pulp. RCT (root canal therapy) or endodontics is performed by removing the nerve and other pulpal tissue from the interior chamber root canal of the tooth. Since this tissue has been removed, the chamber or canal is cleaned and sterilized. It is then sealed with an inert material.


Oral Surgery: The removal of teeth and repair of the bones of the face.


Oral Surgeon: Performs any service requiring surgical intervention in the mouth, including correction of congenital bone deformities, growth and cyst removal, root resections in conjunction with endodontic therapy (root canal treatment) and repair of soft tissue lacerations.


Orthodontics: Branch of dentistry dealing with malocclusion and its correction.


Orthodontist: The dentist who puts "braces" on the teeth to correct malocclusions or "bad bites." This is most commonly done by application of wires, bands and elastics to the teeth themselves in order to move them into proper alignment.


Pedodontics: Dentistry for children.


Pedodontist: Specialist who treats children only. Requires intricate knowledge of the growth and development of the teeth and bone.


Periodontics: The specialty concerned with the supporting structures of the teeth, including the bone and gingiva (gum tissue).


Periodontist: Diagnoses and treats periodontitis and gum disease or gingivitis. Procedures include prophylaxis, scaling and root planing, curretage and bite adjustment. Surgery to remove diseased gum tissue and reshape the supporting bone may also be done.


Periodontal Disease: When the supports for a tooth are diseased and in poor condition. Also know as pyorrhea.


Prosthodontics: Reconstruction type of dentistry.


Prosthodontist: Specialist who works with crowns (caps), bridges and dentures (both complete and partial removable). Must be well-versed in the principles of occlusion, tooth form and the forces brought to bear in chewing.

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