There are more to dentists than the simple drill and fill that we may imagine. Dentistry covers a broad number of treatments and professions. It is a field of medicine that requires a large amount of education, a vast quantity of knowledge and a desire to help people be more healthy and happy.
Dentists are highly trained medical professionals who often need more schooling than a regular medical doctor. They first attain a bachelor’s degree, or four-year degree, at an accredited college or university. While there they must take the pre-requisite science, math and other courses necessary for dental school. They must then successfully complete the DAT, or dental aptitude test, and be accepted into a dental school. Here they will study to gain the necessary knowledge expected of a dental practitioner. Finally once they graduate they are able to practice. However, many people choose to go to a graduate program in a specialty and work in a specific field.
One of the most popular choices for dentists is the field of orthodontics. An orthodontist specializes in realigning and straightening the teeth. They most often treat kids and teens but it is becoming increasingly common for adults to have orthodontic work. There have even been advancements in clear braces, and alignment trays that are nearly invisible. Most people still opt for the traditional metal braces for cost reasons, though. Not only does orthodontics make a smile straight but it also remediates problems with bite misalignment and grinding.
Another popular field is oral surgery. These doctors do complicated surgical procedures that involve anything from removing impacted wisdom teeth to grafting tissue is areas that have had gum loss. Removing a wisdom tooth not only ameliorates the discomfort and sometimes pain of having an extra tooth but it also pushes all of the others out of alignment. Serious gum loss can result in lost teeth and overall discomfort. Oral surgeons work to treat these conditions in situations where surgical intervention is necessary.
Another popular field is the one for cosmetic dentists. These men and women specialize in procedures that contribute to the aesthetic effect of the smile. They will do whitening procedures to make the smile brighter. They may also use porcelain veneers to correct chips, cracks, or uneven spacing. In some situations they will apply caps or other appliances. They are specialists in all of the procedures that are necessary to give their patient a more beautiful mouth.
There are many other professions and specialties that dentists may choose to pursue. There are x-ray and other imaging technicians and doctors specifically trained to interpret the data. Other specialists called periodontists specialize in treatment and maintenance of the gums. For all sorts of problems and any concern there is a medical professional eager to help.
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