Job Shadowing a Dentist

Topics: Dentistry, Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Teeth Pages: 12 (3438 words) Published: April 25, 2011
Dentistry: A Reason for a Big Smile
Brooke Kraft
Derby Family Dentistry

Everybody has experienced the roaring pain in the back of his or her mouth at one point in their lives. It is the ache that doesn’t seem to go away no matter how careful one might be. At this moment, a person knows that he or she needs help to terminate the throbbing that has literally taken over the entirety of their mouth. They need a dentist to stop the anguish. Luckily, dentistry offices are located in almost all communities throughout the nation which makes it more convenient for someone to go get his or her teeth checked out. Dentists work with areas of the mouth including the teeth, gums, and other tissues. Dentistry is absolutely essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. And, believe me, they can relieve the excruciating pain of a toothache.

The art of dentistry has roots that are documented back to the time of the Sumerians around 5000 BC. Around this time, the common thought for most people was that tooth decay was the result of a tooth worm boring into and decimating the teeth (Pictorial Para 4). I suppose that made since back in the day as they had no way of gaining strong knowledge or evidence of what tooth decay really was. The idea of the tooth worm has been found in the writings of the ancient Greek philosophers and poets, as well as those of the ancient Indian, Japanese, Egyptian, and Chinese cultures (Pictorial Para 5). Fortunately dentists have learned much since then and nowadays we have anterior theories as to what causes tooth decay. This leads to different thoughts about dentistry and its worth in the world.

The typical stereotype associated with dentists is that they scare little kids with their big devices and loud sounds. The truth is, none of the devices can really hurt you so to speak. It is better for everyone’s health to go see a dentist than to cower because of their tools. Everyone needs a regular dentist check up to monitor things that could become potentially serious. Dentists put in a lot of hard work to do the things that they do. They also go to school for a substantial amount of time to relieve people’s pain. In return, though, they get paid a lot and only have to work 4-6 days per week! Dentists are health professionals who take care of the teeth, gums, and supporting bones of the mouth (Dentist Para 1). The main goal for these professionals is to educate their patients about mouth diseases and teach them the things they need to do to maintain a healthy mouth which, in turn, leads to a healthier and potentially longer life. Also, they help treat diseases of the mouth such as gingivitis and thrush. They aren’t super heroes by themselves, though, they actually need a hand or too to get the job done efficiently. Usually you will find that dentists don’t work alone, contrarily, they have another or group of dentists working with them. The practice isn’t full of just dentists, though, because there is almost always an assistant or two. Also, there is a group of hygienists that, for the most part, do the dentist’s dirty work. Under the dentist's direction, these helpers sometimes take X-rays, clean patients' teeth, and teach patients how to care for their teeth and gums at home (Dentist Para 2). The assistants to the dentists help the practitioner with more complex procedures such as root canals and fillings that require shots for a numbing effect. Some more of the dentist’s daily tasks involve repairing fractured teeth, removing tooth decay, and examining x rays. “The worst part about the job”, states Reilender, “is not doing all of the procedures, it is dealing with some of the patient’s attitudes and having to bend over all day” (9). He made it very clear that the work can become very monotonous if you don’t advance into a specific field of dentistry. Reilender also continues by saying, “I cannot do everything by myself so, sometimes I have to send my patients to a specialist...
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