Ever wondered who it is that takes care of that bad toothache and gives your teeth a sparkling appearance? Yes, that is the dentist!
The mouth or oral cavity is an important part of our bodies and, as such, deserves optimal care. Dentists are professionally trained to offer treatment. Their career duties cover care for every part of the mouth, including the teeth, gums, and related areas.
To learn more about a dentist’s responsibilities, we list the fundamental facts below.
What is a Dentist?
A dentist is a health professional specifically trained to maintain the oral health of patients. They diagnose and treat health problems associated with the oral cavity. This includes the teeth and gums, from simple teeth cleaning to surgeries and tooth extraction.
Dentists can work in a hospital or even go into private practice, as long as they are adequately licensed for that. What’s more, dentists are often required to choose an area of specialization, as their career path is quite broad.
Also, working as a dentist requires the use of protective clothing and gadgets such as eye goggles, surgical gloves, and tonics. This will prevent the risk of spread of spreading infection to other patients and health workers.
Responsibilities of a Dentist
The major duties and responsibilities of dentists include:
- Teaching patients on general oral hygiene.
- Helping patients develop and establish plans for optimum dental hygiene.
- Having comprehensive and adequate documentation for every patient and every case handled.
- Working with other health professionals in unity, like the Nurses and Pharmacists.
- Thoroughly examining the patient’s teeth to identify any underlying dental problem.
- Knowledge of using various equipment such as X-ray machines, drills, probes, brushes, or mirrors, to examine a patient’s mouth and treat dental problems.
- Professionally handling complex dental procedures, such as teeth whitening, oral surgeries, root carnal extractions and cavity filling.
- Ability to work with the patient to select the adequate treatment that suits the patient’s financial status.
- Administration of medications such as sedatives before dental procedures.
- Prescribing medications for dental problems, such as analgesics or antibiotics.
Qualifications for Practice as a Dentist
To become qualified to practice as a dentist in the US, the following is necessary:
- A Doctorate in dental surgery or dental medicine. This is possible via A-level grades in science courses, with Chemistry and Biology being the required subjects or a pre-degree in biomedical courses such as Chemistry and Biology.
- A post-degree compulsory training (Internship), under the supervision of a licensed Dental Practitioner.
- A state license.
- Additional experience, certifications, or licensing may be required.
In addition to these, other requirements include:
- Great computer skills, including knowledge and experience in healthcare software and databases.
- Interpersonal skills.
- Team spirit and ability to work together with other health professionals.
- Ability to comply with all local, state, and federal laws regarding dental and health care.
- Great communication skills.
- Good documentation skills.
Salary of a Dentist
A dentist’s salary depends on their place of work; whether they engage in private practice, or work for the Government, or both. Nevertheless, in the United States, more experienced dentists earn around $155,600 per year on average.
Furthermore, their standard working hours is about 10 hours a day, on call patterns. This is inclusive of nights, mornings, weekends, and holidays, also.
Career Path of a Dentist
As a Medical profession, dentistry is quite broad. Therefore, those who want to go further in the field undergo further training in an area of specialization.
There are different areas of specialization, and they include:
- Pediatric Dentistry
Generally, dentists are also known as:
- General Dentist
- Doctor of Dental Medicine
- Doctor of Dental Surgery
- Family Dentist
- Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry.
To conclude, dentists are health professionals whose duties revolve around the adequate provision of dental care to patients. A dentist can work privately or for the government or both. A dentist, also known as a dental specialist, is a medical professional who specializes in dentistry. The dentist’s assisting team helps in providing oral health services. They include dental hygienists, dental assistants, and dental technicians.
A registered license is required for practice after five or four years of University training in dentistry.
To sum up, dentistry offers the opportunity of adding smiles to patients’ faces and impacting their lives positively. If this drives you, then consider choosing this as a career. It will.be a noble step.