I found an interesting article discussing whether general radiology is needed anymore or are the subspecialties taking over. I would imagine that just as with any health practice, eventually it becomes more specialized and more diversified as knowledge increases. It used to be that doctors did everything, now there are many specialties in medicine. The same will apply to radiology over time, especially as technology continues to improve and we continue to see things that we were not able to image prior. This couldn’t be more true for oral and maxillofacial radiology as it is now. Dentists used to look at all radiographs and diagnose. Now with the advent of cone beam CT, radiologists are needed.
In the same manner that other specialties came about from general dentistry, oral and maxillofacial radiology services are slowly but surely growing in demand. The advent of new imaging modalities and the liability from having so much information will require a specialist to look at images and interpret them. As it is, my take on oral and maxillofacial radiology is that it is already a subspecialty of general radiology. In fact, while visiting my residency I have seen cases where general radiologists would refer to oral and maxillofacial radiologists.