Dentists are medical professionals who specialize in dentistry, a branch of medicine that involves the study, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of oral disorders and diseases of the teeth and oral cavity. Oral health services provided by dentists include prevention of tooth decay; promotion of dental health; maintenance of oral functions; diagnosis and treatment of oral disorders; and the provision of preventive services. Oral health issues face many people today and can result in pain, infection, tooth sensitivity, jaw pain, bad breath, teeth erosion, and premature ageing. Proper oral hygiene is very important for maintaining optimal health. Dentists perform a variety of services related to oral health and dental concerns. They perform procedures such as removing decayed or damaged teeth, assessing oral health, preparing teeth for procedures, treating gum disease, conducting routine cleanings, repairing broken or stained teeth, filling cavities, reshaping and straightening teeth, and prescribing medication and oral medications.
Dentists must have completed a minimum of three years of specialized study at an accredited school of dental medicine. Students who wish to become dentists must pass the Dentist Oral Hygiene Examination, a written exam, in order to participate in state-approved residency programs. In addition to passing the examination, students must complete a minimum of five years of supervised post-graduate residency training at an approved dental college or university. In addition to the initial training, dentists must continue their education through continued post-graduate residency training in order to keep their license active.
Dentists who are interested in pursuing dental specialities require additional training before they can apply for an entry-level position. To enrol in these programs, students must first complete a High School Diploma or GED program, which can take about one year to complete depending on the specific course. Students who have at least a high school diploma but no diploma in mathematics or science are required to take courses such as calculus. calculus is not typically required of students who have at least a diploma in other disciplines, but it may be a prerequisite for some courses. Students who are eligible to take the GED exam should schedule an exam date as soon as possible so that they will be able to graduate on time.
In addition to the regular classroom work, students will learn about oral health and dental hygiene while enrolled in a dental school. Oral health involves the prevention and treatment of tooth decay, gum disease, and periodontal diseases, among other conditions. During the course of their studies, students will learn how to prevent tooth decay by brushing their teeth two to three times daily and flossing regularly. They will also learn about the importance of routine dental x-rays as well as how to diagnose certain problems, such as abscesses and root canals.
The second year of study focuses on teaching students how to plan an oral health practice. Students will explore patient education and treatment plans, patient recruitment and follow-up care, office procedures, cost control, marketing dental services, and administration of insurance claims. The third and fourth year of study focus on public policy and law, ethical practice, special populations, public image, and public policies in oral health and aesthetics.
Students who wish to become a dentist must first receive their General Educational Development (GED) or pass the NCLEX-PN (the equivalent to a high school diploma) exam. Upon passing this two-stage exam, a student is now prepared to enter the world of dentistry. Students in the United States are required to pass a practising dentist exam before they will be allowed to take the GED exam. Oral Hygiene and Dental Careers, taught in a step-by-step fashion, will prepare students for this crucial examination.