Dentist – What Does a Dentist Do?
A dentist also called a dental specialist, is a licensed medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and care of oral diseases and conditions. A King Street Dental Wollongong, specialises in family dentistry specialises in the care of individuals, families and their children. Dentists usually complete a four-year post-high school DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) course and sit for a professional licensing examination.
A dentist may specialize in one or more areas of dental medicine. General dentists perform routine procedures like cleaning and shaping of the teeth, removing plaque and tartar, repairing and replacing teeth, making crowns, filing teeth, whitening and correcting discoloured teeth, etc. The dentist’s support team helps in giving oral healthcare services. For instance, a periodontist will take care of curing gum disease by removing plaque and tartar. A dental hygienist will remove plaque deposits and take out dental calculus, which are hard deposits on the teeth. Sometimes the dental hygienist is called on to take care of patients with sensitive gums.
Dentist trainees undergo an intense 2-year residency program at any of the dental speciality hospitals throughout the country. During the residency, they become acquainted with the clinical facilities of the hospital and gain hands-on training in the latest technologies used in the field. The second year of the residency covers the broadest area of study and includes dental procedures such as sedation dentistry and orthodontics. The third year of the residency trains the dentist in basic and advanced principles of cosmetic dentistry. Advanced procedures such as veneers, bonding, gum surgery, endodontics, crowns, bridges, orthodontics, cosmetic dental surgery, and pediatric dentistry are taught. The fourth year of the residency is the most important, as this is the time when students complete their master’s degrees in dentistry.
Dentists can choose among three specialities: family dentistry, public health, and pediatric dentistry. All dentist residents begin their careers in family dentistry where they give free treatment to patients with low-income families. As a resident of a family clinic, a dentist can opt to specialize in a particular dental speciality. In the public health field, a dentist can work as a specialist for the prevention or treatment of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, AIDS, cancer, and obesity. And in pediatric dentistry, he can specialize in treating children who are born with birth defects.
Dentists can further their education by becoming members of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), which is an internationally recognized organization. The AAPD provides continuing education and research opportunities for certified pediatric dentists. Dentists also earn additional credits in their residency programs for subjects such as microbiology, anatomy, chemistry, pathology, radiology, elective and professional dentistry. Thorough knowledge in the areas of human biology, nutrition, and pharmacology is also important for aspiring dentists. These are the main reasons why dentists need to undergo extensive training, and at times even overnight stays in dental care centres, before they are allowed to practice.
Dentists need to diagnose oral diseases by ordering various tests such as x-rays, teeth x-rays, and moulds of the teeth. They also use various methods to evaluate the oral health of their patients including palpitation, urinalysis, blood tests, and examination of the tissues and organs. Apart from that, they prescribe different forms of treatments and manage patients’ money accounts. Dentists are doctors who treat all types of diseases of the teeth and gums and treat their complications as well.