Mayo Clinic's Department of Dental Specialties in Minnesota provides coordinated care for adults and children who require specialized dental care. Depending on the person's needs, care may include one specialty or more than one (multispecialty care, also called multidisciplinary care).

The Department of Dental Specialties offers dental hygiene, dental sleep medicine, maxillofacial prosthetics, dental oncology, orofacial pain treatment, care of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs), orthodontics, dentofacial orthopedics, periodontics and prosthodontics.

Dental hygiene

Licensed dental hygienists support the dental specialties practice and routinely provide care for patients with various needs from several areas, including periodontics, prosthodontics and orthodontics, as well as medical specialties, including radiation oncology, medical oncology, cardiovascular diseases, transplant and orthopedic surgery. Dental hygienists also participate in research and education.

Dental sleep medicine

Dental sleep medicine provides support to the Center for Sleep Medicine, Mayo physicians and referring doctors to assist in management of patients with sleep disorders. After examination, patients considered as candidates for an oral appliance are counseled on why it's recommended for sleep-disordered breathing, such as obstructive sleep apnea. Then the benefits and use of the oral appliance are explained.

Partnership with the patient's local dentist is important to assist with oral health over time and to maximize the usefulness of the oral appliance, including monitoring the impact of the oral appliance and looking for potential bite changes, teeth movement and temporomandibular disorders.

Maxillofacial prosthetics and dental oncology

Maxillofacial prosthetics focuses on reconstruction of the upper and lower jaws as well as facial anatomy for patients who may have cancer, birth defects or trauma to those areas. It involves restoration or replacement, or both, of head and neck structures with prostheses that may or may not be removed on a regular or elective basis.

Maxillofacial prosthetics and dental oncology work together as a team with several other specialties including, but not limited to, anaplastology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists, plastic surgery, radiation oncology and medical oncology. A multispecialty clinic facilitates patient care, using the most-advanced technologies.

Orofacial pain and TMD

Consultants assist with diagnosis of the full range of chronic oral and facial pain, including neuropathic pain conditions and complex TMDs. This service is multidisciplinary, consisting of close clinical collaboration with specialists in oral and maxillofacial surgery, headache neurology, oral dermatology, psychology, pain rehabilitation, physical medicine, and pain medicine.

Patients are triaged according to complexity and referred either to the Pain Clinic or to the Department of Dental Specialties. Patients being considered for temporomandibular joint surgery are evaluated by consultants in oral and maxillofacial surgery as well as orofacial pain, after which patients attend a pain education class in the Pain Clinic.

Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics

Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. This requires professionals skilled in the design, application and control of corrective appliances, including braces, to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and achieve overall facial balance.

The orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics team works with the Craniofacial Clinic to provide for and coordinate orthodontics care for complex craniofacial disorders.

Periodontics

Periodontists are dentists specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases involving the gums and bone surrounding the teeth, the mucosal tissues of the mouth, placement and maintenance of dental implants, bone regeneration, and esthetic soft tissue management of teeth and implants.

Periodontists at Mayo Clinic are diplomates of the American Board of Periodontology. They provide patient care and are actively engaged in research relating to bone regeneration around dental implants.

Prosthodontics

Prosthodontics pertains to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of people who have conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth or maxillofacial tissues, or both. Prosthodontists work closely with a multispecialty team, including periodontics, orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and other specialties when needed.

Coordinated care

The Department of Dental Specialties coordinates patient care with physicians in other specialties, such as oral maxillofacial surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, ENT, radiation oncology and medical oncology.