Dentists: Doctors of Oral Health
Americans today frequently have superb oral health leading to the ability to maintain natural teeth throughout their lives. This is not however the case for all. For example, cavities remain the most prevalent childhood chronic disease. Individuals also do not attend dental appointments as frequently as needed to ensure good oral hygiene and receive preventative dental care. Mistakenly, many individuals believe they only need to see the dentist when in pain or if something is wrong. This is however not the case if you want to maintain oral health and a healthy smile. Preventative care can save future pain and money at the dentist! Dental visits can vary from being routine cleanings to complex dental procedures.
The Dentist’s Role
Dentists are doctors who specialize in oral health.
Their responsibilities include:
- Diagnosing oral diseases.
- Promoting oral health and disease prevention.
- Creating treatment plans to maintain or restore the oral health of their patients.
- Interpreting x-rays and diagnostic tests.
- Ensuring the safe administration of anesthetics.
- Monitoring growth and development of the teeth and jaws.
- Performing surgical procedures on the teeth, bone and soft tissues of the oral cavity.
- Managing oral trauma and other emergency situations.
Dentists’ oversight of the clinical team is critical to ensuring safe and effective oral care. Even seemingly routine procedures such as tooth extractions, preparing and placing fillings or administering anesthetics carry potential risks of complications such as infection, temporary or even permanent nerve damage, prolonged bleeding, hematomas and pain.