Many of us grew up wishing to become medical doctors or nothing. What we did not know is that there are lots of other courses in the medical field that are also relevant to the well being of an individual. Dentistry is a subspeciality in medicine which is a good place to practice while still being reffered to as a doctor.
Job Profile For Dentists
Dentists devote their time to studying the anatomy of the mouth, how disease occurs and effective treatment or preventive methods towards the well being of their patients. Most times they spend a lot of time on-call at different hospitals where they might be required to perform surgical procedures where the procedure is needed. They might also be required to carry out community health talks on what type of food or drinks one should avoid or proper dental hygiene to practice. There are various sub-specialties within the field of dentistry for specialization if one is looking to become an expert in the desired field, they include;
- Public health (with a focus in dentistry )
- Oral and maxillofacial pathology
- Oral and maxillofacial radiology
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery
- Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
- Pediatric dentistry
Becoming a specialist might require that you spend about 2-3 years in teaching hospitals to learn more about your desired area of specialty.
Job Description Of Dentists
- Attending to patients to determine the condition of their teeth either on a weekly or monthly basis with a plan for follow up.
- Educating patients on how to maintain proper dental hygiene, the type of food or drinks to eat or avoid
- In the case of a diseased condition or with decayed teeth perform dental surgeries to remove or correct defects
- Ensure all dental equipment are kept clean and sterilized at all times
- Understand patients history from their case notes,x-rays and medical tests
- Refer patients to specialists if need be
What Skill Should I Have As A Dentist?
Some of the relevant skills required of you as a dentist includes;
- Demonstrate good knowledge of basis dental procedures
- Great presentation and analytical skills
- Good communication skills
- Working alongside team members
- Paying attention to detail
- Ability to work for long hours and work well under pressure.
Who Are The Employers Of Dentists?
Because most dentists are in the medical field, your typical employer would mostly be in medical-related fields. some of which includes;
- Government Hospitals
- Private Hospitals
- Private consulting
- Research organizations
- Non-governmental organizations (e.g W.H.O, U.N.I.C.E.F )
- Universities (as an academic)
What Steps Can I Take To Become A Dentist?
Actually, there are many routes to becoming a dentist. You can either gain admission directly into the university after passing your core science subjects (biology, chemistry, physics). Sometimes, you might be required to finish a degree in science-related subjects such as biochemistry, physiology, chemistry, anatomy e.t.c before going to continue in the second year in dental school. You should also take certifications that are required for you to practice in your country.