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The Challenging Profession of Dentistry

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The most important things in development of modern dentistry are the artificial tooth (dental prosthesis) and treatment of dental cavity (caries) through dental fillings and the discovery that tartaric acid is responsible for dental decay. The problem of impostors in dental treatment has been continuing since history. Today also such impostors are making the dental care a more challenging profession of dentistry.

The challenging profession of dentistry requires a dentist to diagnose and treat malformations of teeth & gums, injuries, diseases and related oral structures. He is required to examine a patient, use an x-ray, diagnostic procedures and dental instruments. The nature of work of the dental specialist includes the replacement of teeth, extraction of a tooth or teeth, filling, cleaning, use of hand and rotary instruments, surgical implements, dental appliances and medications. The dental specialist suggests some preventive measures as a part of dental services like applying sealants and fluoride to the teeth, and educating others in dental and oral hygiene.

In addition to academic qualification and registration, a dentist is required to possess manual skills, diagnostic ability, good visual memory, scientific ability and excellent visual memory. He should have excellent judgment regarding color, shape and space besides having high degree of scientific ability and manual dexterity. Good communication skills, self discipline and a good sense of business helps to a great extent for success in private practice. A person with all these attributes is definitely going to have great success in the challenging profession of dentistry.



An individual who is opting to enter in this challenging profession of dentistry in all 50 States of US and the District of Columbia is required to obtain a license. A graduate from an accredited dental school having passed written and practical examination is considered qualified.

For qualified Dentists, board-certification examinations are conducted by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicines. There are some other Postgraduate education programs which are recognized but are not considered specialization like GPR, GDR, MTP residences and SEGD, AEGD and GradDipClinDent programs.

There are some other dental educations that require no formal postgraduate university training, such as temporomandibular joint therapy, dental implant and cosmetic dentistry. These dentists cannot call themselves specialists in these fields. Their education courses typically are for one or several days only. The local dental licensing bodies control the specialist's titles.

As per data for the year 2006 there were about 161,000 jobs of dentists which included general dentists 136,000, Orthodontists 9,200, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons 7,700, Prosthodontists 1,000 and all other specialists Dentists 6,900. Almost all dentists have their own private practice and only a few dentists work on a salary basis in the offices of physicians and hospitals.

Normally it takes at least 8 years after high school to complete the education required for treading in the challenging profession of dentistry. The average employment growth during the decade 2006 to 2016 in this profession is very encouraging which will generate more job openings in the dental care profession. But mostly the creation of job opportunities in the dental care profession is due to a growing number of dentists likely to retire which will require to be replaced by new entrants.
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