The Road to Dentistry
Have you ever wondered how your dentist became a dentist? Many times we visit our dentist without a clue about the education they had to complete, the training they underwent or the post graduate training required for specialists. Well I am here today to tell you, your dentist worked HARD to learn how to care for your mouth. Dentists usually complete at least 3 years of undergraduate science-focused curriculum. Many dental schools require a Bachelors Degree prior to entering a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DDM (Doctor of Dental Medicine) program. Once accepted into dental school, new students spend 2 years of their lives learning everything they need to know to successfully become a dentist. Courses include Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Microbiology and other science classes. The last two years of dental school are usually spent putting their new found knowledge into practice. Most dental schools have low cost dental clinics that allow dentists-to-be to perfect their skills on patients while being supervised by a veteran dentist. After graduation, the newly minted dentist can choose to practice as a general dentist or they can become a dental specialist. Additional post-graduate training is required to become a dental specialist. Dental/oral health specialists include the following: - Pediatric Dentist – dentist for children - Endodontist – pulp specialists (pulp is the soft tissue of the tooth) - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon – facial surgeons who work primarily in the oral cavity - Orthodontist – align teeth to the optimal location - Periodontist – treats gum-related diseases - Prosthodontist – restore and replace teeth - Oral Pathologist – diagnosis of oral diseasesThe next time you visit your dentist, make sure to remember all the hard work he/she did to become a dentist and remember that you are in good hands!