A dentist is a doctor who deals exclusively with the teeth and gums. Dental science deals with the placement, arrangement and function of teeth. It also deals with the bones and tissues supporting them.
Dentistry itself is a specialty in medical science and within it there are several specialty branches. Various kinds of dental specialties include orthodontics, prosthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, cosmetic dentistry and the like. Recent additions to the list are specialties like laser dentistry and sedation dentistry. There are nine recognized specialties in the field of dentistry. In the United States the two common doctorates awarded to dentists are DDS – Doctor of Dental Surgery and DMD- Doctor of Dental Medicine. Those who complete their maintenance training as an oral maxillofacial surgeon are awarded DMDs. The United States has 54 accredited dental schools and for a doctorate one has to put in four years of post graduate study. The minimum qualification for entry is a BS degree. Dentists are awarded licenses and are covered by the regulations of the state in which they practice.
It is often difficult to choose which specialist dentist to go to. Either you are able to delve deep into the subject and obtain information that you can utilize to find the right dentist to approach. Or you may approach a dentist, get an opinion about the kind of treatment your problem needs. Some offer free first consultations. You may need a filling, or a root canal followed by a crown, an extraction followed by an implant, dental bonding, a minor oral surgical procedure, or maybe gum surgery. Based on this opinion you may choose a qualified specialist, check out his credentials and then sink your teeth into the treatment.
You can make use of the internet to research dentists – location, qualifications and specific skills. Web sites like http://www.dentalfind.com help you locate a dentist in your area. The search window even gives you a choice of procedure to make your search yield better results. Pinpointing procedures like teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, smile makeovers, porcelain veneers, dental implants and the like will help locate a specialist in the field.
Source by Ken Marlborough