A general dentist is the main care dental practitioner, offering a full range of general oral healthcare services. This dentist treats, diagnoses, and treats your overall oral health care issues, such as gum disease, periodontal disease, tooth decay, wisdom teeth, benign (non-cancerous) dental growths, dental implants, veneers, bonding, tooth whitening, orthodontics, braces, loupes, extraction services, root canals, crowns, bridges, and other general oral issues. All licensed practicing general dentists must earn either a DDS or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine or Doctor of Dental Surgery, respectively) degree. Dentists must also receive specific training in anesthesia, endodontics, orthodontics, botany, radiology, orthodontic surgery, pediatric dentistry, gynecology, obstetrics/gynecological dentistry, rheumatology, orthopedics, speech pathology, sedation dentistry, and surgery. Visit us on Mill Creek Dental.
To become a dentist, you must attend and pass a dental school that specializes in this field. There are several types of dental schools, including four-year colleges, two-year universities, professional schools, vocational or trade schools, as well as other post-high school programs. To complete a four year college or university program in general dentistry, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university is required along with a year of pre-dental school. At least 100 hours of lab work and college coursework are required at the completion of your bachelor’s degree. Your bachelor’s degree will prepare you for an advanced degree in dentistry, but if you opt not to continue on to dental school, it will prepare you to enter any one of the many specialties available in the country.
It’s important to note that there are many dentists in this field that are not certified by the Dental Association or other similar professional organizations. These dentists can be very helpful in the workplace, but generally do not have the same level of education needed to be accepted into the Dental Association. This is the case even in some of the most popular and well known dentists’ offices. The information outlined above is just the basic information needed to understand each of the 7 different types of dentists.