Welcome to GerDentUSA!

Customer Support 516 593 7100

Different Types of Dentists: A Glimpse at Their Career Path

Different Types of Dentists: A Glimpse at Their Career Path

A successful dentistry career starts with knowing the different types of dentists, educational requirements, and rewards. 

Having this information can help you identify the areas that best align with your interests, career goals, and skills and can further assist you in making the best choices.

Here, you’ll get valuable insights into specific certifications and training requirements for specialization. 

Read on to explore the different types of dentists. 

What Are the Different Types of Dentists?

Different dental specialists diagnose oral complications and perform surgical procedures. They perform multiple clinical procedures in order to improve the overall oral health of the patients. The common procedures include fillings, root canals, implants, aligning braces, etc. 

Multiple dental specializations fall under this umbrella. 

Here are the 6 different types of dentists: 

1. General Dentist

General dentists offer basic dental care services. For example, diagnosing the diseases and performing treatments for filling cavities or root canals. Additionally, they are responsible for installing or aligning braces for perfect teeth alignment. 
The general dentist thoroughly examines the disease with multiple dentistry tools, plus visualizes the teeth in X-rays. They can repair the ripped teeth and remove the damaged teeth. In severe cases, general doctors recommend dental surgeons. 


The minimal requirement to become a general doctor is to attain a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree after graduation. It typically takes four years to complete these programs, which involve both theoretical coursework and rigorous training in labs and clinics. 

Institutes in the USA 

•    The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor offers a DDS program with an annual fee of around USD 51,835.
•    Harvard University offers a DMD program with an annual fee of around USD 67,610.

Specialization Certifications 

After graduation, general doctors often pursue additional certifications to enhance their dentistry skills. The best certifications for these types of dentists are Board Certification in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Dental Assistant.

Average Salaries in the USA

A general doctor's average salary can fall between USD 170,000 and USD 250,000 (per year). 

2. Orthodontists 

Orthodontists are dental specialists who align mal-positioned jaws and teeth. They are experts in treating gapped, overlapped, or crooked teeth. The prime goal of orthodontists is to ease and reduce patients’ discomfort specifically caused by the misalignment of jaws and teeth, as a result enhancing overall oral health.  
They examine the patient’s teeth or jaws on X-ray machines and then install equipment (like braces or headgear) to fix the alignments. Orthodontists also follow up with the patients until the treatment is complete.


According to the American Dental Education Association, no undergraduate programs are specifically designed for orthodontists. However, they must pass certain credit hours in biology and chemistry. Plus, after graduation, orthodontists must also complete four years of DDS or DMD program. 

Institutes in the USA 

•    Saint Louis University USA offers post-graduation in orthodontics with an annual fee of around USD 438,000. 
•    UCSF offers a Master of Science in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences and a Certificate in Orthodontics with an annual fee of USD 11,442. 

Specialization Certifications 

In order to enhance their skills, orthodontists can get multiple certificates. For example, Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) or Dental Assistant (RDA). 
Average Salaries in the USA

The average salary of an orthodontist in the USA can fall anywhere between $125,110 and $184,650. 

3. Endodontists 

Endodontists are also known as root canal specialists. A root canal process involves removing the affected nerve and replacing it with a filling. They specialize in testing diseases related to teeth and nerves. While the general dentist often deals with initial diagnosis procedures and teeth fillings, endodontists deal with more complex tooth problems and perform root canals more often. 

Moreover, they are also allowed to incorporate anesthetics to perform sensitive surgeries for treating the tooth pulp or nerves. 


Four years of a bachelor’s degree is necessary to become an endodontist. Further, they’re also expected to attend a two-year training program. Depending on the state, endodontists might also need a license to start working. 

Institutes in the USA 

    Temple University USA offers a Graduate Dentistry Certificate in Endodontics with an annual fee of around USD 76,566.
•    Saint Louis University USA offers Endodontics, M.S. in Dentistry, with an annual fee of USD 438,000. 

Specialization Certifications 

Endodontists can get DDS or DMD certificates to improve their skills. 

Average Salaries in the USA

An endodontist can make around USD 241,185 a year. 

4. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons 

The oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dental professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating important oral complications. For example, they perform surgeries to treat oral pathology, realign jaw positions, remove wisdom teeth, and implant single teeth or supported dentures. 

Other major treatments that oral and maxillofacial surgeons can perform are: chin or cheekbone enhancement, facial skin lesions, lip reconstruction, and a few other minor cosmetic operations. 


To become an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, you need a bachelor’s degree along with a three-year master's certificate in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS). 

Institutes in the USA 

    Harvard School of Dental and Medicine offers an advanced graduate education program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 
•    The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) offers a 6-year OMFS-MD Certificate program. 

Specialization Certifications

Candidates can get Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certificates to enhance their skills. 

Average Salaries in the USA

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons can earn around USD 239,200 a year. 

5. Prosthodontist

Prosthodontists are dentists who specialize in treating sensitive teeth and mouth surgeries. This includes replacing the missing teeth, installing crowns, and implanting dental dentures. They are responsible for creating personalized treatments, and for this purpose, they work closely with the patients.  

Prosthodontists are also experts in cosmetic dentistry. These dental professionals use procedures to fix chipped teeth, fill the gaps, etc. While they specialize in creating dental prosthetics, they’re also great at treating oral deterioration.  


A master’s degree is required to start working as a prosthodontist. 

Institutes in the USA 

•    The University of California, Los Angeles School offers an Advanced Prosthodontics Program with an additional Certificate in Geriatric Dentistry.
•    The University of Texas offers an Advanced Education Program in Prosthodontics with an additional Certificate in Maxillofacial Prosthetics. 

Specialization Certifications

You can pursue your education in DDS or DMD, but it’s not necessary to earn these certificates to start working as a prosthodontist. 

Average Salaries in the USA

The average salary of a prosthodontist can fall between USD 127,000 and  USD 419,000 yearly. 

6. Pediatric Dentists

Pediatric dentists are also known as pedodontists. They are experts in diagnosing and treating infants’ oral health issues. They primarily focus on developing teeth, gums, and jaws. Pediatric dentists gather their patients ' data throughout the various stages of childhood until they reach adulthood. 

Pediatric dentists can diagnose and treat all dental diseases. They implant dentures, treat both primary and secondary teeth, apply fluorides or sealants, and provide recommendations for better growth of arches. These doctors are provided with training on managing dental phobia in children. 


To become a pediatric dentist, it’s important for the candidate to earn a master’s degree. 

Institutes in the USA 

•    The University of Toledo offers a Graduate Certificate in Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with an annual fee of around USD 8343.83.
    The University of Mizzou offers a Master of Science in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with an annual fee of around USD 9,400. 

Specialization Certifications

Nearly all states in the USA require a DDS. or DMD. certificate to start working as a pediatric dentist. 

Average Salaries in the USA

Pediatric dentists' average annual earnings can fall between USD 37,000 and $80,000. 

Other Different Types of Dentist Jobs 

Apart from the above designations of dentists, you can also pursue this field without extensive education. Below, you’ll explore some options enabling you to work in dental clinics without being an actual dentist. 

Here is the list: 

•    Dental Assistant 

Dental assistants help certified pediatricians, prosthodontists, or other dentists with almost all tasks, including office work. They are responsible for sterilizing or setting up the surgical equipment. Dental assistants also prepare the patients for diagnoses or treatments. 

•    Dental Technician 

Dental technicians create personalized bridges, dentures, and crowns in dental labs. They often use CAD (Computer-Aided Design) or CAM (Computer-Aided Design) software for these purposes. The candidate is required to earn a Diploma in Dental Technician (DDT) to start working as a dental technician. 

•    Dental Hygienist

As the name suggests, dental hygienists clean patients’ teeth, like scaling, polishing, etc. Apart from that, they are responsible for taking dental radiographs. 

Final Words! 

All the different types of dentists are responsible for improving the overall oral health of patients. Whether you want to become an endodontist or a maxillofacial surgeon, choosing this career path requires dedication, passion, and hard work to help patients. This journey is challenging but rewarding and can lead to a successful career. 

If you’re looking for high-quality dentistry tools, GerDentUSA has you covered! They offer almost all dentistry instruments while promising high precision. 


What are the different types of dentists?

There are several types of dentists, including orthodontists, endodontists, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, pediatric, and general dentists. Each dentist specializes in different areas of oral health improvement. 

Which dentist makes the most money?

Most dentists make over $1,000 a year, but maxillofacial surgeons can earn up to $336,000 a year. 


Get Discount
on Your Next Order