Whether you look for a proven, top-notch dentist, planning on becoming a dentist, or both, it’s imperative to know the credentials and other relatable information about dentists. You need to know the details about their skills, qualities, education, services, and more. Thus, the following includes the needed details:
What Services Do Dentists Perform?
General dentists are the primary dental provider. He/she diagnoses, manages, and treats your overall oral health, including root canals, gum care, crowns, fillings, bridges, veneers, and preventive education. They also perform x-rays, remove tooth decay, fill cavities, repair fractured teeth, straighten teeth, and puts protective plastic sealants on children’s teeth. For gum diseases, these professionals do corrective surgery which will also support bones in the gums. For dentures, they replace the missing teeth after they make measurements and models. Also, they administer anesthetics, and they give prescriptions for antibiotics and medications.
When it comes to educating their patients, they give instructions on preventing future problems after administering care to the tissues and teeth in the mouth. Also, they give instruction on your diet, flossing, brushing using fluorides, and more concerning dental care.
What Are Their Skills & Qualities?
In addition to the skills acquired from their training, a dentist must be able to use various equipment, including mouth mirrors, x-ray machines, drills, probes, brushes, forceps, scalpels, digital scanners, lasers, and other computer technologies. For protection from infectious diseases from the dentist and the patient, they know that they must wear gloves, safety glasses, and gloves.
Other than their acquired dental skills and working with equipment and tools, these professionals must also be able to oversee various administrative tasks. They must know how to order supplies and equipment. They must be able to perform bookkeeping duties, and they must be able to employ and supervise dental assistants, dental hygienists, receptionists, and dental laboratory technicians.
Other required skills include manual skills and diagnostic abilities. Their skill traits include them having a visual memory, a high manual dexterity degree, scientific ability, good business sense, good communication, self-discipline, and an excellent judgment regarding color, shape, and space.
How Much Education Do Dentists Have?
When it comes to getting a dentistry education, the following includes the requirements:
- Earn a bachelor’s degree or at least a two-year pre-dental education. It doesn’t matter what your major is for the bachelor’s degree just as long as you take mathematics, healthy, physics, chemistry, and biology.
- Take and pass a Dental Admissions Test (DAT).
- Apply for an accredited dental school. The school will gather your grade point average, the DAT score, recommendation letters (possibly), and interviews.
- Graduate from an accredited dental school. It usually takes four academic years to complete dental school education. The last two years of the dental school include students treating patients under the licensed dentists’ supervision. These treatments usually occur in dental clinics.
- Most dental schools award graduates with the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). Otherwise, the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) is the other equivalent degree awarded.
- Obtain the required certifications (licensure). In most states, you must pass the practical and written examinations along with having an accredited dental school degree. Taking and passing the written part through the National Board Dental Examinations is fine for the State licensing requirements. The regional area or individual states testing agencies administers the practical or written examinations.
- College of Dental Surgeons registration is next.
- To be a dental specialist, there must be additional post-graduate training. Graduates can be licensed to practice any nine recognizable specialties in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Post-graduate education consists of two to four years. In some cases, a special state examination must be completed. There may also be the requirement to participate in a postgraduate residency term.
What Are The Different Fields in Dentistry?
The following includes the nine recognizable specialties in dentistry:
- Orthodontics – Straightening the teeth with braces or other appliances
- Periodontists – Treating the bones that support the teeth and gums
- Prosthodontists – Using permanent fixtures, such as bridges and crowns, or removable fixtures, such as dentures to replace missing teeth
- Endodontists – Therapy for root canals
- Oral Pathologists – Oral disease diagnosing
- Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologists – Using imaging technologies to diagnose diseases in the neck and head
- Dental Public Health Specialists – Includes the promotion of good dental health and the prevention of dental diseases in the community
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons – Operation on the head, neck, gums, teeth, jaws, and mouth
- Pediatric Dentists – Focusing on dentistry for special-needs patients and children
Now, that you know what being a highly qualified dentist is, you can move on to finding the right dentist for you and your loved ones. Otherwise, you can move forward to pursue your dentistry education.