Dentistry’s Many Branches

Dr. Sean Holliday
Orthodontic specialist with Holliday Orthodontics

Where did you receive your schooling and training?

I received my training and my dental degree at University of Missouri-Kansas City, followed by a three-year residency for my orthodontic specialty and a master’s degree in oral sciences at University of Illinois at Chicago.


Image 1 of 2

Dr. Sean Holliday

How long have you been in practice?

I have been practicing orthodontics for 10 years here on Oahu. Holliday Orthodontics is a private practice with offices in Pearl City, Kailua and Honolulu. We have been so lucky that we have been able to expand our practices into a number of different places, but like every other practice out there, we want to achieve more. We’ve recently been thinking about how to improve our practice management, and with the help of these tips from somewhere like Opencare, we can start to incorporate methods that can help with the vital growth that we’re looking to achieve with our private dental practice.

What first got you interested in going into dentistry?

I became interested in dentistry while in high school. I realized that dentistry offered a career that fulfilled my interests in both art and science. I like working with people and making a difference in their lives. When my brother and mother had braces, I became interested in making orthodontics my career choice. It has such a positive influence on children and adults I was drawn to a profession that builds confidence in people.

Can you describe some of your volunteer work in the community and why it’s important to you?

Helping our community is very important to our office and doctors. I volunteer through community support, church and through various organizations, including Hawaii Dental Association. We also love to support schools and teachers, Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii and community health programs that help the under-served population of Hawaii.

What is the Future Dentist Symposium that you will be speaking at Feb. 21?

The Future Dentist Symposium is a wonderful resource for Hawaii students to learn about a career in dentistry, gain resources for the education necessary for this profession and scholarship opportunities to help fund their education.

(The symposium will feature a panel of dentists discussing the joys and challenges of their chosen specialty field to junior and senior high school students. Scholarships will be awarded at the symposium to student winners of an essay contest. Interested students are invited to enter a 200-word essay on why they would like to be a dentist. Three scholarships will be awarded totaling $1,000, with first place receiving $500, second place $300 and third place $200. Essay submission deadline is Feb. 15. For more information on the symposium or essay contest, call 537-2880 or email

At the symposium, dentists, including yourself, will describe aspects of their chosen fields of specialty. Can you give the public an idea of some of these fields and what the dentists do?

There are various types of dentists. Our profession is primarily made up of general dentists, who provide a wide variety of treatment options for their patients – primarily, the prevention of oral diseases and restoration of teeth that have been damaged by cavities or trauma, but there are practices that are dedicated to a specific area such as Teeth Now who specialize in older patients. The specialties in dentistry include:

Pedodontists: Pediatric dentists, who specialize in the treatment of children.

Endodontists: Specialize in the root and nerve of teeth root canal specialists.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons: Specialize in surgical treatments such as extractions, jaw surgery, reconstructive surgery and dental implants.

Orthodontists: Specialize in management of tooth movement and guiding facial development.

Periodontists: Specialize in the treatment of the gums and tissues surrounding teeth.

Prosthodontists: Specialize in the restoration of missing teeth and the treatment of complex bite problems.

Can you tell us about your specialty?

I specialize in orthodontics. Orthodontists receive two to three years of additional training in techniques to move teeth and knowledge on the growth and development of the teeth, face and jaws.

For more information, visit