When it comes to the medical field, there are many different areas of specialization to choose from. Doctors, like dentists, are highly trained health professionals and must consider their tolerance for long and irregular hours when deciding which field to pursue. Dentistry, also known as dental medicine and oral medicine, is the branch of medicine that focuses on teeth, gums and mouth. It consists of the study, diagnosis, prevention, management and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the mouth.
Dentistry may also cover other aspects of the craniofacial complex, including the temporomandibular joint. The practitioner is called a dentist. In Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Brazil, Chile, the United States and Canada, a dentist is a health professional qualified to practice dentistry after graduating with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Cleaning teeth, locating and filling cavities, assisting oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and prescribing medications are some of the main responsibilities of a dentist.
The Harvard School of Dental Medicine has established the Oral Physician Program, a general practice dental residency program at Cambridge Health Alliance that integrates training in oral health, primary care and family medicine. This program is an effort to improve overall health and reduce medical costs by bringing together leaders in academia, healthcare and industry to find innovative ways to integrate the two disciplines. Organized dentistry has fought against nationalized healthcare on many fronts and testified against the practicality of extending benefits to everyone in the country. The strange thing is that oral care is separate from the medical education system, physician networks, medical records, and payment systems.
This means that a dentist is not just a special type of doctor but a completely different profession. We implant teeth, identify oral cancers, use three-dimensional images to reshape the jaw and can treat some dental cavities medically without the need for a drill. Since the formation of dental schools in the United States in 1840, dentistry and medicine have been taught and seen as two separate professions. Doctors work in doctors' offices, clinics, hospitals and treat patients suffering from a wide range of problems while dentists focus on oral care.
People don't always see dentistry as important as general medicine but it is essential for overall health. In conclusion, dentistry is an important medical field that requires specialized training and knowledge. It is separate from general medicine but can be integrated with it in order to improve overall health and reduce medical costs. The Harvard School of Dental Medicine is leading the way in this effort by establishing programs that integrate training in oral health with primary care and family medicine.