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Are Dentists also considered to be Doctors?

Is a Dentist also a Doctor or are they totally different?

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A dentist is a medically proficient individual who looks after the teeth and gums of patients but a dentist is not considered a doctor of medicine (MD) or a doctor of osteopathy (DO). There are trainings a dentist must take to gain the title doctor of dental surgery (DDS) or the title doctor of dental medicine (DMD) degree. In other countries the degree is called Bachelor of Dental Dentistry (BDS, BChD, or BDent). The education the dentist must complete is not the same as that of the medical doctor but he or she goes through several medical trainings.

The training can only be taken after completing a four-year undergraduate degree. The American Dental Association considers DDS and DMD to be both valid to take the test and become licensed dentists. Several years of training in basic medicine and dental science are required as well as clinical training and practice under the strict supervision of a licensed dentist is required. Dental education is more focused on the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases of the gums and teeth.

Dentists like doctors can choose to specialize in certain field of dentistry. Dentists can choose to become orthodontists, pediatric dentists or oral surgeons. A dentist with no specialization will have to refer the patient with complicated case to a dentist with specialization on a particular disease.

It is very appropriate to call a dentist “Doctor” even though he or she is not considered a medical doctor for that matter. There are dentists out there who prefer to be called “Doctor” while others prefer to be called by their first name. It is improper for a patient to call a dentist “Mr. Ms. or Mrs. Because the dentist underwent rigid medical training and finished doctorate.

There are instances or special cases where the dentist works closely with doctors such as during oral surgery. One instance is the repair of cleft palate. In this case the services and knowledge of the cosmetic surgeon and good oral surgeon is needed for the teeth to grow properly. Patients with complicated medical issues will benefit greatly if they are treated in a hospital attached to a medical and dental school since these are more exposed and experienced in dealing with more complex cases.

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