A Dentist is a licensed health professional with the right training to treat dental conditions and help individuals maintain good oral health. They typically earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Medicine (DMD) degree. Dentists can practice in a variety of settings and can help people of all ages achieve a healthy smile.
During dental treatment, a Dentist will use different tools and equipment. He or she may supervise the work of dental hygienists and assistants. Some dentists also specialize in certain areas, such as pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, or oral pathology. Many dental professionals work in private offices, but some also work part-time in hospitals and clinical settings. Regardless of the type of practice, a Dentist must be caring, clever, and efficient. The characteristics of a good Dentist include a keen sense of curiosity, being introspective, methodical, and realistic.
A dentist performs a wide variety of procedures that are crucial to a patient’s overall oral health. They can treat cavities, treat mild gum disease, and even remove teeth that cannot be saved. A dentist also performs oral cancer screenings, which can help prevent more serious issues from developing. A Dentist can also diagnose dental problems early on and give advice to patients on oral hygiene.
After finishing school, candidates must pass several examinations and become licensed to practice dentistry. The American Dental Association notes that there are three important requirements for licensure: an educational component, a written examination, and a clinical examination. Additionally, there are state-specific requirements. While you may not need a science degree, you must complete the prerequisite courses to become a Dentist.
A dentist must complete four years of schooling before becoming licensed. Some dental programs also include additional specialty training. For example, orthodontists need to complete a residency of two or three years, which requires more than 4,800 hours of training. Throughout their careers, dentists must maintain their licenses through continuing education courses.
Cleanings are an essential part of the dentist’s job, which is why it is so important to have regular check-ups. Regular cleanings and check-ups keep your teeth healthy and prevent long-term problems from forming. Dentists use special tools and equipment to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. They also provide helpful tips on oral hygiene at home.
While attending school, students should consider volunteering in dental offices and participating in community service activities. Students should talk with practicing dentists about the profession and learn more about it. Students should also join a pre-dental club to meet other students who are pursuing dental school. This way, they can get firsthand experience with the dental profession and learn about the application process.
After finishing school, most dentists practice general dentistry and treat patients of all ages. A DDS or DMD degree is required for a general dentist to become licensed. They must also complete a residency program like those for medical doctors.