When it comes to the question of whether dentists are considered doctors or not, the answer is a resounding yes. Dentists receive training similar to that of a doctor and often face life-threatening situations in their daily line of work. They are trained to evaluate the nerves and muscles of the head and neck, jaw, tongue, and salivary glands, and can detect oral abnormalities that may be symptomatic of other diseases and ailments. Dentists are considered doctors in their own field of medicine based on their qualifications.
They receive a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or a DMD (Doctor of Medical Dentists) upon graduating from dental school. Both medical students and dental students must take life science and pharmacology courses in the first two years of school, as well as classes in ethics, law and clinical practice. In addition, during the second half of medical and dental school, students work and study directly with patients under the supervision of a doctor in their field. Upon graduating from medical school, the doctor will receive an MD or DO degree, or a specialized degree.
Many doctors continue to complete a residency program, sometimes mandatory and sometimes not. The curriculum and structure of medical school and dental school are similar. However, there's a difference between a dentist and a doctor. A doctor is trained to study and treat the general well-being and health of the human body, while a dentist is simply a doctor with a medical specialty of the frame.
A doctor will know how the body works, how to treat it, and how one illness or injury can lead to another. Dentists only need to study their area of expertise. While dental residencies typically require a two-year period of study and supervised practice after dental school, an oral surgeon may require additional studies and a supervised practice of between four and six years. Like dentists, a doctor must pass a licensing exam in the state in which they want to practice. Just like a routine physical exam at the doctor's office will monitor and help maintain the overall health of your body, a regular dental exam at the dentist's office monitors and supports your oral health.
Many underlying medical problems have a strong link to oral health, which is why dentists are often the first to spot the first signs of serious illnesses such as diabetes. In addition, dentists perform surgeries and help prevent harmful health complications associated with oral infections and gum disease. Earning a degree in dentistry is as difficult as becoming a doctor - from the competitive dental school application process to setting up an office and paying for insurance - but based on the average income it's worth it. So while some will continue to debate whether a dentist should be considered a doctor, it is clear that degrees such as DMD and DDS receive similar rigorous training and are as crucial to our health as those with MD and DO degrees.