It is estimated that about 20% of practicing dentists are specialists. Like all dentists, specialty practitioners are educated in general dentistry, then opt, at considerable personal time and expense, to pursue advanced education and training in one of ten recognized areas of specialization:
Dental Public Health
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Dentists can earn the privilege to practice as a dental specialist if they can demonstrate their advanced dental care knowledge and skills to the satisfaction of a national dental specialty certification board. Those practitioners who can meet the certification (or recertification) standards set by one of these national dental boards are granted "Board Certified" status in which to practice in their area(s) of specialization.
There are more than a dozen national boards that confer specialty certifications to dental practitioners who meet their certification (or recertification) standards. Visit our resource page below to find online license confirmation tools that these national dental certification organizations make available to the pubic: