General Dentistry and the Dental Assistant – Dental Health Example

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"General Dentistry and the Dental Assistant" is a good example of a paper on dental health. The field of dentistry is composed of various professions, from doctorate to allied and mid-level, and finally to clerical level career. However, all dental professionals are aiming for the same objectives, which include the examination of the person’ s overall oral health, the causative factors of oral function deterioration, and the giving of restorative or preventive oral care. The general dentist belongs to a doctorate level career in dentistry, and his or her responsibilities are not limited to any dental procedure because he or she is the primary care doctor of all dental units. Educational Requirements                   The American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation is the governing body that accredits those institutions that offer dentistry career options or other dental professions in the United States so that standards of dental professionals will be maintained.

A person can take the licensure examination for U. S. dentist if the three-part standards for eligibility set by the American Dental Association (ADA) are fulfilled. First, the person must have successfully completed the education requirements and accredited curriculum set by the commission and granted a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree.

“ To become a general dentist, three or more years of undergraduate college education degree (typically with a strong science foundation) plus four years of dental school is required” (Academy of General Dentistry, n.d. ). Next to the education requirement is to take the examination requirement by the commission, both written and clinical. After completing a general dentistry degree, the applicant should pass the National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE-Dental Hygiene) Part 1 (basic sciences) and Part 2 (clinical dental topics).

This comprehensive exam is followed by a clinical examination develops by the regional and independent states licensing board that measures the capacity of applicants in doing all dental procedures. The candidate will become a fully licensed dental professional once it receives the National Board Certificate from the NBDE. Job Description A general dentist or general practitioner can legally execute all phases of dentistry or dentistry procedures because he or she has no dental specialties and stands as the manager of the dental team or the “ captain of the ship” (Ingle & Bakland, 2002, p.

21). Also, he or she can work collaboratively with other dental specialists to provide a complete or specialized dental procedure because there are dentistry practices that are outside of his or her training field (Phinney & Halstead, 2004, p. 8). According to Anderson and Pendleton (2001), “ All members of the dental team have specific duties and responsibilities. ..with the shared goal of providing the best possible dental care. ..[and success] depends on the attitudes and cooperation of all team members” (p.

2). General dentists are expected to perform dental treatments (teeth, gums, mouth, supporting bones), dental examinations, treatment planning and counseling, and overall dental services of all ages. In addition, they are to give oral health consultations, recommendations, medications, and maintenance options to eliminate factors that cause oral function deterioration. The summary of their duties and responsibilities is to manage all dental problems from the most basic to most complicated dental issues that need restorative or preventive treatments. Conclusion Dental professionalism gives the person a big opportunity to help the public, particularly those people who lost their self-confidence and self-respect because of oral health problems.

There are millions of people that need restorative and preventive care for oral hygiene, and only dental professionals can help them renew their lives by having good oral hygiene. General dentists are the counterpart of a primary care doctor of medicine; thus, they are playing a very significant role in the field of dentistry.


Academy of General Dentistry (n.d.). AGD factsheet: general dentists. Retrieved from

Anderson, P. C., & Pendleton, A. E. (2001). The dental assistant (7th ed.). USA:

Thomson Learning.

Ingle, J. I., & Bakland, L. K. (2002). Endodontics (5th ed.). New York, NY: BC Decker.

Phinney, D. J., & Halstead, J. H. (2004). Delmar’s dental assisting: A comprehensive

approach (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Delmar Learning.

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