Dentistry is a rewarding profession that is dedicated to helping others and that changes people’s lives for the better. There is a lot that goes into being a dentist that many people don’t know about and never really consider. Dentistry is considered to be healing arts and sciences and is devoted to maintaining oral health. Not only is dentistry a dynamic health profession that offers opportunities for one to become successful in, but it is also a profession that will make those that are a part of it a highly respected member of the community.
Many don’t realize that dentistry is a branch of medicine. It is often referred to as dental medicine and sometimes oral medicine. When you really look at dentistry you see that it involves the study, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders, diseases, and conditions of the oral cavity area. Dental medicine deals with the teeth, but that isn’t the only area that you will deal with when you take on a career in dentistry. It also includes the temporomandibular joint and other muscular, lymphatic, nervous, anatomical and vascular structures. Dentistry is a profession in which one will study the mouth along with the disorders and diseases that may be found in it.
Dentistry generally involves practices that will be related to the oral cavity. Many do not know this, but oral diseases are a major public health problem and there are high incidence and prevalence worldwide. The most common oral diseases that have been found are tooth decay and gum disease. When you look at the treatment of these common oral diseases you are generally looking at restoration of teeth, surgically removing the teeth, root planing and scaling, endodontic root canal treatment, as well as cosmetic dentistry.
All dentists that are in the United States will have at least three years of school in undergraduate studies and you will find that almost all of them have completed a bachelor’s program. Once their undergraduate program is completed, they will then go on to dental school and will complete four years to qualify as a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.). The general training that is gained will allow one to carry out the major dental treatments which include:
- Restorative Care: Dental procedures that take place to allow a healthy and full functioning oral care; this includes dental fillings, dental implants, crowns and dentures.
- Dental Prosthesis: Dental appliance that will replace a missing tooth or cover up tooth defects. The dental appliance may include crowns, implants, dentures, bridges, and veneers. They may be removable or permanently fixed in your mouth.
- Endodontic Therapy: This treatment is a treatment sequence for infected pulp of a tooth that is intended to result in the elimination of infection and also the protection of the tooth that is decontaminated.
- Periodontal Therapy: This is an umbrella term for an array of treatments that are used to fight gum disease. Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that damages gums and can destroy the jawbone.
- Extracting Teeth: Pulling teeth
- Performing Examinations: Oral examinations that will allow the dentist to see if there are any issues and the health of the oral cavity
- Dental Radiographs: Gives your dentist a picture of the hard, teeth and bones, and soft tissues that surround your teeth and jaw bone
As a dentist, you can also prescribe medications such as sedatives, antibiotics, and others that are used in patient management.
There is so much that a dentist can do and that goes into dentistry. With that being said, many don’t realize that there are different types of dentists and areas of dentistry that one can go into. While schooling is inevitable for one to become a dentist, there are different fields of dentistry that one can get into.