Career Profile: Dentist
When most of us have to take that trip to the dentist, we huff and puff. With the needles, drills and the not so tasty fluoride, we don’t really jump for joy when we have a dentist appointment. But the importance of oral care is essential to a healthy well-being. If we weren’t properly instructed on how to maintain our teeth and gums, and never had fillings, we would have severely infected mouths that would lead to many illnesses and leave us sick.
Dentists are specialists when it comes to oral care and hygiene. Typically when you are called into the dental room, you are given x-rays. Here, the dentist can check for any cavities or irregularities the growth of your teeth.
Depending what you are scheduled for the dentist will have their assistant have the necessary tools prepared. If you are only scheduled for a cleaning, either the dentist or assistant will polish and floss your teeth. The polish will remove plaque containing bacteria. The floss will remove particles between your teeth a tooth brush cannot.
The basic cleaning usually concludes with a fluoride treatment. Usually patients swish it around their mouth for a minute- this helps prevent tooth decay.
Some dentists are surgeons as well, and can perform tooth extractions. Wisdom teeth, the rear molars behind your jaws, usually appear near the age of twenty and are commonly removed as they can cause damage to the mouth.
Students must have at least two years of an under graduate degree in dentistry, in order to be admitted to dental school. Prior to the admission of dental school, students will perform a series of hands on and aptitude tests provided by the Canadian Dental Association. The average salary for a dentist in Canada is $140,000. Although they are paid well, most dentists are self-employed and have business expenses such as staff payroll, office and equipment rental or purchases.
The career of dentistry offers many challenges. One should expect to be very observant and have excellent dexterity, and a steady hand.