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Why are there specialties in dentistry?

Dental specialties are recognized by the Association to protect the public, nurture the art and science of dentistry, and improve the quality of care. It is the Association's belief that the needs of the public are best served if the profession is oriented primarily to general practice. Specialties are recognized in those areas where advanced knowledge and skills are essential to maintain or restore oral health (Association policies are contained in the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct).

Not all areas in dentistry will satisfy the requirements for specialty recognition. However, the public and profession benefit substantially when non-specialty groups develop and advance areas of interest through education, practice and research. Acknowledged by the profession, the contributions of such and their endeavors are encouraged.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.