Sometimes many of the patients of our dental clinic in Murcia ask us why they are not seen by one or another dentist. It is normal, he has treated them before, he was the first one to see them or, sometimes, they know him personally. However, this is not the way we proceed at Vélez y Lozano, where we have separated ourselves by areas of dentistry according to our specific and complementary training.
Although there are no specialities as such in dentistry, technical and technological advances, together with improvements in the training and preparation of dentists themselves, as well as the logical development of science itself, allow for greater depth in certain areas of this discipline, thus giving rise to experts in these areas.
This, which may seem incongruous, is due to the fact that dentistry is a relatively modern degree. It was not until Spain joined the European Union, in fact, that it was introduced into our educational system. Until then, the person dedicated to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of oral pathologies was a stomatologist. That is, a professional who had studied medicine and specialised in this area.
Since the introduction of the career until now, a long way has been travelled in terms of training. Today, when graduating in dentistry, students choose an area or branch of dentistry and start training in it, just like in other health professions. This is why it is becoming increasingly common for other dental practices to follow the same model as we do.
Different branches of dentistry
By this point in the article, you will have understood why our clinic sometimes sees one dentist and sometimes another, depending on the treatment you need to have that day. But you may be wondering, what are these branches of dentistry you are talking about?
Well, let's list them and describe them briefly:
It is the most obvious when it comes to classification. It is responsible for the prevention and treatment of oral pathologies in babies and children. On the question, "when should my child go to the adult dentist", there are many variables at play that do not allow us to give a completely definite answer.
This is the area that immediately follows prevention if we are talking about pathologies. Once a caries is already present, if a minimally invasive treatment can be performed, this is the restorative area. It could also be called the more 'general' part of dentistry and is the area that is the most developed in dentistry. Examples of this area would be fillings, inlays, onlays and crowns.
Endodontics is not only a treatment, but also an area in its own right, separate from restorative dentistry, because it is difficult and dentists must be trained exclusively in this area. In addition, in-house materials and instruments are used. It is the next step when a tooth has been damaged by decay but can still be saved and consists of root canal treatment. It is popularly known as 'killing the nerve'.
Professionals who train in implantology also train in surgery, because these two areas go hand in hand, especially above a certain level. It is a dense and difficult area that includes everything from implant placement to sinus lift, and we have already talked about it on many occasions. In the case of Vélez y Lozano, it is mastered by our medical director, Fernando. So when patients ask me why Fernando doesn't see them, I usually tell them that it's because everything is going well in their mouth. After all, tooth extraction and replacement is the last option when it comes to treating an infection.
Orthodontics, as you probably already know, is the area that deals with solving malocclusions and malpositions that a patient's teeth may have in order to achieve a functional and optimal bite, for health and/or aesthetic reasons.
Periodontics, my area, since we need to be precise, is that which deals with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases affecting the gums, i.e. periodontal disease (either gingivitis in its mildest form or periodontitis in its most severe form).
Currently in great demand, we could define her as the person in charge of the planning, design and execution of treatments aimed at improving the aesthetics of each patient's smile.
Prosthodontics is the area in charge of prosthetic treatments such as dentures, rehabilitations on teeth and implants to provide a correct function and aesthetics of the oral cavity and sometimes generates certain confusions. To give an example with the reality of our clinic: the dentist who places the implants is not the same dentist who orders and adjusts the prosthesis that will be placed on them.
These are only the best known and most demanded specialisations in the field today, although there are more. For example, forensic dentistry or sports dentistry. But if you want, we'll talk about that in another article.
Thank you for your interest and if you have any questions, please let us know through the usual channels.