CareerChoice:Dentistry

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Introduction

Dentistry is defined as the evaluation, diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment (nonsurgical, surgical or related procedures) of diseases, disorders and/or conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and/or the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body; provided by a dentist, within the scope of his/her education, training and experience, in accordance with the ethics of the profession and applicable law.(As adopted by the 1997 ADA House of Delegates)

Being a branch of medical science, dentistry deals with maintaining good oral hygiene and a better set of teeth. As the concepts of oral hygiene and other health implications are catching up, this branch is coming of the age. So Dentists these days are assuming very important roles in the whole health care system. Dentists help in preventing and treating diseases related to the oral cavity, including the floor of the oral cavity, the 'roof' of the mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, etc. He can actually fashion or craft our teeth in such a way that we can get that dimpled or gummy smile so in a way he can be an artist also.

Surgical, medical and other forms of treatment too are a part of dentistry as they are with other medical branches. Dentistry also includes cosmetology, in which corrective treatment is done i.e. stained, cracked or broken teeth can be restored to their original form. A part from the routine extraction of teeth, filling, fitting dentures, surgery of mouth, replacement of extracted teeth through surgery and cleaning a patient's mouth and teeth, the job also includes aligning and straightening teeth. Today's dentists can provide pain-free care for our teeth and leave their pliers at home!

Nature of Work

Opinions and plan of treatment to be undertaken by a dentist is always based on clinical, bacteriological tests or X-rays. To treat the oral disorders in the main work of a dentist. Scaling, cleaning and fluoride therapy is also provided by a dentist. Dentists repair teeth damaged by decay or trauma and rebuild tooth structures for functional or cosmetic reasons and help in providing crowns and bridges. A dentist designs dentures i.e . he is expert in making and fitting false teeth. Malformation and misalignment of teeth and jaws are corrected by providing 'braces' or other appliances. A dentist also treats diseases of the roots, gums and soft tissues of the mouth and carries out various surgical procedures. He also fills cavities in the teeth. Routine check ups are done as preventive measures every 6 months to make sure we are taking good care of our teeth and that our teeth and gums are healthy. A significant part of a dentist's job involves educating patients about ways to preserve a healthy mouth . They can choose to refer their patients to specialists. They are the center of the dental care team.

Cosmetic dental surgeons fit artificial replacements where necessary. Cosmetic dentistry has replaced metal with tooth-colored materials that are highly translucent and it becomes difficult to find the difference between natural teeth or the false teeth. So the dentist is a sort of combination of the professional man and mechanic.

Personality

A Dentist should have:

  • A basic compassion for people
  • Good health,
  • Ability to stand for long hours
  • Manual dexterity
  • A methodical and scientific approach
  • Ability to establish easy relationships quickly with people of all age
  • Ability to infuse confidence in nervous patients, especially children
  • Organizing ability
  • Ability to work as team
  • The power of concentration
  • Accuracy
  • An excellent memory
  • A scientific temper
  • He must have an artist's aesthetic vision

Professional Courses

To practice as a dentist one must need at least a Bachelor's degree in Dental Science (BDS). To be a specialist one needs to have a Master's in Dental Science (MDS). BDS course includes in the first year, subjects like basic anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry followed by pharmacology and microbiology in the second year. Other Courses in Dentistry are:

  • Dental Hygienist Certificate Course
  • Dental Mechanic Certificate Course
  • Diploma Course In Dental Assistance

Duration

The BDS degree is obtained after 4 years of training followed by one year of internship. The Master's degree needs two years of specialized training.

Colleges, Institutions and Universities

  1. Army College Of Dental Sciences, Mercury Lines, Thirumalagherry,Secunderabad - 500015. Andhra Pradesh, (Andhra Pradesh)
  2. Government Dental College & Hospital, Afzalgunj, Hyderabad-500012, (Andhra Pradesh)
  3. NTR UHS Dental College, Andhra Pradesh, Vijayavada-520008, (Andhra Pradesh)
  4. Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi-110002, (Delhi)
  5. Goa Dental College & Hospital, P.O. Santa Cruz, Bambolim Goa-403005, (Goa)
  6. S.C.B.Medical College, Cuttack, Orissa-753007, (Orissa)
  7. College of Dentistry, Indore 452001, (Madhya Pradesh)
  8. Guwahati Medical College, Guwahati 781032, (Assam)
  9. Regional Dental College, Guwahati-781 032, (Assam)
  10. D.A.V. Centenary Dental College, (Haryana)
  11. Dental College, Medical Campus, Rohtak-124001, (Haryana)
  12. Maharshi Dayanand University Medical College, Rohtak-124001, (Haryana)
  13. S.M.S.Medical College, Jaipur-302 001, (Rajasthan)
  14. Dr.R.Ahmed Dental College and Hospital, 114, Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Road, Kolkata-7000
  15. Christian Medical College, Brown Road, Ludhiana-141008, (Punjab)
  16. Guru Nanak Dev Dental College & Research Institute, Lakhmirwala Road, Sunam - 148028, (Punjab)
  17. The Buddhist Mission Dental College & Hospital, Siddhartha Nagar, New Bailey Rd, Patna-800023, (Bihar)
  18. Patna Dental College & Hospital, Agamkuan, Patna-800007, (Bihar)
  19. Government Dental College And Hospital, Ahmedabad-380016 (Affiliated to Gujarat University), (Gujarat)
  20. Govt. Dental College, Jamnagar-361008, (Gujarat)
  21. Rajah Muthiah Dental College & Hospital Annamalainagar 608002 (T.N.)
  22. Meenakshi Ammal Dental College & Hospital Alapakkam Road, Maduravoyal, Chennai 600095
  23. Modern Dental College & Research Centre Nainod, Gandhi Nagar, Airport Road, Indore (M.P.)
  24. Govt. Dental college & Hospital Near T.B. Hospital Subhash Nagar, Jaipur 302016 (Raj.)
  25. Mahatama Gandhi National Institute of Medical Sciences RIICO Institutional Area, Sitapura, Jaipur 302022 (Raj.)

Specialization

Postdoctoral dental study gives dental professionals, the opportunity to work towards specialization in the field of dentistry. The areas of postdoctoral study include the following: periodontics, endodontics, orthodontics, and oral surgery etc. The advantages of pursuing one of these areas of specialization are generally higher salaries and a more academic bent to the work. The postdoctoral study itself is quite rigorous and involves seminars, lectures, and clinical work. The following are the specialties in this field:

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology: The practice of oral pathology includes research and diagnosis of diseases using clinical, radiographic, microscopic, biochemical, or other examinations.
  • Endodontics: It includes the basic and clinical sciences including the biology of the normal pulp, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the pulp. One of the endodontists' most frequently occurring tasks is treatment of the root canal�the removal of damaged pulp from within the root canal of a tooth and thus saving the teeth.
  • Periodontics: It is the study of diseases of gums and its effects and treatment.
  • Pedodontics: Pediatric Dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. They care for a child's teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.
  • Prosthodontics: It's a special branch of dentistry that concentrates all its skills and science that make mouth, teeth, and face work right, feel right, look right, and stay right.
  • Oral Surgery: Oral surgeons are responsible for diagnosing and treating oral disease, in particular benign and malignant tumors of the jaws, head and neck. They also perform surgeries to aid in the treatment of sleep disorders.
  • Orthodontics: An orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

Eligibility

Candidates who have passed 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology, with at least 50% marks are eligible for admission in the Bachelor of Dental Science.

For an MDS degree one needs to have a BDS degree.

Selection

Admission to graduate courses in dentistry is through a general, nationwide competitive examination. The All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Entrance Exam conducted by the CBSE is common for both the MBBS and the Bachelor of Dental Sciences (BDS). The allocation of institutions is based on merit. Other than the centrally run medical institutions there is at least one dental college in most states, where admission is governed by domiciliary status. A merit waiting list up to a number of 1 to 2000 is made on the base of marks obtained in the Exam. The candidates are assigned their merit list and choice. There are also private colleges, which under the management quota admit students on an all India basis. But to be eligible for practice, one must ensure that the Dental Council of India approves the course chosen.

Career Prospects

A wide range of career opportunities exist in the filed of dentistry. Dental departments in hospitals, dental clinics and nursing homes need the services of dentists. Apart from this the Forensic Departments also need good dentists who are involved in identification of deceased persons through dental remains, bite mark analysis and examination of oral facial structures for determination of injury, possible malpractice or insurance fraud. Pharmaceuticals and other companies, which produce dental and oral care products, require dentists for research and advisory works . One can also take up work as a Dental Hygienist, Dental assistant or as a Dental consultant to models and film artists. Self-employment is also a lucrative avenue and one can become a private practitioner. For those with an adventurous kind of personality one can also join the Army Dental Corps. The Armed forces also recruit dentists directly. Recruitment to a government job is through UPSC and Staff Selection Commission for states.

Those who are interested in teaching work can find the job of a Professor or an Associate Professor, with a required qualification, in the Dental Colleges.

Remunerations

Government hospitals, freshly trained dentists could begin around Rs 6,000 a month (including allowances), while in private hospitals it could be from Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,000. Postgraduate degree holders can expect to start on Rs 7,000 upwards.

Dental surgeons can earn good money through their own practice. The consultation charges could be Rs.500 upwards for cosmetic filling and can be as high as Rs. 40,000 to 50,000 depending upon the nature of dental problem the patient is undergoing. A well-established dentist can make around Rs.20, 000 - 1,00,000 or more per month.

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