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Dentistry 101

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People say that a smile makes one look bright and good looking. Those who smile while showing their teeth look even brighter. Aside from concerns in appearance, our teeth are important for chewing, which is an absolute prerequisite to the digestive process. Dental health is definitely a significant part of our well-being. Although we do a good job of brushing, and even flossing every so often, sometimes, just those practices are not enough. We need experts to assist us in our dental care, accidents, issues, or in general, dental needs. These experts are called dentists.

Dentists diagnose and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of the teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health.

Most dentists are general practitioners, handling a wide variety of dental needs. Some types, on the other hand, specialize in specific fields. To name a few, there are endodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, oral pathologists, orthodontists, pediatric dentists, periodontists, and prosthodontists. Endodontists perform root-canal therapy, by which they remove the nerves and blood supply from injured or infected teeth. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons operate on the mouth, jaws, teeth, gums, neck, and head, performing 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. Pediatric dentists focus on dentistry for children and special-needs patients. Periodontists treat the gums and bone supporting the teeth. And finally, Prosthodontists replace missing teeth with permanent fixtures, such as crowns and bridges, or with removable fixtures, such as dentures.

Being a dentist does not simply require a degree (though that is definitely a plus), but several lives and practical skills as well. As much as possible, dentists should have good communication skills, a meticulous attitude, dexterity, leadership skills, organizational skills, patience, physical stamina, and finally, problem-solving skills. These qualities help in over-all office performance. A dentist with these traits is definitely one you can rely on, so as long as you choose one carefully, and of course cooperate properly, all your dental needs can be addressed, giving not only your self-confidence but also the dentists themselves.

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