Beside a regular dental check up a dentist has to perform a host of other tasks. These include using the latest tools and methods, restoring the replaced teeth, performing corrective dental surgery, extracting teeth, eliminating pain arising from oral diseases, rectifying mal-positioned teeth, supervising subordinates and instructing the patients about maintaining good dental health.
Increased concern about oral health has brought new areas of specialization in dentistry. First of all we are concerned with Aerodonetics. It is the segment of dentistry that involves the specific care of gums. Orthodontics involves treatments to realign or straighten teeth growth or jaws.
Endodontics is the diagnosis and treatment of injuries to the dental nerves and pulp. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology researches the causes and effects of ailments with oral manifestations. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology diagnoses oral-facial disease through conventional, digital, CT, MRI, and allied imaging modalities. Maxillofacial Surgery is about the treatment for injuries and diseases that stem from the neck, head, jaw, and associated structures. Pediatric Dentistry involves treatment of tooth problems in children. Prosthodontics is restoration and replacement of damaged teeth. Dental Public Health includes framing policies and programs to reform the oral health of the community at large.
The academic requirement for being a dentist is a bachelor's degree in Dental Science, (BDS). Other degrees of the sort are Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), Bachelor of Dentistry (BDent), or Bachelor of Dental Surgery/Chirurgiae (BDS) or (BChD). These degrees are offered by various dental schools, the American Dentist's Association being one of them. . If you are aiming to become a specialist you need to be trained in an advanced graduate training program or have a Masters degree such as MS, MSc, MDS, MSD, MDSc, MMSc, or MDent. There are also doctoral degrees like DClinDent, DMSc, or PhD.
There are good numbers of dental schools accredited by the American Dental Association. But a stint of 2 years or more of pre-dental education at college level is needed for admission. At high school you should have biology, chemistry, physics, health, and mathematics and should major in a science subject at college. The aspirant has to take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) as his admission in dental schools depends on the score of the test. Licensing is very important to be able to have dentistry as a career. In most States you have perform a written test to acquire a license.
As a dentist you should be diagnostic and be able to handle dental tools with ease. Good visual memory, sense of space, shape, and color, and manual dexterity are necessary. As a healthcare professional, self-discipline, good communication, and business skills are mandatory. Experience and knowledge is instrumental to a flourishing career as dentist.
Employment opportunities as a dentist will continue to rise with the increasing population. As more people grow old and contract dental disorders, the services of good dentists will be indispensable. The younger generation too will need preventive checkups. However in slow economic times there might be a little downswing in the employment scene as dental services are paid for either by the patient or by private insurance companies.
As a trainee dentist you can expect a pay package that ranges between five hundred to one thousand US dollars from the hospitals. The median salary of salaried dentists is $136,960 but this again depends on years of experience, location, and employing organization. Most dentists are self-employed and earn more than salaried ones.
As far the general notion goes, dentistry is not regarded as a very high profile career choice among students. But as people are becoming more and more conscious about health and beauty, the concept of oral hygiene and related health concerns is also gaining ground. So dentists are becoming important healthcare professionals. In case you want to contribute towards the enhancement of the oral health of the community then this career is made for you!