Seeing the dentist

Dental specialists

In a profession as large as dentistry, there are a number of dental specialities for a particular field of dentistry you may require. You can search for a specialist using the GDC Register search. These specialist training subjects have been approved by the regulator of the UK dental profession – the General Dental Council.

There are 13 specialist lists, which are listed below:

  • Special care dentistry
  • Oral surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Paediatric dentistry
  • Endodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics
  • Restorative dentistry
  • Dental public health
  • Oral medicine
  • Oral microbiology
  • Oral and maxillofacial pathology
  • Dental and maxillofacial radiology.

Special care dentistry

Special care dentistry involves the improvement of the oral health of individuals who require special care. As the 13th and most recent addition to the GDC’s specialist list, specialists in this area act to improve and treat patients who are affected by physical, emotional, medical, intellectual, sensory, mental or social impairments.

Oral surgery

The treatment and ongoing management of injuries or issues in the jaw, mouth and teeth. A specialist in this area may diagnose, treat or perform surgery to resolve these issues. 


A specialist in orthodontics focuses on the movement of the teeth. This treatment can improve both the appearance of your smile, as well as helping your teeth fit together more closely.

Paediatric dentistry

A paediatric dentist provides care for many of the children that general dental practitioners are unable to treat. A specialist may provide comprehensive therapeutic oral health care for children from birth through to adolescence – including those with special health care needs.


The diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the dental pulp and supporting structures, and facial pain and related problems. Root canal treatment is commonly carried out by an endodontist.


The term ‘periodontology’ is the study of diseases affecting the periodontal tissues. A periodontist aims to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease and maintain the health, function and aesthetics of the gums and other structures.


Prosthodontics is the speciality of restoring/replacing teeth with prosthetic teeth. Prosthodontic procedures include crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays, onlays and complete and partial dentures.

Restorative dentistry

Restorative dentistry involves the study, diagnosis and integrated management of diseases of the oral cavity and their supporting structures. The approach aims to rehabilitate the oral cavity to the functional, psychological and aesthetic requirements of a patient.

Dental public health

The prevention and treatment of oral diseases. This non-clinical speciality involves promotion oral health to the population and is concerned with the dental health education of the public.

Oral medicine

Oral medicine sits between dentistry and medicine. The speciality focuses on the oral health of patients with chronic recurrent and medically related disorders.

Oral microbiology

The focus on the microorganisms of the oral cavity ­– typically bacterial and fungal disease.

Oral and maxillofacial pathology

This speciality focuses on the diagnosis of disease by microscopic examination. This may be as a result of tissue changes of the oral cavity, jaws and salivary glands.

Dental and maxillofacial radiology

Involves diagnostic imaging of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and jaws and face region.