About Dentistry

Dentists diagnose and treat problems with a patient’s teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They diagnose and treat problems affecting the mouth and teeth. They also prevent dental disease and promote oral health. Dentists provide advice and instruction on taking care of teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health.

Most dentists are general practitioners and handle a variety of dental needs.

Dentists in private practice also oversee a variety of administrative tasks, including bookkeeping and buying equipment and supplies. A Dentals practice will commonly employ and supervise a dental hygienists, dental assistants, laboratory technicians, and receptionists.

Dentists typically do the following:

  • Educating patients on oral healthcare
  • Restore and replace or removal of teeth damaged by decay
  • Remove decay from teeth and fill cavities
  • Straighten teeth to correct bite issues
  • Eliminate pain arising from oral diseases, conditions and trauma, making use of prescriptive medicines to reduce pain and discomfort
  • Assessing treatment options and agreeing treatment plans with patients
  • Administer anaesthetics to keep patients from feeling pain during procedures
  • Write prescriptions for antibiotics or other medications
  • Examining gums and teeth and diagnosing patients' dental conditions by using tools such as x-rays
  • Make models and measurements for dental appliances, such as dentures, to fit patients
  • Perform corrective surgery on gums and supporting bones to treat gum disease
  • Maintaining patients' dental records

Dentists may choose to specialise in one of nine specialty areas:

  • Dental public health specialists promote good dental health and the prevention of dental diseases in specific communities
  • Endodontists perform root-canal therapy, by which they remove the nerves and blood supply from injured or infected teeth
  • Oral and maxillofacial radiologists diagnose diseases in the head and neck through the use of imaging technologies
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons operate on the mouth, jaws, teeth, gums, neck, and head, including procedures such as surgically repairing a cleft lip and palate or removing impacted teeth
  • Oral pathologists diagnose conditions in the mouth, such as bumps or ulcers, and oral diseases, such as cancer
  • Orthodontists straighten teeth by applying pressure to the teeth with braces or other appliances
  • Paediatric dentists focus on dentistry for children and special-needs patients
  • Periodontists treat the gums and bone supporting the teeth
  • Prosthodontists replace missing teeth with permanent fixtures, such as crowns and bridges, or with removable fixtures such as dentures
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