In answering the question ‘How to become a Dentist,’ one should understand that it is quite a challenging career and a highly rewarding profession too. But, before aspiring to become a dentist, one has to make sure that one has the right motivation and the right aptitude to enter the profession. One has to be fully aware of the dental work environment including the long hours and hard work that would have to be put in to become a successful dentist.
Dentist Salary Information:
Dentistry is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States and is slated to grow by more than 16 per cent by the year 2018, faster than any other profession. It is also one of the highly paid professions. In the medical field dentistry will always be in demand and is a profession that can be practiced anywhere. Dental specialists can earn anything between $160,000 and $190,000 per annum depending upon the specialty.
Dentist Education Requirements:
To become a dentist it is necessary for you to take biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and health subjects in high school and also obtain high grades. You will then have to complete a four-year Dental degree course in an accredited college. To get into Dental College, after high school, you will have to appear for a Dental Admissions Test. The test score along with your overall high school grades, science grades and recommendations will be taken into consideration for admission to Dental College.
After completing the four-year Dental degree course you will then have to complete 2 to 4 years of internship to learn hands-on practical dentistry including dental surgeries on patients. After the completion of the internship you have to obtain a license to practice the profession. The board of dental examiners of the State where you wish to practice will conduct a test to evaluate you, and then issue the license.
Dentist Work Environment:
You then decide whether you would want to work as general dentist or a dental specialist/surgeon. A general dentist normally provides all types of oral care at the basic level. The dental specialist specializes in any one particular area of dentistry. Orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics and endodontics are the areas of specialization.
The orthodontist is specialized in irregularities of the teeth. Periodontist is specialized in other structures around the teeth and deals with the diseases of the gum. The prosthodontist is a specialist in the making of complete dentures or false teeth. The endodontist is a specialist dealing with the diseases of the dental pulp.
Dentists can work in hospitals, dental clinics and also do military service which will provide good opportunities to practice the profession. Dentists can also set up a dental clinic and practice privately based on the business potentiality of the locality of setup of the clinic.
Dental crowns are a permanent prosthetic device placed over a damaged natural tooth to restore proper fit and function. These days, the best material for making a crown is porcelain. In the past, only a trained dental lab could fabricate a natural looking, well fitting crown. Nowadays, there are some in-office technologies that allow the dentist to do all the work.
Whether using traditional or same day methods to fabricate a crown, the dentist still has to create enough space for a crown to fit. This means the tooth must first be ground down slightly on all sides. With traditional crowns, once this is step completed, the patient would have to wear a temporary crown for a couple of weeks until the permanent restoration could be fabricated by the dental lab.
The dental porcelain crown would be put into place by the dentist a couple weeks later. This process extends the length of time it takes for the patient to receive the permanent restoration and requires more trips to the dentist to complete.
Modern technology now allows for a dentist to reduce the tooth, take the impression and fabricate the permanent restoration right then, in their own office. This type is referred to as a same day dental crown because it all happens in one appointment. The time required is about 2-4 hours.
The key advantage over the old method is that same day crowns eliminate the need to wear a temporary crown and come back for a second visit. Many people find this very convenient for their busy schedules.
Dental porcelain crowns (a.k.a. “caps”) are a permanent prosthetic device placed over a damaged natural tooth to restore proper fit and function. They differ from fillings in that they cover all visible surfaces of the tooth whereas fillings only fill in small holes typically created by tooth decay or cracks, leaving the remaining natural tooth structure intact. When the enamel is decayed, cracked or broken to the point that fillings will not be able to repair the damage, then a crown is indicated.
In order for the dentist to create enough space for a crown to fit, the tooth must first be reduced in size on all sides. Once this is step completed, an impression is made of the remaining tooth structure, which is subsequently sent off to a dental lab to fabricate the crown. At the end of the appointment, a temporary crown is placed over the tooth to protect it until the permanent dental porcelain crown can be placed.
The local area is anesthetized the entire time to make the patient as comfortable as possible. This appointment is referred to as the preparation or “prep” appointment and it usually requires about an hour or two of chair time with the patient.
The dental lab usually requires a couple weeks in order to process the order for the crown and send it back to the dental office. Next comes the “fit” or “seat” appointment where the patient has to return to the office where the dentist will evaluate the fit of the crown. If the fit is good then the crown is “seated” or cemented into place.
Some adjustments usually need to be made chair side by the dentist before and after the cementing of the crown to ensure proper fit and function. However, it should be noted that – although rare – it is possible for a dental crown to be unsatisfactory enough to the patient or doctor that it must be re-made.
Overall, porcelain dental crowns are a reliable way to restore decayed, broken or cracked teeth. Modern techniques and technologies help to make the treatment more comfortable than ever before and the end result of the appearance of the crown as natural as possible. When done properly and maintained properly, dental porcelain crowns can last a very long time.
When a crown is needed to restore a tooth, there are two options: traditional crowns or “same day” crowns; also known as CAD/CAM crowns. CEREC (made by Sirona) is the most popular and recognized technology in this field. The name itself is an acronym, which stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics or CEramic REConstruciton, whichever you prefer.
The initial phase of creating a CEREC same-day crown is identical to the traditional methods. First, the decayed, broken or cracked tooth structure has to be removed and some space has to be created in order to make room for the crown to be placed over the remaining tooth structure.
Here is where it gets interesting.
Traditionally, at this point, the dentist would take an impression and send it off to the dental lab for fabrication of the crown. Instead, with CEREC, a 3D digital image or picture captures every minute detail of the prepared tooth – along with some help from a special imaging powder – and a “digital impression” is transferred into the CEREC machine. Next, proprietary software interprets this image to accurately approximate the shape, size and fit of the restoration needed.
Next, the expertise of the dentist is required to make adjustments that will determine the final outcome.
Finally, the CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design & Computer-Aided Manufacturing) aspect of the machine begins to “mill” (carve) a precision fit crown out of a single block of porcelain. Abracadabra…presto chango…and you have a new crown ready to be cemented without even leaving the dental chair.
The obvious advantage to this process is that it is done in one sitting thus foregoing the need for return trips to the dentist. The disadvantage is that there are some aesthetic limitations given that the crown is carved out of a single block of porcelain; it does not always have the natural look of a lab-fabricated crown. Therefore, it is usually only recommended for back teeth (molars).
CEREC crowns have been in mainstream use by dentists for over a decade and have a fairly good reputation and track record for creating well-fitting long lasting crowns. However, it is worth noting that ultimately this technology is only as good as the dentist operating it since he has the ability to control the final shape and fit of the restoration. So, do your homework and make sure your dentist has experience with the CEREC system and you will likely get the result you desire.
One of the most important joints in the head and neck region of the human body is the Temporomandibular Joint which is commonly abbreviated as TMJ. The TMJ is called on every time a person talks, laughs, chews, bites, drinks or yawns. It is one of the most dynamic and complex moving parts of the human body. Maintaining TMJ health is vital for the proper functioning of the body. if a person feels pain, discomfort, limited mouth opening or clicking sounds during mouth opening and closing, something may be wrong with his or her TMJ. It is necessary to get a complete checkup of the joint in this situation. The following events can be expected during a TMJ consultation.
• The oral health professionals will thoroughly evaluate, examine and question the patient about TMJ movements and noted abnormalities,
• A full mouth radiograph which will involve the whole dentition, Para nasal air sinuses, facial musculature and TMJ will be taken and evaluated for any visible deformity or fracture.
• A small Peri apical radiograph may be advised if the need arises,
• The degree of the calculation of normal jaw opening will be calculated. The normal jaw opening is documented to be about 45mm. Jaw opening measurement is done to rule out the chances of trismus and the development of oral submucous fibrosis.
• The degree of up down, side to side and lateral movements will also be checked,
• Pain grade experience of patient will also be calculated for checking the severity of TMJ disorder. Pain evaluation during eating, chewing, drinking, yawning and other functions will be calculated if possible,
• Thorough evaluation of clicking sounds will be done by the clinician,
• If required, specialized investigations such as CT scan and MRI can be advised for soft tissues as well.
After completion of a detailed clinical examination, radiographic evaluations and all other required investigations, the clinician will make a provisional diagnosis of the condition. The patient will be informed in detail about the abnormality and the suspected causes causing it. The clinician will guide the patient about the best available treatment plan for getting informed consent. Meanwhile, the patient will be guided about the physical exercises and the future precautions to minimize the consequences of the suspected abnormality. Mild painkillers and muscle relaxants along with hot wet towel massages will be advised to the patient. Splint fabrication may be advised after the informed consent.
For the follow up of the condition after these therapies, a re-evaluation visit will be scheduled. Patient will leave the clinic to carry out the advice till the follow up visit.
The group of disorders that involve the masticatory system including the masticatory muscles, facial musculature and the temporomandibular joint are known as TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorders. These disorders are physical in nature and they encompass an abnormality in the working relationship of upper and lower jaws in harmony with the skull bones, as well as the muscles attached. There is also some correlation of this with the nervous control through brain. Among the major manifestations and symptoms of TMD are muscle fatigue, muscle spasm, joint dysfunction, clicking sounds and flattening of the occlusal surfaces of teeth especially molars. Some of the reasons why people develop TMJ disorders are discussed here,
• TMJ Trauma is one of the most common reasons for the development of temporomandibular joint disorders. Acute trauma to upper and lower jaws results in an impact force which transmits and damages the masticatory apparatus mainly the temporo mandibular joint. Trauma can happen owing to a car accident, motor bike fall, boxer’s punch, sports injury or any other blow to the facial apparatus. Pain and loss of function are the common manifestations after such trauma. At the chronic stage, this trauma causes the TMD or temporomandibular disorders.
• In this era of fast life and competition along with everyday tensions and problems faced by people, non-functional grinding and clenching of teeth at night in sleep has become a common problem. This process is termed as bruxism and it is considered as the most common cause of TMD. Most commonly it causes the flattening of enamel at the occlusal surfaces of teeth and balanced occlusion is lost. It can occur on other surfaces as well. This habit causes muscle fatigue and hypertrophy of masseter muscles especially.
• An ideal occlusion is destined to provide minimal stress, minimal adaptation and is least destructive for the masticatory apparatus. When teeth are not properly in occlusion or mal occluded, they cause adverse effects on all the components of the masticatory system including the TMJ. Malocclusion or bad bite causes the muscles of jaws to hold the TMJ out of its socket for completing the bite resulting in fatigued muscles and soreness.
• Other bad habits causing TMD are leaning your chin on your hand, gum and tobacco chewing, improper postures, pencil and pin biting.
• Last but not the least emotional stress plays its important part in increasing the duration of bruxism contributing to development of TMD problems. Certain diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis also contribute to TMD disorders.
The invention of dental implant technology has revolutionized the meaning of prosthetic and restorative dental sciences in the modern era. Now there is no need to remove sound and healthy tooth structure for the sake of replacement of a missing and lost tooth by dental bridges. Dental implants are placed in the healthy alveolar bone of the missing natural teeth and they make a direct connection between their surface and the healthy alveolar bone within a few months through the process of Osseo-integration. The lodge into the alveolar bone just like the natural tooth roots of your teeth giving a lifelike feeling both in view of the structure as well the functions carried out by these later on.
Previously dental health providers had only the options of bridges, removable acrylic partial dentures, cast partial dentures and complete dentures for the replacement of lost teeth. All these treatment options look like artificial in nature. These have an effect on the social life of patients. The functional aspects of all these prosthesis are also somewhat compromising. In comparison with all the above mentioned dental replacement prosthesis, dental implants offer many superior advantages. Dental implants are a better solution to the problems of missing teeth.
Dental implants have the benefit of being best in aesthetic sense. It provides a lively look just like a natural tooth gives both in the manner of its structure as well as its function. It transmits all the sensations within the bone during eating, chewing, drinking and other activities. It gives you a boost in your daily life. It imparts confidence during your job and work. It gives you your broad smile back which was lost with the missing teeth.
Dental implants prosthesis does not come at the expense of adjacent sound tooth structure. It does not require cutting or removal of healthy enamel of adjacent teeth as is the requirement for the placement of dental bridge prosthesis. Your adjacent teeth remain untouched and in their place for the overall well-being of your dental health in future. It does not need the removal of your prosthesis daily and placement in water containers like removable dentures which are often lost due to patient’s negligence.
Dental implants once again give you the chance and benefit to speak with confidence in a class room, a conference room, a symposium forum and business board meeting. You can have a new life to flourish within your field. They do not have the problems like the irritating sounds and wobbles experienced in case of dentures. These do not require any messy pastes and denture glues as well.
Another major benefit of opting for dental implants treatment is the high predictability of their success rates and long life. They are considered to be the ultimate and final prosthesis for your missing teeth as they have been documented to last for the life period of an individual. This life expectancy depends upon the skill of the dental health professional, the implant placement procedure and technique, meticulous and thorough oral hygiene maintenance measures and care by the patient himself. The last factor is of prime importance.
In short, dental implant prosthesis has replaced almost all the other treatment options. Dental implants are so far the best prosthesis for the replacement of missing teeth.