Everyone needs dental care, right? The habits of oral hygiene are deeply rooted in each human being. Parents start teaching their children this early in their childhood. From the moment they can say “aah”, they start saying it in medical examinations and dental chairs. This helps in developing healthy habits and continuing to take care of their teeth and gums after they step into the adult world.
But, how well are you versed in dentistry? Do you know the difference between various types of experts in this field? Do you know how to choose the best one? Well, you should learn. After all, as an adult, you are left to your own devices and this becomes your responsibility, and not your parents’. Furthermore, once you start your own family, there are a few more sets of teeth to worry about.
This is why it is important to find your own family dentist on time. In Plymouth, Minnesota, there are whole teams of professionals, such as at Ostrem Dental, who take care of all the teeth in your household. You have heard about family doctors, i.e. general practitioners (GPs), and now it’s time to learn about general teeth doctors.
Who Are They?
Oral health isn’t something that should be taken for granted. In fact, it plays a major role in your overall health. A GP is there to regularly examine you, make sure that everything runs smoothly in your organism and that nothing is disrupting the harmony in your body. Well, a general dentist is here to do the same. If your teeth are not in good shape, the harmony is definitely getting disrupted.
This is the person you visit when you have a toothache. Additionally, you take trips to their office regularly, for checkups and examinations, in order to make sure that your oral health is on point. As opposed to specialty dentists, this is your go-to professional for anything and everything teeth-related. But, we will get to this difference later.
What Does It Take To Become One?
First, let us go through what it takes to become a general dentist. It’s not like just anyone can do this. I know I couldn’t. Thank God that there are educated professionals trained for this. We really tend to forget about their importance until we end up needing their services.
So, in order to become one, you first have to obtain a bachelor’s degree and pass the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). Further on, four years of studying is necessary for becoming a Doctor of Dental Medicine. And when all that is completed, you have to get a license from your state board so that you are able to practice in that profession. It’s not that simple, is it? Know more about this here.
What Procedures Do They Perform?
As I have already mentioned above, general oral health professionals are educated and trained for all types of work performed on teeth. However, offices decide for themselves on which procedures they want to practice. It’s their right to do so.
Almost every teeth expert will do examinations, cleanings, x-rays, fillings, bridges, crowns, and more. Some of them also do root canals, and deep gum cleaning. In any case, it is up to them to decide what they are comfortable with doing, so you might want to consult about this before choosing the right one for your family.
I can guess what you are now wondering. What happens if your general “adult tooth fairy” won’t perform a specific procedure? Well, it’s quite simple, really. They refer you to a specialty dentist. Now we are getting to the difference I mentioned above.
Specialty dentists spend some more time in school than general ones. They go through some extensive training and specialize in one of available categories. This makes them experts in a specific field of their choice. And that’s the whole difference.
Find the available categories here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specialty_(dentistry)
Now that we have learned the basics on these professions, one important question is raised. When should you visit a general, and when a specialty oral expert? Common practice is to always go to your general dentist first, and, if needed, they will refer you to a colleague. After all, they will know exactly which specialist you need.
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