As doctors for our oral health, dentists work very hard to obtain their medical degrees. Generally, they spend four years in college to gain an undergraduate degree (usually in a science field), and an additional four years in dental school. Additional school, plus a residency in the chosen specialty field if you decide to specialize. Whenever someone compliments you on your fabulous smile, you can thank your dentist!
If you’re thinking about going into the dental industry as a career, you will want to note that generally someone with the following traits are most successful: high aptitude for science, outstanding manual dexterity, and good communication skills.
The top ten dental schools in the United States are:
• University of California at Los Angeles
• University of California at San Francisco
• University of Michigan
• University of North Carolina
• New York University
• University of Washington
• University of Florida
• University of Pennsylvania
• Columbia University
• University of Southern California, Herman Ostrow School
Failure to take good care of our teeth could lead to: cavities, tartar, plaque, decay, disease and general decline in overall health.
What to Look for in a Dentist
When you begin your search for a dentist, you will want to make sure that it is someone you can enjoy visiting. Nice bed side manner, good conversationalist, comfy waiting area are things we all like to have in any professional we see for any reason. Here are some other more practical issues to consider. Do they:
• Offer emergency services 24/7,
• Accept your insurance plan,
• Allow for a flexible payment plan,
• Provide sedation for procedures,
• Offer implant restorations,
• Cosmetic services,
• Preventive care services.
Preventive Care Services
The dentist fulfills several roles: diagnostic, disease prevention; treatment plans; reading x-rays, some surgical procedures. Most patients see their dentist on a bi-annual basis, cleaning on both visits and usually x-rays once each year. X-rays allow your dentist to detect decay and take corrective actions quickly. A cleaning, recommended every six months just supports your own home oral health routine of brushing and flossing. This procedure may be performed by a hygienist; however, it prepares your mouth for the dentist to have a good look and assess any areas that may need attention. Cleanings also include removal of plaque and tartar, stain removal, fluoride application, polishing teeth, fillings and crowns. So, that gorgeous smile is even more gorgeous!
Be sure to keep your medical history updated, changing medications, life events, diabetes may have an impact, so let’s keep everyone informed. Other preventive measures include: oral cancer examination and screening, gum tissue evaluation, and referrals to specialists if needed.