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Recognized Dental Specialties

A dental specialty is an area of dentistry that has been formally recognized by the National Commission based on compliance with the Requirements for Recognition of Dental Specialties. Currently there are 12 dental specialties recognized by the National Commission. 

Requirements for Recognition of Dental Specialties

Based on the Requirements for Recognition of Dental Specialties, dental specialties are recognized to protect the public, nurture the art and science of dentistry, and improve quality of care. Specialties are recognized in those areas where advanced knowledge and skills, which are greater than those taught in a pre-doctoral dental education program and are separate and unique from the other specialties to maintain or restore oral health. 

Not all areas in dentistry will satisfy the Requirements for Recognition and be granted specialty recognition. However, the public and profession benefit substantially when non-specialty groups develop areas of interest through education, practice and research. The contributions of such groups are acknowledged by the dental profession and their endeavors are encouraged.
Following the granting of recognition by the National Commission, the recognized sponsoring organization must establish a national board for certifying diplomats in accordance with the Requirements for Recognition of National Certifying Boards for Dental Specialists (PDF).

Visit the National Commissions Application for Recognition Process webpage for more information on how to apply.