Dentists are the doctors who can detect general disorders of the body that can affect the condition of a patient’s mouth. They are health professionals who are responsible for taking good care of the teeth, gums, and supporting bones of the mouth of patients. They assist their patients in keeping their teeth and gums healthy and they likewise treat diseased teeth and gums.
Almost all dentists are working either as general practitioners in their own private offices or with the company of a group of dentists. Dental assistants and dental hygienists are also working for them as assistants during duty hours. Their main task is to inspect patients’ mouths for cavities, sores, swelling, and other signs of disease. . Dentists may fill cavities, pull teeth that cannot be saved, or replace missing teeth by employing both hands and power tools. In addition to that, a local or general anesthetic is applied at the area to keep patients comfortable during treatment proper.
Areas of Specialization
- Endodontists – they are the ones who treat the diseases of the soft pulp inside the teeth.
- Orthodontist – their main job is to straighten the teeth of a patient by correcting those using wires or braces.
- Oral Surgeons – operate mainly on any disorders of the mouth and jaws.
- Periodontists – focused on dealing with gum problems.
- Oral Pathologists – conducts treatment and diagnosis of the diseases of the mouth.
- Public health dentists – they are the dentists responsible for developing care programs.
- Pedodontists – they are the ones who took specialization in dentistry for children and teenagers.
- Prosthodontists – responsible for replacing missing teeth with artificial teeth.
To become a dentist, one must obtain first a training of six to eight years after secondary school. An aspirant must also complete two to four years of Bachelor’s degree in dentistry. The said degree if obtained would lead to either a doctor of dental medicine (DMD) or doctor of dental surgery (DDS). If one is planning to specialize in a certain field, another two to four years of training is needed. All states in United States require dentists to be licensed and pass a state board examination.
Dentists usually spend long hours a day on their feet because one treatment may last long from the other. During the treatment proper, they must keep in mind to take precautions against infectious diseases and be able to calm those patients who are anxious. Aside from taking hold of their own responsibilities and duties, they must also supervise their helpers or assistants at the same time. They should possess that sense of responsibility and carefulness whenever they are handling the patient’s mouth with their hands.
Usually, the dentists are the ones who set their own schedules and the patients have to adjust and be prompt to follow it. Most of the dentists are working more than forty hours a week and may also include evenings and weekends. Some dentists also prefer working on a part – time basis.
Salary and Benefits
The annual salary of a dentist varies dependently on the experience, skill, location, type of practice, and working hours. They are earning an average income of $130,000 annually. With regards to the benefits, the dentists themselves are the ones who provide their own benefits.
Being a dentist may take years of study and expertise but you must always persevere if you want to fulfill your dream of becoming one. Hopefully, you are aided by the information you have just read. It is your part now to decide if you are going to venture in this exciting career.