Submitted by Jeanne Steffener, Tulalip Tribes Higher ED
Dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions on earth. “The earliest evidence of dentistry in ancient times dates back to 7000 BC, teeth were found in a Neolithic graveyard located in Pakistan. The teeth have evidence of holes made from primitive dental drills. (1)
“Dentistry is a branch of medicine that is concerned with the study, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, the maxillofacial area and the adjacent and associated structures. Essentially, dentistry is directed at oral care and dental health maintenance.” (2)
Dental Medicine is a very important component of the primary healthcare professions. This frontline profession is fundamental in disease prevention and intervention while promoting overall wellness in people. Oral health is critical in maintaining our general health, well-being and quality of life. A major portion of dentistry involves the prevention and treatment of tooth decay and gum disease
Dentists provide services that improve their patients appearance and self-confidence with a wide range of dental procedures. These services promote self-confidence in patients pertaining to their smile. Patients learn about good oral habits through their dentist, promoting good oral health and disease prevention. Dentists interact with people of all ages, cultures and personalities. A dentist’s typical day is both diverse and very interesting.
Dentists in essence are artists. Whether brightening teeth or realigning an entire jaw, the dentist has to have the ability to visualize an aesthetic end result making their patients look their best.
Dentistry offers career opportunities in both the private and public sectors, i.e. private practice, public clinics, teaching, research, public health and administration. A career in dentistry will provide a lifetime of learning on the cutting edge of technology. Careers for women in dentistry are on the forefront as we enter a more inclusive age.
The average income of dentists is in the top 8 percent of U.S. family incomes and the demand for dental care is increasing. With all the marketing, more people are becoming aware of the importance of regular dental care. Geriatric dental care is extremely important for older adults trying to keep their teeth longer. Implant cosmetic surgery is contributes greatly to the growth of this profession.
Dentists usually receive a bachelor’s degree. Then they attend four years of dental school. In addition, dentists have to complete additional qualifications plus continuing education to accommodate a constantly changing field. Dentists also prescribe medications related to patient management. They encourage and promote prevention of oral diseases with regular patient check-ups, cleanings, evaluation and monitoring.
Other mid-level occupations in the dental field supporting the dentist include registered dental assistants, dental hygienists and dental technicians. Other types of dental positions include dental laboratory technicians and administrative staff. Additional employment opportunities may be available in dental schools, hospitals and companies that manufacture dental prosthetic materials.
If you have a calling to become a dentist or are interested in other areas of the field, please call the Higher ED staff at 360-716-4888 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with this exciting career opportunity.