In Australia, most dental practitioners have general registration with the Dental Board of Australia. In addition, all dental specialists in Australia are registered as such with the Dental Board of Australia. In all, there are 13 fields of dental specialisation in Australia, all of which are listed on the website of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) at www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registers-of-Practitioners/Specialties-and-Specialty-Fields.aspx.
All registered practitioners (both general and specialist) can be searched on the AHPRA website at www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registers-of-Practitioners.aspx. This enables you to check up on any one practitioner’s authenticity and qualifications just by typing in their first name and family name.
Board-registered dental specialists in the various dental fields usually restrict their practices to one area of expertise. They’ve undertaken many additional years of postgraduate education, and they are considered by almost all general dentists and the Australian Dental Association to be the most suitably qualified clinicians to carry out complex treatments in their fields.
Given their qualifications and expertise, it makes sense if dental specialists in Australia charge higher fees than general dentists, particularly when handling more complicated cases. So, when comparing prices, do make certain of the registration of the practitioner.
Beware the general dentist who passes themselves off as specialist just by using the term “specialist”. And beware so-called “specialists” overseas; few other countries have a registration process as stringent as the one we have in Australia.