A dentist is a physician whose practice is in the field of dentistry. This involves the mouth, teeth, gums and related areas. Some studies have shown that diseases relating to the teeth and gums can be indicative or indicators of some health issues. The health of the mouth is essential to the general overall health of the body and a dentist will encourage and assist their patients in maintaining a healthy mouth by regular cleaning and check-ups.
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A dentist performs many important duties in the maintenance of oral health. Check-ups are a major part of the job and are important for patients keeping on top of their oral care. In addition to general check-ups, general dentistry involves basic treatments that can be done at a regular dental office. Such procedures might include filling a tooth, performing a minor surgical procedure such as a tooth extraction, and cleaning and polishing teeth. A dentist will encourage patients to practice good dental care by brushing and flossing and getting regular cleanings as these good habits can help prevent cavities and other tooth and gum diseases.
Within dentistry, there are specific specialties which require further training, creating expertise in a particular area. Examples of specialties include:
- the area which specializes in the treatment of the internal tissues or "pulp" of the tooth which is mostly made up of nerves and blood vessels; an endodontist performs root canal treatments and other procedures and examinations involving the inner tooth
-deals with the straightening and alignment of the teeth and jaw; an orthodontist will fit braces and treat for disorders involving misaligned teeth; will also deal with issues involving bone in and around the mouth area which may be related to other health issues
- refers to the area around the tooth, including the gums and other tissues; a periodontist will deal with gum disease and other gum ailments
- the area relating to cosmetic dentistry and the appearance of teeth; a prosthodontist fits implants to replace removed teeth and deals with other prosthetics in the mouth
- specializes in treating children's teeth; may work with other specialists if specific areas (e.g. gum disease) are involved
The workplace tends to be a dental office or dental hospital and the environments tend to be typical clinical environments - clean and sterile and working with the same professionals every day. The variation will be in the patients and interaction with different people everyday. As all towns and cities require dental offices, it should be possible for a dentist to find a workplace within easy commuting distance.
A dentist usually sees over twenty patients per day while managing a business and providing clinical care to patients.
A dentist is an accredited medical professional who specializes in the care of teeth, gums, and mouths. As with most medical professions, a keen eye for detail, comprehensive medical understanding, manual dexterity, and strong interpersonal skills are important.
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Dentists assess and treat patients who come for basic check-ups or issues related to their teeth and gums. Along with providing preventative care and treatment, dentists help educate patients on how to manage their oral health. Dentists hold doctoral or professional degrees, and often operate their own practices.
Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. The information below will help you explore one exciting career possibility — dentistry.
In this interview Jess describes how the flexibility of self-employment in the dental industry can allow you to retain a sensible work-life balance whilst also doing a job with great reward, financial and otherwise.