Is a dentist a doctor? You would be surprised at just how many different types of doctors there actually are. Most doctors have extra expertise in one type of medicine or another. In fact, there are several hundred medical specialties and subspecialties, including dentistry. So yes, dentists are doctors.
Doctors of Oral Health
Just like neurosurgeons and cardiologists, dentists share the same ethical responsibility to provide care to someone in an emergency. So don’t be alarmed when you see your dentist run over when the flight attendant asks for any doctors on board.
- According to the American Dental Association (ADA), a dentist is a doctor specializing in oral health.
- To be eligible for licensure, dentists must graduate from a dental school that’s accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation.
- The level of education and clinical training required to earn a dental degree, and the high academic standards of dental schools, are on par with those of medical schools and are essential to preparing dentists for the safe and effective practice of modern oral health care
- Dental students can obtain either a Doctorate of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS). DMD and DDS are equivalent degrees, and both programs consist of the same four-year curricula.
- Most dental school graduates go on to practice general dentistry; however, some graduates pursue postdoctoral degrees to become specialists.
The Dentist’s Role
Dentists are doctors who specialize in oral health care. Although the day-to-day responsibilities of a dentist vary, most dentists provide medical services in General Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, and Comfort Dentistry.
Some of their responsibilities can include:
- Promoting oral health, disease prevention, and gum disease treatments.
- Ensuring the safe administration of anesthetics.
- Performing dental examinations, dental cleanings, and dental X-Rays.
- Creating treatment plans to maintain or restore the oral health of their patients.
- Interpreting x-rays, diagnostic tests, and oral cancer screenings.
- Monitoring growth and development of the teeth and jaws.
- Performing root canal therapy, and surgical procedures on the teeth, bone and soft tissues of the oral cavity.
Dental hygienists, examine patients, treats gum disease, cleans teeth and provides other preventive dental care. The Dental Assistant provides help to the Dentist and Hygienist in all areas to ensure a terrific patient experience. Overseeing the entire Dental Team is an essential role Dentists perform to ensure a safe and pleasant visit for the patients whether if be for routine cleanings, fillings, or tooth extractions.
Dr. Jay Elbrecht is an Anderson Dentist that aims to see you smile!
Request and appointment online, or call (765) 622-7000 to speak to a member of the dental team!