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    Things You Always Wanted to Know About Dentists

What is the difference between General Dentists, Family Dentists, Orthodontists, Oral Surgeons, Periodontists, Endodontists and all those other kinds of dentists? In a nutshell, it is the scope of practice that the individual dentist practices. Their are eight branches or specialties in dentistry that a dentist may choose to train in and offer services for his or her patients.

Dental schools are generally four year colleges attended after basic university degrees are attained. Internships, fellowships, and residencies are available in dentistry just as in medicine and may be one, two, three and even four years in duration. These are formal years of training. A dentist can begin practice and perform most all procedures upon graduating from dental school. The large majority of dentists go straight into practice immediately after dental school and practice all forms of dentistry. They are commonly referred to as General Dentists or Family Dentists. Some dentists take additional training in school settings and gain a specialty degree: Orthodontists straighten teeth, Endodontists do root canals, Periodontists do gum surgery, Oral Surgeons remove teeth and perform complex oral surgery, Pedodontists work on children, Prosthodontists build back missing teeth, Oral Pathologists study oral diseases, etc. If a dentist limits his practice to one discipline or field of treatment, he is said to be a Specialist. If a dentist practices in many branches of dentistry his practice is termed General or sometimes Comprehensive.

What makes a really good dentist? That depends on what the patient values. Most people value the painless, on-time dentist the most. Others go for quality of craftsmanship and select a dentist who makes teeth that look good, feel good and last a long time. And still others look for the most reasonable prices in determining what they consider as "good". Then there are those who go mostly by personality or "chair-side manner", someone they can relate to or get along with well. Many patients appreciate and seek out dentists who are trained comprehensively to do most all dental procedures. Hey, if you can find all these characteristics in one dentist, they must be pretty good….but don’t bring any Kryptonite to the office when you come for a checkup!

Dr. Prasanth Pillai K.S.,

Dental, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Email  drprasanth@pramodclinic.com




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