A dentist also referred to as a dental hygienist, is a licensed medical professional who specifically specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of oral diseases and conditions. The dentist’s surgical team aids in offering comprehensive oral healthcare services. This oral healthcare service includes diagnosis of oral conditions, treatment planning and management, post-operative care, and rehabilitation of oral conditions. Dentists work in a variety of locations including public, dental institutions, private dental offices, military dental hospitals, nursing homes, and other dental care facilities.
Dentistry is one of the earliest medical fields to develop medical technology based on research and studies. Dentistry incorporates the latest discoveries in dental science and technological advances methods that promote effective oral health care for patients. There are various institutions that provide diplomas and advanced degree programs in dental courses. Some of these dental schools include Dental Institute of Minnesota, University of Denver Dental School, Southern Illinois University Carbondale-Stokes Dentistry Institute, University of Florida College of Dentistry, Arizona State University College of Dentistry, Virginia College of Dentistry and more.
To become a dentist, you have to attend a dental school and get a degree from a recognized dental speciality program. The length and intensity of the course may vary depending on the nature of the dental speciality you choose. At dental schools across the United States, students undergo rigorous training to prepare them for their profession. During the course of study, students also obtain hands-on experience by working in the laboratory or with dentists. Students complete a supervised final examination to certify them for state licensure and registration. After being accredited, students complete a set of final exams to obtain their DDS or Doctor of Dental Surgery certification.
After graduation, students have to pass dental examinations, which are nationally recognized to be valid enough to allow them to practice as professional dentists. After getting licensed as a dentist through the American Dental Association or another national accrediting body, he or she can start practising. For most states, it takes 2 years to finish a full residency at a dental school. The first two years of residency are the same for most states, where the second two years are a combination of classroom and clinical training in order to prepare students for their role as dentists.
A dentist is responsible for the overall oral health of a patient. He or she diagnoses and treats problems that include gum disease, cavities, periodontal disease, malocclusion, dental phobias, oral infections, jaw disorders such as misalignment of the jaw, and facial injuries. Dental doctors need to have a comprehensive understanding of general dentistry in addition to specialized knowledge in the dental field. To be an effective oral health provider, he or she needs to have thorough knowledge about performing basic procedures such as tooth extraction, root canal treatment, and the filling process of a cavity. These procedures are often critical to maintaining oral hygiene and keeping the mouth healthy.
Many people may think that a dentist is the same as a family practitioner, or he or she works in the dental office alongside the family physician. In reality, a dentist has several specialities, including pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, pulmonologists, and oral surgeons. A pediatric dentist works closely with children, while orthodontics and pulmonologists specialize in treating adults.