It's important to make sure you take care of your teeth. One of the best ways to take of your teeth is to have a knowledgeable, skilled family dentist. Not every family dentist is the same, so it's important to take the time to make sure you select one who will meet the needs of you and your family. Most practicing dentists have the qualifications required by law to operate. But it's always a good idea to check.
A skilled family dentist is a practitioner who went to many years of university before opening a practice. This individual will hold a doctor of dentistry degree or a doctor of dental medicine degree. The majority of students entering dental school already has a baccalaureate degree, even though this is not always a requirement. What is a requirement is that a family dentist takes at least two years of predental college and four years of dental school.
During the education of a family dentist, he or she will spend the first two years learning about preclinical and basic sciences. The final two years are spent completing hands-on work under the supervision of a senior dentist. A family dentist is required to pass national and state board examinations before beginning to practice. Specialized dentists, like those specializing exclusively in dental care for children, often require two or more years of specialized training.
A dentist can be just that, but that person could also specialize in another area. Usually a dentist will provide basic dental care and then refer an individual to another dentist for specialized care. Dental specialties a family dentist may or may not be involved in include dental public health, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial pathology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics and pediatric dentistry.
Dental public health is community dental health focused on the prevention and control of dental disease. Endodontics is the treatment and prevention of related structure to the root pulp like root canal therapy. Oral and maxillofacial pathology involves injuries to the neck, head, and the diagnosis of tumors and other diseases related to this area. Surgical treatment of these diseases including tooth extracts is considered to be oral and maxillofacial surgery. It also involves surgeries to fix defects of the face, jaw or mouth.
Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is a specialty focused on correcting tooth irregularities and deformities of the face. Pediatric dentistry is dentistry for children and infants. Many family dentists will also provide care for children and infants, but those in pediatric dentistry are more specialized in this.
Two other types of dentistry specialties that family dentists may know well include periodontics and prosthodontics. The first one is the treatment of gum disease and related structures. The last is prosthodontics which is the use of prosthetic devices such as bridges, crowns and dentures. Family dentists will kindly recommend an individual to a denturist if they require dentures.
While some dentists restrict their practice to a particular age group, those with a family dentistry practice do not. Instead, they work with all ages to assist in the general maintenance of healthy gums, teeth, and overall oral hygiene. If you have a small child, however, you may be wondering if a general or pediatric dentist is best.
Many consider family dentistry the first line of defense against dental abnormalities. These practices serve as the starting point for checksups every six months, providing deep cleanings to eliminate buildup. In addition to visually inspecting your mouth, the doctor may also take X-rays to determine if there are cavities or other problems.
A person in this field must first earn an undergraduate degree, usually in an area of science, although this is not required, and pass the Dental Admission Test. After this, the student endures an additional three to five years of study at dental school. Prior to graduation, all students must pass the National Board Dental Examinations in order to obtain a license. Students graduate with a Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine.
General dentists can see children of all ages and even see adults. This is great for households that want to keep all their children going to the same person as they grow. It makes it easy for you as parents to also make time to see the doctor to care for your oral health.
Children do have special needs as they mature. Doctors trained in family dentistry know and understand these needs. They can treat loose teeth and cavities just as well as pediatric specialists. Additionally, they are able to prevent many dental problems with fluoride.
These doctors do not attach or manipulate braces. However, they can diagnose when your child needs braces and set you up with an appointment with an orthodontist.
If your child has special needs, your dental office may refer you to a pediatric dentist. These doctors have had additional post-graduate training.
If your child is very small or has a hard time at the doctor, then your dentist may suggest pediatric dentistry.
As with a general dentist, this professional can not attach or maintain braces. They can help with other preventative measure and refer you to an orthodontist if necessary.
Family dentistry is a great place to start if you want one doctor to see all your children regardless of age. They can help your child maintain healthy teeth and gums and get them on the road to great oral hygiene.[Top]