Understanding A Dentist And Dentistry

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Understanding a Dentist and Dentistry


Jennifer Miller

At times referred to as a dental surgeon, a dentist is a medical professional who specializes in dentistry, the branch of medicine that addresses medical issues relating to oral cavity. Contrary to common belief, a dentist does not only involve him/herself with problems of the human teeth. He/she also specializes in addressing medical issues to do with the maxillofacial area. A professional dentist surgeon will normally have several support personnel including a dental assistant, dental hygienist, dental technician and dental therapist.

Just like in other countries such as the US, UK, Japan and Australia, Canadian health authorities place a lot of emphasis on dentist training. The training is aimed at producing high caliber dentists who can effectively address public oral cavity issues. While those graduating from university dental schools after four years of study come out as general dentists, they have the option of furthering their education to qualify as either Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine.

Just like in other countries, Canadian dentists have specialized in different areas of dentistry. It is therefore possible to find the following specialized dentists:

Dental public health These are the professional dentists responsible for studying dental epidemiology and formulating dental public health policies. They are in most cases work in government agencies.


Endodonticts These are professional dentists who specialize in studying and treating dental pulp diseases. They are professionally referred to as Endodontists.

Oral and maxillofacial dental pathology This is a specialized field of dental pathologists who specialize in studying, diagnosing and treating both oral and maxillofacial diseases. They also study radiology of the same areas. Some of them proceed to specialize as oral and maxillofacial dental surgeons in which case they involve themselves with teeth extraction, teeth implants and correction of congenital facial deformities.

Orthodontics This is the field of orthodontists who specialize in correcting orthodontic problems such as misaligned teeth.

Periodontics This is a field that involves the study and treatment of gum disease.

Although most dental health problems occur due to poor oral hygiene, dentists emphasize on the need to for affected individuals to seek professional evaluation for any kind of problem.

This is because poor hygiene may not be the only cause of the same. Both oral and maxillofacial health problems can be symptoms of deep rooted undiagnosed disease including cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and osteoporosis.

The different specialization areas of dentistry can make the choice of the right dentist a big challenge for a layman. The best way to engage the service of the right dentists is usually to start by consulting a general physician or dentist who is better placed to identify a dental problem and refer a patient to the right specialist. Although some of the specialists are to be found in Canadian public health facilities, others are in private practice, offering their service to members of the public and organizations from their own facilities, which are duly registered.

The cost of treating dental health problems vary greatly. A professional\’s experience and reputation informs his/her rates. Those seeking dental treatment should however not worry about the cost as treatment for oral and maxillofacial health problems is covered by various health insurance policies.

Jennifer is a health fitness expert at health-local. Health-local is Canada best national directory for finding information on

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