What Do Dentists Do?
The main tasks of a dentist would involve extracting teeth, filling cavities, putting on protective sealant, making models for dentures, examining x rays, and treating gum disease through surgery. They are authorized to prescribe medicines and some forms of anesthesiology. Their social duties include educating their patients on how to have the healthiest teeth possible by promoting flossing, brushing, avoiding substances that can damage teeth and as well as recommend a healthy diet.
For protection, dentists would wear face masks, gloves and safety glasses. They are also expected to be skilled in handling tools such as the scalpel, brushes, probe, forceps and mouth mirrors.
In order for a dentist to be able to concentrate on his tasks more so that he may perform them more effectively, they often have receptionists, dental hygienists, laboratory assistants and dental assistants that work for them.
Types Of Dentists
Most of the times, dentists are general practitioners. With this, they are expected to handle a variety of simple cases. Other dentists have specializations which could be any of the nine specialty areas of dentistry. Some of these could be pediatric dentists which focus on children, orthodontists which through a lot of tools and methods correct misaligned teeth, prosthodontists which replace missing teeth or fix broken teeth through fixtures and crowns, periodontists which are gum specialists, oral pathologists who study oral diseases, public health dentists who promote dental health, and others.
While the majority of dentists would be general practitioners, they are only expected to offer a limited variety of services. For severe cases, specialists are expected to handle them. For example; a person with misaligned teeth would be referred to an orthodontist or a child suffering from toothaches would be referred to a pediatric dentist.
First of all, to be a dentist, one must pass a licensure exam. Graduation from a dental school which is accredited by the official body of the country of where the school is, is also a requirement.
To be admitted in a dental school, one should have at least a bachelor’s degree. There are very limited exceptions wherein those who have only finished two year courses can be admitted into dental schools. Most of those who would go to dental schools would have courses in college that deal with science heavily such as chemistry and biology however, one can still be admitted school even when having a major that is not health or science related such as mathematics.
Some characteristics an ideal dentist should have are good scientific knowledge, patience, manual dexterity, and good spatial judgment. Excellent communication skills as well as a good business mindset are also needed if a dental graduate should plan on opening his own clinic.
Dentists can be considered as one of the most important jobs as all of us really do need dentists. Considering this, it is a fact that this type of occupation will never be out of the picture.
Because a lot of dentists are already retiring, employment opportunities are expected to grow until 2012. This opens up a lot of opportunities for new dentists to start their own clinics or to work for existing organizations.
Since technology has made people’s teeth much stronger, the focus of dentistry nowadays is on dental care which would teach people how to maintain their healthy teeth. It is also expected that there would be less focus on treatments such as root canals and filling up cavities.