Is A Dentist A Real Doctor?

In a letter sent by the American Dental Association President Maxine Feinberg in 2015 to the four legislators who introduced the “Small Business Healthcare Relief Act,” she referred dentists as “medical professionals” instead of “oral health professionals,” reinforcing the inseparable relation of Medicine and Dentistry. Dentist Honolulu Hawaii

Moreover, Donald B. Giddon D.M.D of the American Dental Association in response to Feinberg’s letter wrote that beyond the historical precedents that suggest dentists are also doctors, having medicine or surgery in dental degrees should be an indication that dentists be allowed to refer to themselves as “physicians.”

Additionally, a dentist is known as a Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine, legally authorized to practice Dentistry and perform his function within the scope of his license.

A dentist is a person who specializes in Dentistry, a branch of medicine concerned with the assessment, diagnosis, prevention, and care of diseases, disorders, and conditions affecting the oral and maxillofacial region and its related structures.

A dentist completes four years of bachelor’s degree, four years of dental school, and additional years for residency. In the United States, there are currently 66 dental schools which welcomed more than 24,000 students under predoctoral dental education programs in the academic year 2016 to 2017. Meanwhile, about 6,000 graduated from dental schools in 2016.

Aside from a dental education, a dentist needs to take a licensure examination to practice Dentistry in a particular state.

A licensed dentist can perform restorative, endodontic, orthodontic, prosthodontic, and oral surgery procedures. He is also eligible to prescribe medications including painkillers, sedatives, antibiotics, and other medicines that are necessary for the treatment of various conditions affecting the head and neck.

More complex and specialized procedures can also be carried out by a dentist. However, additional education and training must be taken for such procedures. The American Dental Association identified nine dental specialties namely Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Dental Public Health, Endodontics, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Prosthodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Periodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, and Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology in which a dentist can specialize and perform specific procedures.

Moreover, a dentist can further his knowledge and expertise through continuing education courses, while practicing Dentistry.

The American media company, US News, and World Report, considered being a dentist as the “best job” in the United States for 2017. Regarding the salary, expected some openings, advancement opportunities, and career fulfillment, dentists ranked on top of other professions with an overall score of 8.2.

According to the data collated by US News and World Report, dentists are said to be well-compensated with an average salary of $152,700 in 2015. Dentists have also seen a steady increase in their salaries since 2010.

Although most dentists work full-time including evening offices and the weekends, the profession remains flexible and allows for a work-life balance.
In 2018, being a dentist dropped to the second place, being overtaken by a software developer. Still, it maintained its overall score of 8.2 and saw improvements in the average salary — from $152,700 to $153,900 in 2016.

Based on the record of the American Dental Association in 2016, there are more than 190,000 dentists who work in Dentistry in the United States alone. Among the total count, 21 percent are specialists.

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