Dentists As Doctors of Oral Health
Cavities are the most prevalent chronic disease of childhood despite the strides that oral health education and awareness has made with the general public.
The American Dental Association (ADA) calculates that approximately 100 million Americans fail to schedule an annual visit to the dentist. Many people still think that a trip to the dentist is only needed if there's an obvious problem. In fact, though, prevention and early detection are two powerful ways that dentists can help raise overall health.
How can we lower the instances of childhood cavities and increase the number of people who take preventive action to maintain good oral health? One way is to gain a better understanding of the work of dentists.
Dentists are doctors of oral health. The course of study is similar for students of medicine and students of dentistry during the first two years of their professional training. So, dentists have the same solid grounding in diagnosis and treatment as other doctors before branching into their specialties.
The following two years of education and training focuses on oral disease and collateral conditions. The area of care for dentists is broad; it includes the head, neck, jaw, tongue, salivary glands, and nervous system. Upon completion of training, dentists are able to detect broader medical conditions--many of which show early signs in the mouth--and refer the patient to either an oral specialist or a physician.
Not only is it a good idea to encourage your family and friends to get regular checkups to avoid cavities and maintain basic oral health but you may also be helping them to avoid more serious health issues through early detection.
Please help us help the American public by encouraging regular dental checkups.
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