A Career in Dentistry
Children are often sweet and adorable, but many times they may be eating too many sweets. According to the Channel Four News, it has been shown that the number one disease in children is the reoccurrence of caries, also known as cavities. Could it be too many sweets or could it be the lack of flossing and brushing teeth? For instance, many children go to bed or wake up without brushing their teeth and go throughout the day eating all sorts of food and candy. The result of eating and not brushing could lead to plaque build up and decaying of teeth. This leaves a child extremely unhappy and in excruciating pain. So who is going to fix this pain? Who is going to help prevent decay in millions of people’s mouths? Today, the world is lucky to have a well-studied field of dentistry.. Dentistry has much history, various specialties, advancements, and an irresistible salary.
Dentistry involves many tasks and a strict code of ethics that dentists must master. What do dentists do? The best definition of dentists’ duties, according to Hopke, an American writer who wrote an educational book about various careers is, “Dentists attempt to maintain their clients’ teeth through such preventive and reparative practices as extracting, filling, cleaning, or replacing teeth.” Dentists perform corrective work such as straightening teeth and treating diseased tissue of the gums. These tasks are sometimes done by orthodontists rather than a dentist, but dentist also, on occasion, performs surgical operations on the jaw or mouth, so the arch can fit false teeth (Hopke 455).
Moreover, dentists have to cater to the fears of the public. In today’s society many people have had bad experiences or have heard horror stories about dentists, so they are generally hesitant to get work done on their teeth. In many cases, people are consumed by so much fear at the dentist’s office that the dentist will have to administer an anesthetic and try to calm the patient’s fears.
After the treatment and procedure is complete, patients leave with healthier, more beautiful teeth, giving them the confidence to ask someone out on a date or the confidence to smile on an important job interview. Dentistry is and has been for centuries, an important aspect of people’s lives.
Beginning in the earliest of times, dentistry was performed by physician specialized in only one areas of care or one part of the body. During the fifth century B.C., a Greek historian named Herodotus wrote from his observations that medicine had become so separate that each physician was a specialist in a disease (Phinney 5).
Dentistry during early times primarily consisted of extracting a tooth if pain existed. Some scientists have found evidence of drilling holes near the roots of the teeth to allow any infection to drain so that pressure in the abscessed tooth could be relieved.
It has been noted that Hippocrates was the father of medicine. He attempted to give a general understanding on health and disease. Among Hippocrates/ numerous writings is a book titled On Affections. He wrote, “Teeth are eroded and become decayed partly by the mucus and partly by food, when they are by nature weak and badly fixed in the mouth” (Phinney 5). Much of what Hippocrates wrote is partially untrue and some logically absurd, but has writings led many other people to look into the interesting studies of dentistry and medicine.
One of these followers in the quest to find better methods of dentistry was Aristotle. During has time more attention was put on oral hygiene. An Athenian physician, Diocles of Carystus, stated oral hygiene should get proper attention and he gave instructions to this end (Phinney 5). During the next few centuries, more importance was placed on good oral hygiene. Cleaning powders were invented with contents such as crushed bones, oyster and eggshells. At times, each of those substances was mixed with honey to make paste to clean teeth.
Later, during the fifteenth centuries, artists became more interested in the human anatomy to enhance the accuracy of their art work. Leonardo Da Vinci dissected a human skull and then drew what he had discovered. He was the first person to distinguish between molars and premolars.
Not until the twentieth century did dentistry divide into specific specialties. These specialties each accomplish a specific job. Some specialists who are widely known are orthodontists, oral surgeons, periodontist, pedodontists, presthodontists, oral pathologists, endodontists, public health dentists, and dental service directors.
Giving a brief description of each, orthodontists correct irregularitie in the development of teeth and jaws by applying braces or special headgear. Oral surgeons normally perform difficult tooth extractions, remove tumors from the gums or jaws, and set jaw fractures. Periodontists treat diseased gums and other tissues that support the teeth. Pedodonists specialize in children’s dental problems. A prosthodontist specializes in making artificial teeth or dentures to precise specification and measurement. An oral pathologist examines and diagnoses tumors and lesions of the mouth. An endodontist treats diseased inner tooth structures, such as the nerve, pulp, and root canal. Public health dentists deal with treatment and education of the public to the importance of dental health and care through public health agencies. Dental service directors are in charge of dental programs in hospitals. These administrators help set policies and procedures, and establish training programs for students and interns (Hopke 455).
One specialty in dentistry neglected for years is sports dentistry. Sports dentistry is a practice mainly focusing on dental injuries due to sports. According to The Dental Assistant, more than fix million teeth are knocked out each year; many during sports activities, resulting in nearly $500,000,000 spent on replacing those teeth each year (Smith 12). In June 1996, the issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association reported that thirteen to thirty-nine percent of all dental injuries are sports-related (Smith 12).
Dentistry does have its own particular perils. Dealing with patients’ mouths and their bodily fluids, makes it easy to catch many kinds of diseases. The most common disease now is hepatitis, more specifically, hepatitis B strand. Hepatitis B virse can cause short term illness that leads to loss of appetite, diarrhea, tiredness, jaundice, liver damage, liver cancer, and even death (Gonzalez 52). One of the requirements on working in the dental field is to have a hepatitis B vaccination. The likelihood of the dental team member acquiring hepatitis B is low. In a dental office, the dental team is required to wear protective equipment, also known as person protective equipment (PPE). These protective equipment includes; gloves, facemasks, goggles, and protective clothing. With all these precautions, it is almost impossible to get hepatitis B. As always, though, accidents do happen- this is where statistics are made.
The best part of this career is having the opportunity to advance. Advancement or the success of a dentist from a financial point of view may depend on the location of his/her practice; people who live in wealthier areas normally have more people requesting dental care (Hopke 457). Today, most dentists have private practices. They are free to set their own hours and establish offices and atmospheres suitable to their individual tastes. Most dental offices have a comfortable and warm atmosphere to settle the patient’s nerves and to keep them less worried and nervous about what procedure the dentist is going to be performing.
Many scientific advances in the field of dentistry offer a promising future for specialists. The work, for example, of the oral pathologist or orthodontist increased as people became more aware of the need for the care. Opportunities for dentists are anticipated to be beneficial through the 1990’s (Hopke 457). Individuals in the field of dentistry feel this is a set job because everyone needs dental work.
As always, one of the best parts of the job is the pay. In dentistry, this can be a great sum of money. Dentists can earn about $126.000 a year (Guerin interview). That is normal for a dentist a RDH (registered dental hygienist) normally makes nothing less than $25.00 an hour (Guerin interview). Each specialty has a minimum pay, some more than the others, depending upon the complexity of the job and the demand. A census shows that twenty percent of all dentists practice as specialists (Hopke 455). It has been said that individuals in the dental field are in high demand. This demand continues because of drops in enrollment in dental schools and colleges around United States (Hopke 455).
Many people go toward the field of dentistry because of the rewarding pary and benefits. For the majority of dentists, that is what drew them to dentistry, the pay. In the end, people in the field of dentistry, have found the most rewarding part of being a dentist is the satisfaction knowing that a person has been helped to feel better about themselves because work that has been done. Nothing brings more satisfaction than making a person gain confidence about him or herself.
As with all high paying careers, dentistry requires many years of schooling. The education process can start as young as high school. A high school student could gain awareness of the demands of dentistry by observing a dentist at work. The observation could persuade the student to go into the field of dentistry. In dentistry it is required that a student take classes such as general biology, organic and inorganic chemistry, physics, and anatomy (Guerin interview). By graduating from an approved dental school and by passing a state board examination, required to qualify for a license in all states, sdentists prepare themselves to begin the practice of dentistry. The general practice of dentistry revolves around families, and working with the dental needs of children. Considering the number one medical problem of children is cavities, dental practice must include working with little children. Children may be eating too many sweets; they may not be flossing and brushing their teeth. Either way, dentistry as a profession must respond to their needs. Several hundred years ago, dentistry was basic repair work. Now that dentistry s a well-known and well-respected profession, most people demand its services. Although practicing dentistry is very complex, the practice of dentistry is in high demand. For many high school students with high goals and a good work ethic, the field of dentistry offers exceptional incentives in a wide choice of specialties, excellent economic opportunities, and the self gratification given y the patient’s smile.