A dental surgeon, also known as a dentist, specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of oral diseases and conditions. Despite this, there are still individuals who do not consider dentists to be doctors and often make remarks such as “You are just a dentist” or “Dentists are not doctors.” This misconception has been fueled by popular culture, with even Hollywood movies like the “Hangover Series” using these remarks as a source of comedy.
There are several reasons why people might believe that dentists are not doctors. For instance, dental procedures are often less invasive than other medical surgeries, and the duration of the courses required to become a dentist is usually shorter than for other medical specialties. Additionally, dental treatments are often considered to be more aesthetic in nature and therefore less serious. However, the lack of mortality involved in dentistry does not mean that dentists are any less important. They treat conditions like oral cancer and provide necessary treatment for minor oral conditions like gum pain or tooth sensitivity.
Despite these misconceptions, dentists are, in fact, doctors. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a dentist is a medical professional who is skilled and licensed to practice prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of malformation, diseases, and injuries in the teeth, mouth, and jaws, as well as making and inserting prosthetic teeth. To become a dentist, an individual must complete a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) program, which is all equivalent in terms of curriculum requirements. Specializations in dentistry include Endodontics, Orthodontics, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, and Oral Pathology, among others.
The Indian government recognizes BDS graduates as doctors, and both MBBS and BDS have the same entrance examination after the 12th standard. Furthermore, the “S” in BDS stands for Surgery, and dentists are trained in medical subjects during the first three years of their education, providing them with sufficient knowledge about the human body. Dentists treat patients, not customers, and are trained to perform numerous invasive procedures like trigeminal neuralgia, jaw and face fracture reduction, and cleft lip surgery, among others.
In conclusion, dentists are indeed doctors who provide essential medical and surgical treatment for an array of oral conditions. People should be more considerate towards dentists, as they play a crucial role in maintaining oral health and overall well-being.
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